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Recall Elections (and Wisconsin 2012)

June 6, 2012

The recall election yesterday in Wisconsin brought to mind my feelings about recall elections in general.

I have always felt that regular elections bring an individual and party into power, and this is the “will of the people”.  The individual/party then has their term (2 or 4 years) to carry out their plans, then they are re-evaluated and possibly re-elected.

However, a recall election is when a sub-group of the voters are not happy with the results of the general election.  They may couch it in terms of a policy decision that will “harm the children”, but I have always viewed this as simply a bunch of sore losers.

In my mind, the only legitimate use of a recall election is when there is clear gross maleficence or other “high crimes”.  Not because of a disagreement on policy.

Wisconsin is especially transparent, as a point – the state senate Democrats went into hiding in hotels in Illinois to prevent a quorum to prevent a vote.  That is especially small-minded.  Those Democrats were acting like children rather than facing the problem and actually performing their elected duties (are those people facing a recall for dereliction of duty?).

In short – I am glad that the recall failed.  This makes recall proponents a bit more hesitant the next time they feel slighted and demand a recall.

I just read (in the NYT no less) that this recall election cost local governments $18Million – a good use of public monies??


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