Term Limit Removal Bill

Pallaith

TNPer
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I was inspired by the recently closed Total Term Limits Act discussion started by abc. Not only was there no appetite for permanent limits to terms of office for the delegate, there appeared to be widespread sentiment that term limits more generally were undesirable. With that in mind, I propose the following:

Constitution of The North Pacific:
Article 3. The Delegate and Vice Delegate
12. The Delegate and Vice Delegate will be elected by the Regional Assembly by a majority vote every four months.

Article 3. The Delegate and Vice Delegate
12. The Delegate and Vice Delegate will be elected by the Regional Assembly by a majority vote every four months. No person shall be elected Delegate to a full or partial term in three election cycles.

I have long believed that term limits are a blunt instrument employed out of fear, fear that elections will be noncompetitive, that power will be held permanently by the same person forever, that no one new will rise to the occasion with the threat of a powerful incumbent looming overhead. The way I see it, even with the term limit we have in place, all of that is still a possibility. There will always be high-profile players and former delegates who can always step up, if not the incumbent. New talent always must contend with this, and prove itself worthy of consideration. There will be times when the region desires a steady reliable hand, and it should have the right to seek out that person even if the individual served two terms in office. I would wager that all else being equal, not only will the region be ready for a fresh face, but the incumbent delegate will also be ready to move on after two consecutive terms. TNP is a region that celebrates new talent, and encourages the next generation to pick up the torch. It is only when no apparent new talent steps up, or in troubled times, when the region will be more inclined to turn to a familiar face to lead them again.

Right now, it is virtually guaranteed an incumbent delegate will win a second term. After all, once that second term is over, there will have to be a new delegate. Perhaps knowing this, certain individuals plan a run after the term limit would take effect, to allow a delegate to complete a full cycle. Now imagine instead that an incumbent could potentially string together as many terms as the region is willing to give them. Knowing that possibility, and the power of the incumbency advantage, I would not be surprised if sitting delegates received more vigorous challenges after only a single term. And if they get a second, and run for a third, I would expect a still more vigorous challenge. It may be that in that scenario an incumbent will not often get a third term, and if that comes to pass, the competitiveness of the elections will be all the better. Not to mention, the region will always have the choice to pursue the same path or to change it, a choice that they have every right to make, and that is largely made for them when the term limit is applied.

It is not my hope that this change will lead to more infrequent changes in delegates, or that the bar will be raised for future candidates. I believe the bar is already high, and I am proud of that fact. I am also proud that TNP is not afraid to bring up new people more often than not, and I do not expect that will change without a term limit. If anything, I believe that principle will be more fiercely defended without the inherent complacency of the term limit. Every election should be competitive and it shouldn't be a matter of waiting out the clock. With that said, I welcome your thoughts.
 

Praetor

Hoppin' Around
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How much is McM paying you to write this?

Support. This law's intent is to promote competition. This has not happened as evidenced by recent elections. I do urge the region to find some way to address the lack of competitiveness in our elections however.
 

Robespierre

The MacMilitant
Deputy Speaker
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I quite like this, I must say. In my view, it’s always preferable to have elections that are more competitive and driven by candidates of a higher caliber. Removing term limits means that there won’t always be “open” opportunities for candidates to run without facing at least some adversity (either from an incumbent or someone who’s highly qualified entering the race), and in turn I can definitely understand where Ghost is coming from when he says that these limitations are faceted out of fear. Often times, these fears can be played up, but I find the limitation itself to be absolutely unnecessary.

Full support.
 
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Oracle

The Goddess of Death
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EDITED: I will look over information and points of view provided by both sides before indicating how I will be voting on this.
 
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I appreciate the points made that term limits can encourage players to defer to avoid having to challenge an incumbent and that consecutive term limits would not stop a small number of experienced players effectively trading the Delegacy between them. I do question whether removing term limits would actually improve competition, other offices are not term limited yet many races for them lack competition, though I accept part of that is that some of them are simply not as interesting to many.

I am curious, of former Delegates who were term limited, which of you would have ran again? I ask because, I have to say, I think an advantage to term limits that is perhaps overlooked is that they force people to take breaks from holding office (or, at least, holding the same office) and that holding office can over time be draining, which I would think would be particularly so for those in the Delegacy. Such drain is not to the advantage of those holding office nor is it to the advantage of the region and I think there is a case to prevent it. But it may be that I am wrong and that those who seek the Delegacy are made of hardier stuff.

