[arin-ppml] Term Limit Proposal

John Santos JOHN at egh.com
Tue Mar 25 15:48:24 EDT 2014

I agree with Michael's reasoning for the most part, and generally oppose
term limits.

One caveat that no one has mentioned: in a volunteer run organization like
ARIN, people in leadership postitions may be pressured into continuing,
through direct arguments ("We need you there!") or implicict assumptions
by others that they will continue, or by a sense of responsibility ("If I
don't do this, who will?"), and may find it hard to choose not to run for
re-election even when they feel burned out and non-productive.  A term
limit would give such people a convenient out.

A good test for this is whether there are there usually enough candidates
for all the positions or does some sort of nominating committee need to
drum them up?  If there are plenty of candidates to choose from, a
person at the end of their productive tenure can easily not run again
knowing there are good and eager candidates to replace them.  Also,
an entrenched but non-productive person will likely be replaced.  If
there is a dearth of candidates, then neither of these is true.

As I am not a "member" (in the formal sense, paying dues and being able
to vote), I don't know which of these situations prevails in ARIN.

On Tue, 25 Mar 2014, Michael Sinatra wrote:

> On 03/25/2014 09:15, Andrew Sullivan wrote:
> > On Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 04:05:47PM +0000, Azinger, Marla wrote:
> >>
> >> I believe a balance between familiarity, hitting a productive
> >> stride, burn out and mind melting needs to be balanced out with
> >> fresh able minds.  I also believe a solid 3 year break is needed for
> >> people to re-integrate as a non-AC person and regroup.  Leaving
> >> anyone on a committee for more than 6 years opens the door to
> >> stagnation, burn out, and conformity of thinking.
> > 
> > So, why make a rule about this instead of trusting the voting members
> > (and the people sitting) to get it right?
> > 
> > That is, I agree with everything you say, but I don't understand why
> > the solution to that is to make an absolute rule that can never be
> > violated in exceptional cases.  What problem are you trying to solve?
> This is the problem with term limits: They're inherently
> anti-democratic.  They (further) limit the range of people for whom the
> voting members can support.  Now, one may argue (as many political
> philosophers have in the past) that too much democracy is a bad thing,
> but grafting term limits onto an electoral process rarely counteracts
> the ill effects of "too much democracy."  In most cases where term
> limits have been imposed (e.g. California, where I live), it has not
> reduced the influence of special interests, it has not deterred "career
> politicians," whether competent or not, and it has not reduced polarization.
> Part of the issue is that term limits don't distinguish between those
> who have become stagnant and those who continue to be valuable contributors.
> Term limits do sometimes make sense in cases where elections can't be
> trusted or for very high offices (e.g. heads of state).  But I don't see
> the need for the AC.  I believe that the AC members are competent and
> self-aware enough to know when it's time to leave.  I also believe that
> informed voters have a similar understanding regarding the performance
> of the AC.
> michael
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John Santos
Evans Griffiths & Hart, Inc.
781-861-0670 ext 539

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