Ben Buchwalter

NYTimes on Venezuela, NYC

I found the relevant NY Times editorial criticizing Hugo Chavez for seeking to lift term limits. An editorial last Saturday wrote, “For the sake of Venezuela’s democracy, they should again vote no on changing the nation’s constitution.”

This directly contrasts with the Times‘ support for Bloomberg’s decision to seek a third term as Mayor of New York City.

The bedrock of American democracy is the voters’ right to choose. Though well intentioned, New York City’s term limits law severely limits that right, which is why this page has opposed term limits from the outset. The law is particularly unappealing now because it is structured in a way that would deny New Yorkers — at a time when the city’s economy is under great stress — the right to decide for themselves whether an effective and popular mayor should stay in office.

Are Venezuelans not as capable of New Yorkers to “to decide for themselves whether an effective and popular” leader should remain? 

Clearly, the situations of Venezuela and New York City are drastically different. But term limits should either be lauded as a necessary check on one-party, one-man rule, or abolished as obstacles to pure democracy. 

You can’t ignore a law for those you like, and uphold it for those you don’t.


1 Comment so far
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Obviously the real solution is to have the NY City Council vote on all future amendments to the Venezuelan Constitution.

Comment by ericnus

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