In any event, I do think that there should be an endpoint to a person's time in the Delegacy. Holding the Delegacy for a long period of time, because of the nature of its in-game power and prominence, creates unique risks that do not exist for other offices and, to my mind, it is they, moreso than uncompetitive elections, that justify ensuring a nation does not hold the Delegacy for overlong periods of time.
 

Loh

One cat to rule them all
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I'd welcome this chance. Like Praetor said, this law will help to promote competition in our elections.

I do urge the region to find some way to address the lack of competitiveness in our elections however.
Hopefully I won't go off topic here, but I fear many (newer, at least) players are simply afraid of running and don't feel confident enough. While this is totally understandable, I believe TNP has been making its best to address this. We encourage people to join the forum and become citizens. We encourage them to get involved in the affairs of the region, to take part in the RA. I strongly believe that people would certainly be less afraid (or even not afraid at all) of running if they got more involved in the RA (though the Executive Staff also has its own merit; getting people to work closely with the government is definitely a good way to lose such fear too).

In my opinion, if we want to boost competition in our elections, we can start by boosting the number of people joining the forum and becoming citizens. I look forward to address this too in the future, perhaps we could even coordinate something with the GAs.
 

Nimarya

Queen Chicken
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I like the idea behind this bill. I don't know much about the particulars, but an online game generally doesn't have to fear the same things the real world does that would lead to making term limits a necessity- or at least not to the same extent. I don't know why a player should be forced to stop with a role they are successful at just because they've won an arbitrary number of elections.
 

Pallaith

TNPer
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I appreciate the points made that term limits can encourage players to defer to avoid having to challenge an incumbent and that consecutive term limits would not stop a small number of experienced players effectively trading the Delegacy between them. I do question whether removing term limits would actually improve competition, other offices are not term limited yet many races for them lack competition, though I accept part of that is that some of them are simply not as interesting to many.

I am curious, of former Delegates who were term limited, which of you would have ran again? I ask because, I have to say, I think an advantage to term limits that is perhaps overlooked is that they force people to take breaks from holding office (or, at least, holding the same office) and that holding office can over time be draining, which I would think would be particularly so for those in the Delegacy. Such drain is not to the advantage of those holding office nor is it to the advantage of the region and I think there is a case to prevent it. But it may be that I am wrong and that those who seek the Delegacy are made of hardier stuff.

In any event, I do think that there should be an endpoint to a person's time in the Delegacy. Holding the Delegacy for a long period of time, because of the nature of its in-game power and prominence, creates unique risks that do not exist for other offices and, to my mind, it is they, moreso than uncompetitive elections, that justify ensuring a nation does not hold the Delegacy for overlong periods of time.

Speaking for myself, I didn't need a term limit to decide not to pursue a third consecutive term as delegate back in January 2018. I strongly suspect that most former delegates would have something similar to say. For the exceptions, removing this limit allows the region to judge if they think that delegate has had enough. You are right that it can be draining, which is why two rounds is so often enough, but not every person is the same, and even looking at the same person, not every election cycle is the same. A variety of timing factors comes into play, to the point that it just my not be realistic for someone to continue to be a delegate beyond two terms. Since I have been active here I have seen two delegates forgo their second term for just this reason.

In terms of other offices, I have perceived less of a demand due to a concern in difficulty. The flashiness of the delegacy makes it an attractive choice, whereas Speaker or Vice Delegate are seen as very particular roles. Taking Speaker for a second, it is not work that anyone is cut out for, and finding talent for that office has frequently been a challenge. I wouldn't ever be concerned about term limits here - either no one will want to stick with it long enough to be worried they will be there forever, or someone very good at it will be willing to keep going and we would want the option to keep electing them.

This same proposal was made in 2014. There was some very interesting debate on the issue. You can find the discussion here: https://forum.thenorthpacific.org/topic/7177690/

Does anyone know how many different delegates we have had? And how does that compare with the other GCRs?

I note the discussion in 2014 hit democratic rights (the people have a right to decide if they want to keep electing the same delegate) a lot more than this current discussion, though the discussion of abc's term limits proposal hit on many of the same points, from the perspective of those arguing against the term limits. I am seeing the implications of competitiveness but the democratic concerns are just as important. They may be a bit academic though.

