[python-committers] Transfer of power

Tim Peters tim.peters at gmail.com
Fri Jul 13 23:47:25 EDT 2018


> So:  term limits!  Say, 12 years.  If there are 3 Elders, replace one
> every 12/3 = 4 years.  At the start we can use the `secrets` module to pick
> which Elders get the first 4, 8, and 12-year terms ;-)
> Fresh blood is a good thing in all areas.


> Can I get you to clarify what you mean by "term limits"?  Do you solely
> mean "Elders would not be appointed for life, but rather would need to be
> re-elected every N years"?  Or do you additionally mean "No Elder can serve
> more than N terms in their lifetime?"  As an admittedly-feeble attempt at
> disambiguation, I'd call the former "limited terms" and the latter "term
> limits".  (I would welcome better terms ;-)

It would mean whatever we said it means ;-)  I had in mind that an Elder
would be limited to one 12-year term.  You do your dozen and you're out.
The only ways to get out are to serve your 12 years, quit. die, or get
impeached.  Then that's it - you can't be a Python Elder again.

> I'm most familiar with the term "term limits" from American politics,
> where it definitely means the latter: a person can only serve N times, and
> are simply ineligible to serve in that same role an N+1th time.  As an
> example, after FDR was elected President four times (!), the American
> Congress passed the 22nd Amendment which limits any particular person to no
> more than two terms as President.

In the context of hypothetical US Supreme Court term limits, legal thinking
has been in line with my meaning above, although (a single) 18-year term
has been most often discussed in that context:


However, the articles I read most recently talked about 12 years instead,
and I like that better for Python.  The Supremes get a salary, but Elders
don't.  12 years is a looooong commitment to do something "in spare time".

Using my terminology above, at the moment I'm open-minded about whether or
> not the Council members should have "limited terms".  But I'm less upbeat
> about "term limits".  Personally I've always found this concept of "term
> limits" a bit silly--the electorate could simply decline to re-elect the
> incumbent.  The fact that Americans re-elect the incumbent so frequently,
> and *also* vote for term limits, seems to distill down to the attitude
> "Throw the bums out!... except for *my* guy, he's good."

Of course a limit on the number of terms a Congress Critter can serve is
intended to force the _other_ side's bums out.  The passion for the
prospect of being able to do that clouds seeing that it will also throw
your side's bums out too ;-)

BTW, we both know that the US founders deliberately did _not_ want Federal
judges to be elected.  They had little use for democracy at the Federal
level.  But without a Prez and a Congress to "do the right thing" in the
peoples' best interest, I figured it's good enough to let PSF Fellows do
the voting (in the best interests of the PSF's much broader membership).
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