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Term Limits in US Government- Mark P Petraccas idea that government should be kept as near to the people as possible chiefly through frequent elections and rotation-in-office is quite common in early republican thought and generally agreed upon by the Americas revolutionary thinkers Although the debate over limiting legislative terms dates back to the beginnings of political science it was not until the 1990s that the doctrine began to be taken seriously when voters started to approve term limit initiatives Sinclair 203 Petraccas statement captures a significant aspect of the democratic process- that every citizen retains the privilege to participate in the political system yet his inclusion of rotation-in-office can both support and hinder such a privilege This will be shown by discussing the views of Americas founders term limits legislation in Washington State California and Oklahoma political mobilization of national groups and the opinions of congressmen concerning the matter Term limitation is not a strictly modern topic Its roots date back to the creation of Republican thought and democratic theory of ancient Greece and Rome and also aroused debates amongst the founding fathers of the United States Sinclair 14 For the most part the Antifederalists supported rotation-in-office because they feared its elimination paired with the extensive powers given to Congress by the Constitution would make the federal rulers masters not servants On the other hand the Federalists felt that the separation of powers in the federalist system served as a viable check on ambition and tyrannical government therefore rotation seemed unnecessary and was not mentioned in the Constitution Peek 97 Melancton Smith of New York is considered the Antifederalists most well-spoken and conscious supporter of rotation-in-office In a speech given in June of 1788 which called
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