With the term limit in place we do force an open race at most very 8 months. But open races even in this setup do not guarantee a new delegate (if by new you mean, someone who has not been delegate before). This is clear from our most recent cycles: I ran again in January 2019, and McM ran again in September 2019 and most recently in January 2020. Prior to the last year, we had a string of new delegates taking over every cycle going back to mid 2015 (when Elu was elected to finish Tomb's second term). You ask how many different delegates we've had and how it compares to other GCRs. Just to make this a manageable task I will start from our most recent constitution (September 2012). And don't assume I perfectly know the other GCRs' classifications of their delegates (I can only go by a reasonable interpretation of their in-game history page), so it's possible there's some extra names or names that don't count for the purposes of this comparison.

TNP: Elu, McM, Jamie, r3n, Tomb, SillyString, Raven, Plemby, Pallaith, Gladio, Siwale, Fiji
TSP: Hileville, Milograd, Brutland and Norden, Southern Bellz, Belschaft, Escade, Kringalia, Tsunamy, Feirmont, Drugged Monkeys, Erinor, Aumeltopia
TEP: Topdop, Todd, AMOM, Bach, Ramaeus, Xoriet, McStooley, Aelita, Hobbes, Yuno, Fedele, Marrabuk
TWP: Yy4u, Wickedly Evil People, All Good People, Bhang Bhang Duc, Darkesia, Mediobogdum, Elegarth, Badger, Davelands, Neenee, Saint Mark, Bran Astor
TP: Krulltopia, Piercoium, Aleisyr, East Durthang

TRR: Collector of Souls, Fratt, Unibot, Guy, Libertarian Republics, Church of Satan, Catalyse, Wabbitslayah, Kyorgia, Dead I Jack
Laz: Feux, Harmoneia, Milograd, Drop Your Pants, Kazmr, Stujenske, Funkadelia, New Rogernomics, Loftegen, Starberries, San Andrewa, Benevolent Thomas, Amerion, Altmoras, Kowassati, Aleister, Killer Kitty, Imki, Treadwellia
Osi: Lyanna Stark, MadJack, Neo Kervoskia, The Dourian Embassy, Cormac, Detective Figs, Venico, The Imperial Crown, Ikand, Tim, Saq, Trick Shot, Syberis, Altino, Ghostfox, Anabelle
Bal: Revolution by Night, Charles Cerebella, Solorni, NES

This tells me, somewhat surprisingly, at least in terms of the other democratic regions, that we're right in line with them as far as having new talent in the delegacy. Keep in mind this is with the term limit we have in place, so one could observe that the term limit didn't give us an obvious leg up on other regions in terms of having more people serve as delegate. If the concern is that new faces won't be able to take a turn, well, we still had a lot of repeat delegates during that period surveyed. I believe this is a concern that is best answered by culture. It is in our culture to be more inclined to look forward and accept newcomers. It is up to the region, and it is their right, to decide when or if we ought to put someone else in charge. And coinciding with that culture argument, it is a belief in letting the next generation take the lead that plays a big role in former delegates deciding not to pursue office again (assuming they are able, of course).

Funny how this bill pops up every time McM is Delegate.

A coincidence, but a fitting one. Also, other than the time GBM referenced, I haven't seen 6 other proposals for this. :P
 
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Syrixia

The one, the true, the great.
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Sure, sometimes elections aren't as competitive as is ideal, but removing term limits is always a Pandora's Box and a half. Just look at literally every example IRL. Who usually does it? Dictators looking to consolidate their rule or aspiring dictators looking to become one.

It's honestly genuinely concerning this is being proposed and even more concerning that it hasn't been universally shut down by the RA's members yet. I cannot, in good conscience, support this bill and I hope those who do seriously reconsider the potential ramifications of its passage.
 

Vapia

Watcher of the Dollar Pizza Shop
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Strongly against. Democracies must be protected against the formation of oligarchical elements, and the removal of term limits is a very strong gateway to this. Im shocked that so many in the region would support this bill. Term Limits are not only good, but they are mandatory for a serious democracy.
 

bootsie

Supporter
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As stated on Discord, I am totally for this proposal.

I spoke with Zyvetskistaahn about his time in the Speaker’s office, since I knew he served, at least to my knowledge, the longest in the Speaker’s Office. The longest that he ever served was three full terms, though he cumulatively served five and a half.

