应当限制总统任期的几点原因

来源:美国驻华大使馆

Term limits on presidents are a good thing. Here’s why.

The concept of “president-for-life” appeals to some people. But for most of us, term limits are a welcome check on authority.

U.S. presidents haven’t had the option to serve a third term since 1951. Even before that, most followed the example set by George Washington and never tried to stay in office for more than eight years.

自1951年以来,美国历任总统都不可能连任三届。即便在那以前,大多数美国总统也都遵循乔治·华盛顿创下的先例,担任总统不会超过八年。

South Africa’s Nelson Mandela famously kept his promise to serve only one term, despite public pressure to change his mind.

南非前总统纳尔逊·曼德拉(Nelson Mandela)只当一届总统的坚决态度众所周知,在公众强烈要求他连任的情况下也没有改变初衷。

Some argue that term limits violate the will of voters who support their current leader and want the leader to continue, even if that would mean revising their country’s constitution. However, history has shown that term limits strengthen democratic institutions over the long term and help ensure peaceful political transition.

有些人认为,任期限制违背了支持现任领导人并希望现任领导人继续执政的选民的意愿,哪怕这意味着要修订该国宪法。不过,历史证明任期限制从长远来看能够增强民主机制,并且有助于确保和平的政治过渡。

Because of term limits:

  • Incumbents are less able to use the state’s institutions to manipulate elections or erode the power of rival branches of government and political adversaries.
  • Leaders feel more pressure to deliver results and leave office with a positive legacy.
  • Individuals, no matter how powerful and popular, cannot become indispensable.
  • Political transitions are normal, regular, predictable events, so rival parties have little incentive to upset the system through coups or other means.
  • The need to change leadership encourages a rising generation of political leaders, fresh ideas and possible policy changes.

任期限制的效力如下:

  • 限制在职官员利用国家机制操纵选举或削弱对立的政府分支及政治对手的权力。
  • 促使领导人取得实效并在离任时留下杰出的政绩。
  • 任何个人,不论权力有多大、多么受人爱戴,都不能变成不可或缺的。
  • 政治过渡是正常的、定期的、可预见的程序,因此对立党派利用政变或其他手段破坏体制的动机极小。
  • 更换领导人的需求能够激励新一代政治领袖的涌现,并能激发全新的创意和可行的政策变革。

It sounds like a paradox, but even as term limits prevent a popular president from remaining in office, they promote the healthy competition needed to strengthen democratic institutions and the democratic process.

这看似一个悖论,但任期限制虽会阻止一位深受爱戴的总统超期留任,却能促进增强民主机制和民主进程所必需的健康的竞争。

 

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