Master of Arts (MA)
Ethics and Policy Studies
Number of Pages
Consent of the Governed: Term Limits and American Democracy reviews the arguments and methods of proponents of term limits for members of Congress and other legislative representatives. These are contrasted to past theories and to the actual application of "rotation in office" in the constitutions adopted by the American states during the Revolutionary era. These early constitutions were discriminating in their use of rotation, generally reserving it for executive or administrative offices. The lessons drawn are: first, that term limits will not solve our modern political problems and may make them worse; and second, that safeguarding the process of elections and insuring that legislative bodies were truly representative of the public interest were among the major concerns of Revolutionary America. These concerns also apply to our modern politics. Campaign and other purposeful political spending has spawned a "political industry" and has enveloped our democratic processes. The conclusion is that we must remove the problems of money from our elective and representative politics and search for new ways and new structures that allow genuine democratic self-governing in our local communities.
American; Consent; Democracy; Governed; Limits; Term
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
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Spinello, James Joseph, "Consent of the governed: Term limits and American democracy" (1996). UNLV Retrospective Theses & Dissertations. 3259.