Cara Cowan Watts: Eliminate Cherokee Nation term limits

"I believe the Cherokee Nation may not exist today had Chief John Ross been term-limited out of office. Ross served the Nation for approximately 38 consecutive years from 1828-66. Historically, term limits were not a part of the Nation, nor would they have served the Nation. Great leadership such as Ross should only be cut off at the polls when voters exercise their right to vote.

In 2003, Cherokee voters passed an all-or-nothing constitution, which included new two-term (or eight-year) term limits for both the executive and legislative Branch. On the June 25 ballot, Cherokee voters will have the opportunity to decide if term limits are good or bad as separate issues for the executive and legislative branches.

My service to the tribe is an example in contrast to some of the arguments for term limits.

In 2003, I successfully defeated a 12-year (three-term) incumbent with the help of a fun group of determined elders, hard work and lots of Cherokee voters. The argument that incumbents can only be defeated by term limits is not true all of the time.

If we truly wanted to limit terms of elected officials so an incumbent never had the competitive edge in an election, we should amend the constitution to limit all elected officials to one term."

Get the Story:
Cara Cowan Watts: Term limits for the CN do not fit (The Cherokee Phoenix 4/28)

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