Thursday, October 23, 2008


After a spirited, emotional and at times raucous debate, the New York City Council voted, 29 to 22, on Thursday afternoon to extend term limits, allowing Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to seek re-election next year and undoing the result of two voter referendums that had imposed a limit of two four-year terms.

Last month's editorial:

The bedrock of American democracy is the voters’ right to choose. Though well intentioned, New York City’s term limits law severely limits that right, which is why this page has opposed term limits from the outset. The law is particularly unappealing now because it is structured in a way that would deny New Yorkers — at a time when the city’s economy is under great stress — the right to decide for themselves whether an effective and popular mayor should stay in office.

And last year on Chavez:

His favorite provisions, of course, would extend the presidential term from six to seven years and remove presidential term limits.

The referendum could still go Mr. Chávez’s way. He is an able politician and benefits from lavish government spending funded by expensive oil.


Now there are signs that more Venezuelans have decided to take a stand and vote no. This referendum is too important to miss. Opponents are calling for a massive “no” vote. For the sake of Venezuela’s battered democracy, voters should heed the call.

So term limits are democratic when people you don't like are in office and undemocratic when people you like are in office. Admirable.

For the sake of New York's battered democracy voters should...do what? Oh wait...nevermind, we don't get to vote on this.


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