Long Term Thinking - Part II

Senators, 8 years in office and no re-election possible. Would long-term thinking have a chance?

The shortcomings of four-year-cycle democracies are becoming quite visible. Long term thinking is needed in politics(1). We need an elected body responsible for instilling this long term thinking. This body could be the Senate.
Most of today’s democratic senates are inspired by the Roman Senate. The senate in Rome started as an advisory council to the king.  The senate would assemble and help the king make tough decisions in rough times. Members with indisputable integrity, insight and wisdom were selected among the elders.
Let’s take the US Senate as an interesting example. The US Senate was designed following the Roman model. The senate was deliberately created to counterbalance the impetus of the masses and to bring stability to the legislative body. It was also designed to balance power between states with larger and smaller populations. The fact that Senators serve six-year staggered terms gives additional stability to the system. They need not worry about elections occurring every two years. As a result, partisan bickering is less common in the pursuit of greater national interests. Senators show more temperance and wisdom than their colleagues in Congress.
But long term thinking is still missing in the US Senate.
I propose that democratic countries follow a bicameral system.  The Congress will be responsible for short term thinking, the Senate for long term. In order to do so, Senate elections should follow a couple of rules:
1.       Senators would be elected for an 8 year staggered term; 25 % of the senators would be renewed every 2 years

2.       Senators, under no circumstances, would run for reelection. They would serve one term only. They would not run for any other public office either (President, Congress, Mayor, etc.)
The logic behind these two rules is simple. Long term thinking would have a chance when it comes to legislation since senators would not need to worry about ever being elected to office again. The 8 year period is to give some stability to their position.

Some other arrangements would have to be implemented as well. We must ensure their independence while in office. Some sort of unemployment check or pension would have to be arranged. After all they will have to make a living after their term. Strict cap controls of electoral campaign donations would have to be implemented. Also, watch out for golden employment offers from big corporations after their tenure. 
I leave the details to the experts.

(1)    Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” is a good example of what’s happening in politics. When in office, he knew exactly what needed to be done, but he didn’t do it since he was more concerned about his reelection. This is the real inconvenient truth.

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