On Sunday 2/15, the Times Union printed a letter written by me in response to a previous letter in support of term limits. I’ve never supported term limits because voters already have the power to impose term limits or not. What voters do not have is the ability to choose the political bosses that choose the candidates that will appear on the ballot. The text of my letter follows:
Michael Moore (“Term limits will clean up politics,” Feb 4) suggests term limits will clean up our state politics. I submit we already have the ability to impose term limits: Vote the miscreants out of office. But that isn’t enough With or without term limits, the political bosses who wield the real power will continue to put on the ballot those who they feel will take direction.
The real change that is necessary is ballot access for anyone who seeks to serve and the elimination of preferential treatment for, and the state’s official designation of, recognized political parties. While political parties would still exist, there would be no majority, no minority party, only representatives of the people. Election boards would be responsible for keeping track of registered voters and the taxpayers would be free of the expense of keeping track of party enrollment.”
In 1951, Susan B Anthony met Elizabeth Cady Stanton and joined her in her then three year old effort for women’s suffrage. It wasn’t until 1920, long after there death, that women were granted the right to vote.
Obviously, the Republican and Democratic parties have influenced the election law, not only in New York State but across the entire nation to restrict or exclude competition. I have no illusion about the willingness of legislators from these two parties to changing the law; but the illusion that reform can be accomplished with term limits should be challenged and those that seek term limits or other so-called reforms such as public campaign financing should not be mislead by these less that half way measures.
Yes the Libertarian Party is seeking and has in some states achieved ballot status; but that is not because we wish to have official state recognition and the accompanying state regulation. What libertarians want is equal treatment and unfettered ballot access for all.
The time to begin to disenfranchise political parties and their bosses and to return it to individuals citizens is now. Even if it takes a hundred years.
William P. McMillen