As for the Vice Delegate, I can thank Robespierre for this awesome chart showing all of the Vice Delegates since our latest Consitution:


Robespierre (January 11-current)
Artemis (September 11, 2019-January 11, 2020)
Sil Dorsett (January 12-September 11, 2019)
Pallaith (July 23, 2018-January 12, 2019)
Deropia (May 12-July 11, 2018)
Siwale (September 11, 2017-May 12, 2018)
Kasch (May 13-September 11, 2017)
Tomb (January 14-May 13, 2017)
Lord Ravenclaw (September 14, 2016-January 14, 2017)
Bootsie (January 11-September 14, 2016)
Myroria (September 12, 2015-January 11, 2016)
SillyString (January 12-September 12, 2015)
Crushing Our Enemies (November 29, 2014-January 12, 2015)
Abacathea (May 11-November 19, 2015)
Democratic Donkeys (January 19-May 11, 2014)
Sanctaria (September 18, 2013-January 19, 2014)
Kiwi (May 23-September 18, 2013)
Blue Wolf II (December 9, 2012-May 23, 2013)
Tim (September 18-November 18, 2012)

And since I have the term dates, we can see that the shortest Vice Delegacy (assuming these are correct dates) was Deropia’s due to their recall, and the longest, at 247 days, a little over 8 months, was my own.

A year is a lot to serve in any office, and I’m actually not incredibly shocked to find that my Vice Delegacy was the longest of the ones listed above, it felt like it.

If someone is mentally capable of running the region and willing to serve our region longer than eight months, then I definitely think they should.

I don’t expect someone to run for more than three consecutive terms, and I think if we get to that point where we have a Delegate who wants to run more than we as the region should, I wholeheartedly believe we will speak up.

As for the dictatorship comments, this is NS...not real life. I do not believe for a second that Pallaith is proposing this so that he or anyone can become supreme leader for eternity. We still have the power to not elect people, we still have the right to vote, and many (if not all) of the European Prime Ministers or equivalent have no term limit, just the requirement that a majority of the people/representatives support them.
 

Inven

Lisztomaniac
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Against. I think we just need to expand the term limit, like to 1 year, but not remove it
 

Robespierre

The MacMilitant
Deputy Speaker
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Credit where credit is due: That chart of past Vice Delegates and the office’s lineage did not come from me. Thank Ghost for that.
 

Rocketdog

A rocket has landed. A dog is inside.
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Full support.

A nature end to a delegate's consecutive terms would be three. This is based on just burn out, newer ideas and people. There may want to run for a fourth term, but I think that would be rare.
 
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BluieGamer

Resident Future Drug Maker
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I hold no particularly strong feelings for this proposal. However, I think that it is worth giving it a shot. It is unlikely that anyone would even want to hold the office for more than two terms, given the workload. Remember, we are all playing a game. Being Delegate or VD isn't our full time job. Furthermore, due to game mechanics, if ever there was a dictatorship or oligarchy forming, we, the people, have the power to prevent it from happening, unlike in real life. I say we try it out. We can always change it back in the future.
 

QuietDad

TNPer
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No problem removing them but perhaps exploring and defining a recall/vote of no confidence system so that someone in too long can be made to hear it may be time to move on
 

Sil Dorsett

0.00 g/dL
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I'm in support of this.

While not always the case, it's not often, at least from what I've felt (someone else can pull data for me, or I'll do it later), that a delegacy race involving a running incumbent is competitive, especially when a delegate has performed well. There's a sense of "Why fix what isn't broken?" that helps incumbents stay on top. "But wait! Sil! That's why we need to keep term limits in!", to which I say... "No." No matter what term limits are set, the impending end of a delegacy becomes the optimal time to get into the ring, because you don't have to pin the reigning champ to take the belt, you only have to pin a weaker challenger.

Compare that to the Vice Delegacy where term limits don't exist and notice the competitiveness of challenges against the incumbent. Malphe had to put together a campaign that could defeat me, and he had me scared. Robespierre toppled the incumbent Artemis. Both had to make their runs when they did because there was no optimal time to do it. It was do or die, go big or go home.

Taking away term limits from the delegacy will bring back competition because challengers can no longer be tactical about when they run. With this in place, challengers will need to up their game, create stronger, more intuitive, more inspiring platforms better than what we already have, and put the pressure on not just when the time is right, but all the time.

