Now that the primary elections are behind us, the debate returns to what was always the main subject – the race for governor. The battle between incumbent Paul LePage and challenger Mike Michaud, with Eliot Cutler again in the mix, has an epochal quality to it. Whatever happens, it won’t be one of those elections where you wonder how much difference it would have made had the other guy won. So it’s time to dust off the modest proposal I raised back in March – whether we could create a grand bargain to reform what are some of the oddest and least useful parts of Maine’s political system. Those would be legislative term limits – unnecessary in a citizen legislature whose powers are already limited – and the indirect election of the attorney general, secretary of state, and treasurer, something practiced by no other state, and not in federal elections, either, since the 17th Amendment provided for direct election of U.S. senators a century ago.
The Legislature would love to get rid of term limits, if it dared, but it will hold on to the job of electing constitutional officers until the end of time unless some larger force intervenes. A governor could do it if both parts of the plan were presented together. So the logical thing to do was to check with the three men in line to be governor.
They agree on very little, but on this subject they’re unanimous: They think it’s a good idea.
Enthusiasm varies, and there are some caveats, but I conclude this really is a bipartisan, trans-party issue dealing with what we used to call “good government.”
Full Article: Restructuring elections has key support | Sun Journal.