Should we limit how long a Prime Minister can serve?

Ex-Prime Minister John Key

Roosevelt was the first and only American President to serve more than two terms. He served for four terms and died while serving. The Twenty-Second Amendment says a person can only be elected to be president two times for a total of eight years. Ex-president Obama explained what he saw as the reasoning behind the rule.

…he believed the office of the president should be “continually renewed by new energy and new ideas and new insights. And although I think I am as good of a president as I have ever been right now, I also think that there comes a point where you don’t have fresh legs.”

Obviously, our political system is very different to America’s but does Obama have a point? Do you think it is good that John Key resigned when he did or do you wish he had stayed on?

When political parties and their leaders stay in power they risk stagnation and arrogance. Their visions can become weak. To avoid being replaced they cling to the status quo and a steady as she goes mentality. They become afraid to exercise their mandate to pursue political change because they are afraid of rocking the boat.

Some voters believe in the saying that you should “Never change a winning team” so are extremely reluctant to demand any kind of action from their preferred government least it results in them losing the election.

“Unless you are totally bereft of judgement, why in Heaven’s name would anyone want to toss out an extremely capable government for a bunch, or rather, several bunches, of dipsticks?Because that would be the reality and NZers would be propelled back into the dark history of Labour governments who, looking at them on the opposition benches are totally clueless, and can’t even win an argument let alone govern a country.”

-Trademe message board

It all comes down to whether you want a government to be true to its political identity and make changes that fit its political identity regardless of how popular those actions may be or whether you want them to cling on to power at any cost if the alternative might be something worse for a term.

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