Edmonds doesn’t need term limits

  • Evan Smith<br>Enterprise
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 11:55am

An Edmonds City Councilwoman has proposed establishing term limits for the city’s mayor.

Writers to this paper have supported or opposed the idea depending on whether they like or don’t like the current mayor. That’s a wrong reason to set policy. If citizens think the mayor deserves another term, they should re-elect him. If they think he’s been in office too long, they can elect someone else in November.

Do we want political ads at Christmas?

On Christmas morning, your newspapers will be full of ads for post-holiday sales and for political candidates. Around the parades and football games on television will be presidential candidates seeking your support.

That’s because about half the states, states that control about two-thirds of the votes at national political conventions, will pick their delegates in the first five weeks of 2008, culminating on Feb. 5, when at least 22 states, including California and New York, will hold primaries and caucuses.

Now, Washington may join the race to be early by moving the State’s presidential primary, now scheduled for May 27, to Feb. 5.

If the primary stays in May or gets canceled, we may still have candidates seeking our votes in December or January. That’s because state Democrats plan precinct caucuses for Feb. 9.

It’s all part of a rush by states to have an early role in the nomination process.

That’s because voters have decided recent nominations after the first few primaries; so states have rushed to get earlier positions in the process.

It wasn’t always so. In the 1960s and ’70s, the California primary in June decided many close contests for the Republican or Democratic presidential nomination.

I want to go back to such a time. I want Congress or the national parties to adopt a rule for future elections that only delegates selected after May 20 can vote at national party nominating conventions. States would be free to hold earlier non-binding “beauty contests,” but we’d probably end up with a national primary in late May or early June.

I want Washington to set an example by holding whatever contests we have late in the season. After all, this might be the year that all those early events don’t produce a clear winner.

An early primary won’t be a great expense for all those other states because they nominate candidates for Congress and state legislatures at the same time.

That means that California will nominate candidates for Congress and for state and local offices nine months before the general election.

Let’s stop that. We’re already having a national in February. Let’s do it in May or June.

Evan Smith is the Enterprise Forum editor. Send comments to entopinion@heraldnet.com.

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