VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – There is currently no limit on the number of consecutive years a politician is allowed to serve for in Canada.
U.S. presidents are only eligible to run for two terms, and a new poll suggests many of us feel a similar restriction should be in place on our side of the border.
The Angus Reid Institute poll finds more than half of Canadians (54%) think term limits are necessary. The most popular option for prime ministers and provincial premiers is two four-year terms.
“I think one of the findings from this is a sense that imposing term limits can have the effect of encouraging new people to get into the political process, encouraging younger people — people who are probably a little less enfranchised or who have made less of a study of being in politics — a chance to think about that option,” said Shachi Kurl with the pollster.
The poll also finds most people think after serving eight consecutive years and then taking a break, a politician should be allowed to run for the same office again.
“It’s not necessarily about barring people for life,” Kurl said. “Sometimes, you might have a really effective person who’s been in the role and voters may not wish to see them go arbitrarily. But at the same time, it’s not a bad idea for politicians to go out in the real world — take a break, get a job outside of politics, do something else, and bring that experience back to the role.”
There is some division on the subject along political lines.
Those who would consider voting for the Conservative Party of Canada were most likely to say term limits are necessary. However, those leaning towards the Liberal Party are more likely to say the opposite.