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Do term limits seem to have more advantages or disadvantages?

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Term limits may apply to any elected office, and, for that matter, to unelected offices as well. The points made in this answer about presidencies apply mutadis mutandis to other offices.

The principal advantage of term limits is that they prevent any individual from becoming entrenched in power and assuming...

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Term limits may apply to any elected office, and, for that matter, to unelected offices as well. The points made in this answer about presidencies apply mutadis mutandis to other offices.

The principal advantage of term limits is that they prevent any individual from becoming entrenched in power and assuming the position of "president for life," which is often itself a euphemism for a dictatorship. This is important for the protection of democracy, but it also matters symbolically. The fact that everyone in the country knows the exact time when the leader must relinquish power, as well as the mechanism for the transfer of leadership, promotes confidence in the transparency and fairness of the political process.

The chief disadvantage of term limits is that they discourage long-term thinking and planning. A newly-elected President of the United States can be quite certain that, whatever happens, they will no longer be in power in a decade. Therefore, any policy which will take ten years or more to bear fruit will only benefit their successor. Short-term planning is particularly dangerous in areas such as environmental protection, economic planning, and long-term infrastructure projects. There is also the potential for leaders keen to make their mark in a limited period to spend valuable time and resources undoing the work of their predecessors.

Democracies and republics have tended to favor term limits for thousands of years, despite their drawbacks. This is because the prospect of tyranny is so menacing. History is littered with dire warnings on the subject that the single advantage of preventing dictatorship outweighs all disadvantages.

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