More of the Same

I don’t totally grasp the argument, made by Dana Goldstein and others, that it would be horribly “undemocratic” for the New York City Council to repeal the city’s term limits that were imposed years back by referendum. I mean, suppose they did it, what could happen next? Well, either Bloomberg would lose to whoever wins the Democratic nomination or else Bloomberg would defeat whoever wins the Democratic nomination. In the first case, the will of the people to deny Bloomberg a third term would not be subverted — Bloomberg wouldn’t get a third term. And in the second case, the will of the people to deny Bloomberg a third term would not be subverted either — Bloomberg would have a renewed direct mandate from the public.

Now that doesn’t change the fact that the timing and manner of Bloomberg’s decision to seek this change seems kind of sleazy. But the time to take that into consideration is during his re-election campaign when you might think it renders him an inferior choice to the main alternative. But the idea of scrapping term limits can and should still be evaluated on its own merits and it’s a good idea.