"To be the man, you gotta beat the man."
 
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Pallaith

TNPer
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Sure, sometimes elections aren't as competitive as is ideal, but removing term limits is always a Pandora's Box and a half. Just look at literally every example IRL. Who usually does it? Dictators looking to consolidate their rule or aspiring dictators looking to become one.

It's honestly genuinely concerning this is being proposed and even more concerning that it hasn't been universally shut down by the RA's members yet. I cannot, in good conscience, support this bill and I hope those who do seriously reconsider the potential ramifications of its passage.

Is this democracy?

Strongly against. Democracies must be protected against the formation of oligarchical elements, and the removal of term limits is a very strong gateway to this. Im shocked that so many in the region would support this bill. Term Limits are not only good, but they are mandatory for a serious democracy.

It is precisely sentiments like these that make me confident the dreaded worst case scenario would not come to pass in TNP. We have a strong democratic culture here, one that predates most of our time in the region. And as long as continue to have people like you guys around, we won't ever have to fear some out of control despot running the table with our elections.

I will add that term limits are in fact an anti-democratic mechanism, I suppose the idea being, limiting the people's choice for their own good. Real life is hardly a good point of comparison here, but even if we were to use it, I would argue that the question in't whether or not term limits exist, but whether or not an election is free and fair, whether or not people have a serious opportunity to challenge status quo, whether or not the time in office is of reasonable duration. In many of these real life examples of petty dictators, I think you'll find the answers to all of those questions would be in the negative. Not so in TNP.

Is it democracy? Yes. Allowing the people to always have the choice of leader, even if it's the same choice again and again, and leaving it up to them when they want to move on to someone else, that is absolutely democracy.

No problem removing them but perhaps exploring and defining a recall/vote of no confidence system so that someone in too long can be made to hear it may be time to move on

There is no rule on when a recall must be initiated or why. Anyone could feel free at any point in a delegate's term to propose recalling them due to lacking confidence in their ability to continue to serve. I don't believe we need to change existing law to do this, but it is good to think about since it is another tool that can be used in the event a delegate's term gets long in the tooth and no one was able to make that case at the time of the last election.

To @Sil Dorsett I would say that your point is a nicely put way of saying what I tried to say but perhaps not as well as I could.
 

mcmasterdonia

TNPer
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When I was first Delegate and still an undergrad student with nothing but time on my hands, I may have liked to serve for three terms. Ultimately it is hard to be performing at a high level and constantly pushing to make the region the best it can be - particularly when you’re your own harshest critic, and the other critics are never far behind either. Nowadays I think a year as Delegate is possible for some, but I think it would be very rare. Longer than that? Even less likely. But if that is what voters want, then that is what they should be able to have.

I also agree entirely with what Sil said. It should be do or die any election. Not just the one when a Delegate is known to be standing down. I support this change. As I’ve said before, we naturally have term limits - they are called elections and they are the only limitations on terms that we should have.
 

Dinoium

Semi-retired legal nerd.
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Full support. While I do share the concerns of someone serving too long could scare people, it is the will of the people who chose to keep that delegate in power for that long. Honestly most people would want a new delegate anyways after 2-3 terms to give the office fresh blood so no need to fret.
 

Zaz

North Pacific Dweller
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Against. I see this as a slippery slope that could lead to fewer changes in the delegate seat over longer and longer periods of time.
 
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Kaschovia

St. Kaschivus of the Fifth Circle
TNP has a very democratic ethos and vigilance, mostly spurred into life by coups and other plots in the past, to sufficiently check the Delegate for corruptive behaviours.

Removing the term limit makes sense for TNP. We are one of the most democratic GCRs in the game because our entire security structure revolves around the Delegate and the ease of transition for the Delegate-elect or Acting Delegate, should a rogue Delegate ever come into power.

I don't think we have much to worry about.
 

Eluvatar

TNPer
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I'm against this. The tree of liberty will wither if it is not watered from time to time with the blood of tyrants, and all that.
 

r3naissanc3r

TNPer
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I am strongly against this change.

