Wednesday, 24 July 2013 16:15

Total Recall: Why Recall Elections Are a Must

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Should recall elections be reserved only for politicians who break the law? Columnist Rick Moran thinks so. Opining on an impending recall election in Colorado, he writes:

The recall device should be reserved for politicians who either break the law or are corrupt in some other way. It shouldn't be employed because 10,000 people disagree with a particular vote taken on an issue.

Recall elections are expensive and turnout is usually about 1 in 5 eligible voters. It just isn't worth it when the only issue is that some constituents disagree with the way a legislator voted.

Mr. Moran is being consistent. He made this argument after the recall designed to oust Republican legislators in Wisconsin, and now he applies it to two Democrat Colorado state senators — John Morse and Angela Giron — who have been targeted by the NRA after voting for an anti-Second Amendment bill. That’s fair enough; however, his thesis overlooks some important points.

Mr. Moran says that a recall is “unnecessary because the legislators stand for re-election every two years, at which point voters can punish the politicians for their votes.” The problem with this is that voters have very, very short memories. Remember John McCain in 2007? After pushing his amnesty bill, his approval rating had plummeted among Republicans and his presidential campaign was in tatters; he seemed like a dead man walking. Yet in 2008 he became the GOP nominee.

Here’s a fact: Politicians know that the bulk of voters don’t remember from one year to the next — and they bank on it. They know they can get away with a lot — pushing bad policy in deference to big donors and special interest groups, who will remember failure to do their bidding — as long as they don’t do it too close to re-election time. Because at that point, only the relatively few high-information voters will remember the betrayal. The solution to this lack of voter recall is the recall election.

In addition, low voter turnout isn’t a liability.

It’s a strength.

Any politics wonk knows that low turnout favors Republicans. But a better way to put it is that it favors good government. The less an election inspires interest, the more only the interested cast ballots. And interest in something is a prerequisite for competence. Recall elections help remove the idiot vote from the equation.

If politicians knew that breaking an election promise or stabbing good Americans in the back would result in an immediate recall effort, they’d be more likely to mind their p’s and q’s.

Electoral justice delayed is too often electoral justice denied.


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  • Comment Link Michael Skaggs Thursday, 25 July 2013 14:24 posted by Michael Skaggs

    One name must lead all in the history of recall elections----Evan Mecham. All sort of liberal lies printed by the Phoenix newspapers and their followers were used against him. One group got signatures by saying he was in favor of getting rid of Social Security. That was in addition to out of state money and campaigners with no ties to Arizona. Some even moved to the state just to take part in the recall campaign. In recent years you had Gov. Davis being removed just to make way for Arnold and the train wreck that became California's economy began (or made it worse). You even had a recall election for a Colorado city commission because they changed the parking spaces!! Let us remember what happened to Governor Mecham and say to the opposition, "Wait until the next election."

  • Comment Link rprew Wednesday, 24 July 2013 18:29 posted by rprew

    "The recall device should be reserved for politicians who either break the law or are corrupt in some other way."

    Well, that covers practically every politician I know of. A vote FOR anything which is unconstitutional is breaking the law. A vote which is influenced by some individual or group in exchange for something (money, votes, endorsements) is corruption.

    In the federal arena, it would be difficult to name more than a couple politicians (if any at all) who have never violated their oath or become corrupt to some degree. The state arenas are not much of an improvement. Only in the local (county and down) are you liable to find any honest politicians, though I doubt even there they would constitute a majority.

    Even then, if there are two possible legal actions and a politician promises his/her constituency he/she will support the one but ends up supporting the other, that is breach of promise and thus a form of corruption.

    Romans 3:10 "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:"

    By Rick Moran's own standards, every politician should stand for recall.

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