-Press Release 6-12-2011


(Alexandria, VA)—Today Our Generation, a free market advocacy groups released a research report which outlines the ways term limits benefit democracy, “Term Limits: A Reform that Works,” which was authored by term limits scholar Patrick Basham and edited by MacMillin Slobodien, Executive Director of Our Generation.  The study details numerous examples of how term limits promote legislatures that create more energetic, independent, and effective deliberative legislative bodies.


The study examines the historical role of term limits and then looks at the state-level term limit movement, which occurred in the 1990s.  The findings show that the 15 states that have adopted and kept term limits are on balance more effective legislative bodies.  Among the findings are the following:

-Term limits stimulate electoral competition;

-Term limits enable nontraditional candidates to run for office;

-Term limits weaken the leadership control and seniority systems in legislative bodies; and

-Term limits promote public policies compatible with limited government.


The report also highlights the need for term limits at both the federal and state level.  In a survey that Our Generation distributed to voters nationwide, an overwhelming 96 percent of the two million respondents favored term limits for the U.S. Congress.  The report also highlighted the fact that term limits lead to the election of candidates with real-world experience over career politicians; proof best demonstrated by examining the 15 states that currently have legislative term limits.


“Elected officials have almost become a ruling class where rates of incumbency are astronomical, and politicians’ primary focus has shifted from legislating to fund-raising and getting re-elected,” said Our Generation’s Executive Director MacMillin Slobodien.  “Term limits offer a check on the detrimental aspects of incumbency and require elected officials to focus on promises made to voters rather than promoting personal gains for reelection.  Our survey results certainly suggest the term-limit movement is beginning to gain more steam.  We can look forward to the influence term limits and their adoption will have in changing our country’s political culture for the better by fostering real reform.”


The full study is available online at: www.ourgeneration.org.  Our Generation, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization founded in 2009 to research, educate and promote long-term free market solutions to today’s public policy concerns.