First of all, I wanted to address the discussion about lack of competitiveness: Repealing term limits will only make the situation worse. Most of our competitive elections occur when the incumbent does not run for another term --- and this occurs primarily (not exclusively, but primarily) when the incumbent is term-limited. If we repeal term limits, we will have more elections where hard-to-beat incumbents run again, discouraging others from running, and therefore even more elections where there is no competition.

I am not saying the current system is perfect. I also wish we had more competitive elections. But the solution to this is not to remove term limits: By removing term limits, we are removing what competitiveness we currently have. The claims that removing term limits will somehow boost competitiveness in elections are completely misguided.

Second, removing term limits creates serious risks for the region. I will just quote myself from the previous thread that GBM linked:
On the other hand, there are risks that term limits attempt to ameliorate, and based on empirical evidence from other regions the risks are plausible. There is an acknowledged incumbency boost in elections, and very frequently this boost comes for reasons unrelated to the incumbent's merit relative to the other contenders. It can be for reasons of familiarity, complacency, or just a sense of entitlement created for the incumbent. This can result in a virtual autocracy, even if that is not the intention of the incumbent, and stagnation. It can also mean that, when the incumbent does eventually retire, there will be noone prepared or willing to step up to replace them. In a region with an engaged electorate, such as TNP, these risks are somewhat remote, but if they do happen they will be considerably harmful.
I note that in the above post, I concluded that "these risks are somewhat remote". I actually feel that these risks are a lot more serious today, given that a lot of the game activity has moved to discord, and that inter-player relationships have become a lot more personal than political. This shift makes it a lot easier for a charismatic player to win votes on the basis of personal affection, rather than skill in governance.

It is easy to claim that the electorate will prevent these risks from materializing. But in a community as small as ours, with a social component that often dominates the political one, without a culture of an established fourth estate to provide proper scrutiny, and where what's at stake in elections is relatively unimportant, the electorate is far more imperfect and complacent than it is in the real world. This makes term limits a valuable mechanism for preventing the risks I describe above.

Stagnation is another risk that is a practical reality in NS, and which term limits effectively help prevent. Unlike real life, where there is an active private sector, in NS most innovation comes from the executive government. Without a diversity of players at the top helm, the region will experiment a lot less, and we will be evolving at a much slower pace. It is worth noting that there are a lot of changes that took place over time and that, even though we now broadly accept them as beneficial for the region, at the time they came about they were strongly opposed by the then-former delegates. This includes popular delegates that would have been likely to have stayed at the top spot much longer without term limits. Removing term limits would have meant that many of these changes would never have been implemented, and our region would have been a lot worse as a result.

Overall, I believe that this will be a detrimental change for the region. We should keep term limits.
 
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Siwale

Administrator
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I agree wholeheartedly with the points r3n lays out in his post above. The term-limiting clause in the constitution is not simply an oversight or an outdated concern. There are significant drawbacks associated with allowing the same individual to remain in office for an indefinite period of time. The cons far outweigh the pros in this case. I would urge the Assembly to carefully evaluate the risks r3n laid out above before casting a vote on this matter. It would be an absolute shame to lose a constitutional clause which promotes fresh faces, new ideas, and continual regional advancement.
 
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Great Bights Mum

Grande Dame
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It’s no secret that I think McMasterdonia is a 5-star delegate. Were he not term-limited, I would vote for him again. Lots of us would. We would like to have him continue the great work he has accomplished. It’s not a stretch to imagine he could hold the office for as long as he wants to.

The truth is though, this proposal would be soundly shot down if we did not currently have a stellar, yet term-limited delegate. The present times color our vision of the larger picture – which is this:

The Constitution provides for a balance of powers among the branches of government. Eliminating term limits shifts power away from the RA and increases the power of the Executive branch. As an RA member, I’m not willing to tip that balance. Even if it means not getting to have a McMasterdynasty.
 

bootsie

Supporter
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I knew I was going to probably disagree with R3n and Siwale (who usually is trailing behind his penguin savior) but I did not think I’d have to disagree with Great Bights Mum.

The Regional Assembly is not losing any power by eliminating term limits for the only office of our main *four* that we entrust to lead and represent our region. Our Delegate elections are probably the most competitive elections we have in The North Pacific, and even if candidates are not elected to the position, like RL politics, they are usually built into the next term’s Executive Council or ideas brought seriously to the table.

Also, since I brought up my term as VD, I’ll also bring up my Delegate and successor as VD, Lord Ravenclaw. He served an entire year as either the person in charge or close to it, and really, he could have served longer since the Vice Delegate has no term limits.

