A Good Sign the Era of Career Politicians is Ending?
Career politicians are often faulted for many of the problems that crop up in government. The embodiment of the quintessential career politician may be that of The Simpsons’ Mayor Quimby, who has run Springfield for decades. That said, many well-intentioned efforts like term limits have been attempted to limit the incentives of remaining in office for long periods of time, the perception is the end result was no different.
I think that perception may not be reality, it’s just happening over a longer period of time and harder to notice – just consider northeast Indiana. In a post on the Indianapolis Business Journal‘s new blog, Indiana Forefront, I note that at least 14 of 19 people who represent any part of Indiana’s Third Congressional District will have been elected within the last six years.
This phenomena is relatively localized in Indiana to the northeast corner, but it’s bearing out that you don’t have years of experience to make an impact on policy. In my piece for Indiana ForeFront I cite just some of the work Senator Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) has been able to accomplish despite not yet even having completed his first term as just one example of what some of these newcomers can accomplish.
The fact that so many of these positions have turned over due to a wide variety of reasons, including contested elections, retirements, job changes and in some cases death, is a sign that perhaps
- 1) incumbency is not all it is cracked up to be when it comes to getting reelected
- 2) eliminating some perks associated with those offices makes them less attractive to career politicians looking to hold office instead of represent their constituents.
Do you think these changes are a sign of things to come, or is it just a fluke coincidence that so many changes have happened over such a short period of time?