No more than two terms

There’s a lot I don’t like about the US political system, but there’s one thing they have absoluately right: No head of state should be in power for more than eight years.

I think John Howard has demonstrated this truth as did Robert Menzies before him and Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair in the UK.

I agree with George Washington that any one person staying in power for too long starts to stink of monarchy.1 It leads to corruption and to the one person believing that they are more important than party or country. This is not a good thing.

I would love Australia to adopt four-year terms and also a provision that says no one can be elected to the office of Prime Minister for more than two terms.2

  1. I am with Winston Churchill who said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time”. And monarchy is amongst the worst. []
  2. And while we’re at could we get rid of the Queen? I want her off our money and no longer our head of state. No more Queens and Kings, no more governors-general of the country or governors of each state. And we do not need to replace them with a naff president or whatever. Isn’t the Senate a good enough check on Prime Ministerial power? []


  1. maureen on #

    I would vote for YOU to be queen! Queen Justine.

  2. Justine on #

    That would be a horrible mistake because I would immediately ban chocolate and coffee and make everyone listen to Elvis Presley all the time.

  3. Tom on #

    Even better, I would like to see the U.S. adopt a system like some countries, including Mexico, where you get one shot. The president gets one five-year term. The major advantage is that the president is not spending all of the time worrying about re-election. Even good presidents will often save their best efforts for that second term because they want that second term.

  4. Justine on #

    You may be right. But I’d worry that five years wasn’t enough time to actually get stuff done. Like pushing through my chocolate and coffee bans.

  5. maureen on #

    mandatory zombies! anti-unicorn legislation!

  6. Justine on #

    Maureen, you understand me too well!

  7. niki on #

    If you are queen and some unforseen accident were to fall apon you, stopping you from leading in the maner in which you should. Then the crown would have to fall unpon me in which case I would nominate maureen to save unicorns from your murderous legislation, jail all zombies and remove elvis from and any recoding device that existed in the universe..

  8. Justine on #

    Niki: I think you’ve just proven why monarchy is a bad idea. Just because someone’s related to me doesn’t mean they’d be fit to continue my fabulous rule after my demise.

  9. niki on #

    or reversely, that just becasue someone is related to you doens’t mean they can’t help reverse the damage once you are taken over πŸ™‚

  10. calliope on #

    don’t hurt unicorns! they’re so awesome! (so are zombies, though, and zombie unicorns are the best of all).

    also, no chocolate?!?!?! that would be horrible! never have queen justine.

    thirdly, the beatles should be mandatory listening, not elvis.

  11. Justine on #

    Calliope: The problem is that the Beatles are already mandatory.

  12. calliope on #

    really? not in the u.s.. i oly discovered them a few months ago.
    (also, i was wondering when you would censer ————)

  13. Justine on #

    How old are you? How could you have just discovered the Beatles?

  14. Kadie-Wa on #

    i don’t know any of the beatles songs. I actually just learned that the beatles aren’t named after a bug.

    i would vote for you to become queen! that would be cool. (I’m allready not into chocolate and coffee)

    Australia has a democrocy, though don’t they?

  15. Karen on #

    i think an elected senate is a good enough check on prime ministerial powers. the trouble in Canada is that the senate is appointed, not elected. don’t know about the Aussie senate.

  16. calliope on #

    i’m 11, and a couple of my friends don’t even know who the beatles are. sadness!

  17. niki on #

    Justine: we are old beatles are old – calliope is alowed to not know who the beatles are if only we could have all had that pleasure πŸ˜‰ – just kidding I loved the beatles for a very long time and dont think I discovered them until I was in my teens πŸ™‚

  18. niki on #

    karen the aussie senate is elected and I agree that is a much better idea to have an elected senate.

  19. sylvia_rachel on #

    i agree that term limits are a very good thing. i’m not so keen on the idea of fixed terms, though. typically in canada we have a few irritating weeks of frantic electioneering before each election; in the us the frantic electioneering seems to go on for years, which i don’t think is an improvement…

  20. Ally on #

    hey my comment didnt show up. It says its awaiting moderation for some reason but theres no links or anything bad. hmm

  21. niki on #

    ally did you mention unicorns ?

  22. Patrick, The Space Lord on #

    Oz definitely has it right with mandatory voting though… people should be involved, this not voting crap is,well, crappy.

    And don’t you have the ability to call an election when someone gets too stupid?

    (for the record, I don’t vote because I have the right to not vote for stupid or dumb and I don’t feel like voting for myself. because I might win.)

  23. Ally on #

    Nope no magical horses lol this is what it said:
    I know who the beatles are.. i’m 14. I don’t think i’ve ever not known about them.

    If we were to vote for you, could we have awesome-ly fashionable shoes (and rid the world of the horrible ones). wait i couldnt vote bc i dont live in Australia.. shoot lol

  24. Rebecca on #

    voting is mandatory? really? damn. that is totally awesome. we need that. like, now.

  25. Jessica on #

    I agree. I think it’s one of the few things wrong with ‘our way of doing it.’

    I’m grateful that we have compulsory voting and for our nifty uncomplicated and traceable electoral/ballot process. And the fact you don’t have to be a gazillionaire to run for parliament, but a two term cap is what we need.

  26. serafina zane on #

    oh my god, these people with ignorance of the beatles are scaring me. even worse than people who honestly think it’s spelled “beetles”. i grew up with the beatles—i could quote the yellow submarine movie (i love that thing) before i entered kindergarden. and i’m not old—i’m currently a freshman in high school. but *shiver* to have NOT HEard of the beatles?! (that was in all caps, btw) tis a fate worse than death. hey bulldog=absolutely excellent song in every way.

    and even second terms tend to scare me, because you spend far too much of your first campaigning to win your second, and then you lose and have accomplished nothing, or you win and are now just some kind of globally useless “lame duck” president.

  27. janet on #

    How about this idea, courtesy of Mark Twain:

    I urged that kings were dangerous. He said, then have cats. He was sure that a royal family of cats would answer every purpose. They would be as useful as any other royal family, they would know as much, they would have the same virtues and the same treacheries, the same disposition to get up shindies with other royal cats, they would be laughably vain and absurd and never know it, they would be wholly inexpensive; finally, they would have as sound a divine right as any other royal house, and “Tom VII., or Tom XI., or Tom XIV. by the grace of God King,” would sound as well as it would when applied to the ordinary royal tomcat with tights on.

  28. Kaleb on #

    erm…what exactly does the queen do these days anyway?

  29. Andrew on #

    I seem to recall tony blair saying just before he left office that the queen was the only person he talked to on a regular basis who would give him an honest opinion about anthing political/policy.

    i think he also said that when he became prime minister, he planned to stop giving the queen weekly briefings, but he quickly came to realize that meeting with her was more for his benefit than hers.

  30. Justine on #

    Andrew: And that right there is the problem. The Queen is Queen only because she was born to it. That was her only qualification. That she’s turned out to be a good queen is fabulous. But it’s just a fluke. Other monarchs have been insane, stupid, or uninterested in their role. At least with democracy if the elected leader turns out to be insane, stupid, uninterested or evil we can vote them out.

  31. John H on #

    “…or evil we can vote them out.”

    Except, of course, when we don’t…

    If I could tweak the 22nd amendment (establishing term limits for the presidency) I would give congress a one-time override for any particular president — not that such a change would have helped Clinton or Bush, but it would mean a popular (and presumably effective) president isn’t hung out to dry after six years.

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