I understand that it may be easy to clutch onto your pearls and have nightmares about Sheev himself declaring a new order, but this is really not that radical of a change.

The highest body of The North Pacific has been, and will always be the Regional Assembly, and changing this law will not invoke the widespread switch to The New North Pacific Order.
 

Praetor

Hoppin' Around
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The highest body of The North Pacific has been, and will always be the Regional Assembly, and changing this law will not invoke the widespread switch to The New North Pacific Order.
Aww... Well, there goes my support for the bill. :(
 

mcmasterdonia

TNPer
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It’s no secret that I think McMasterdonia is a 5-star delegate. Were he not term-limited, I would vote for him again. Lots of us would. We would like to have him continue the great work he has accomplished. It’s not a stretch to imagine he could hold the office for as long as he wants to.

The truth is though, this proposal would be soundly shot down if we did not currently have a stellar, yet term-limited delegate. The present times color our vision of the larger picture – which is this:

The Constitution provides for a balance of powers among the branches of government. Eliminating term limits shifts power away from the RA and increases the power of the Executive branch. As an RA member, I’m not willing to tip that balance. Even if it means not getting to have a McMasterdynasty.

I was only just re-elected so it seems funny to be already considering the next election, however, I have no plans to seek a third term even if I was able to. A few years ago when I was younger and had more time I would have done. Serving as Delegate can be exhausting and I think, as Ghost alluded to, most Delegates know when they have reached their time to say enough is enough.

The argument against term limits I find more compelling is the idea that it is never a sure thing that a Delegate's term is up. If you want it, you have to fight for it, and do it now. A losing campaign can also put you on the map for a winning one later, a fact many seem to ignore. Personally I trust voters to make the right decisions on elections and if that decision turns out to be a mistake, then our strong institutions would correct it.

I wish people would run campaigns more even if they were going to lose. Instead, they do wait on the basis that the Delegate will retire, or they blame the popular incumbent for making the race uncompetitive - as though they would withdraw for a more competitive race if the shoe was on the other foot. Many nations start planning and consulting terms out from their potential run - that is politics, but it can be a bit irritating, particularly when you're the sitting Delegate just trying to get through your first term.

I agree with you in the sense that this proposal needs to be looked at from the perspective of anyone being able to run for a third term. Even someone you may not like. Look at it through that paradigm. In my opinion, it would always be incompatible for us to establish a dynasty, whoever the delegate was - that would never happen, whether we had term limits or not.
 
Our strong democratic culture will not be a factor in preventing people from serving as delegate indefinitely. It is precisely the structural supports like term limits that have created our strong democratic culture. Removing those supports will, in turn, weaken that culture.

Furthermore, there can be no comparison between the delegate and other, non-term-limited officers. The delegate is the face of the largest region is NationStates, has access to regional controls, directs all aspects of our military and foreign policy, as well as our WA vote. In contrast, the speaker gets to decide when bills go to vote, the vice delegate tries to screen out coupers from the citizenry, and the AG prosecutes crimes. They have an infantessimal fraction of the delegate's power, and their elections are fundamentally different animals.
 
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SillyString

TNPer
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I agree with r3n, Siwale, GBM, and COE. I cannot support this bill.

I will not rehash what r3n's excellent post said, but the competitiveness of vice delegate elections was raised - I would like to make the argument that VD elections are so competitive precisely because of delegate term limits. When the delegate will necessarily change every eight months, there is an ongoing pressure on other members of the region to rise up, stand out, be in a position to run for delegate. I think this manifests most strongly in the vice delegacy, an office seen by many as a logical precursor to running for delegate - if you know you want to run for delegate next time there's no incumbent running, you have a time crunch to show your excellence.

It is my considered belief that removing term limits would reduce competitiveness across the board. When there's no guarantee of an incumbent-free election, there's no pressure to ready yourself now to be in place next - you could wait a term, or a year, and it doesn't really change things. Moreover, a successful and popular vice delegate may decide to simply continue to serve in the VD spot rather than risk running against the similarly successful and popular delegate and end up with no role at all. Whereas with the current state of affairs, it doesn't matter how successful or popular the delegate is. After eight months, you're either their successor or you aren't, but it ain't them in the spot so you might as well try.
 
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