Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Recall elections shouldn't happen at all


I appreciate the sentiment, but no thank you.

Final comment on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's win in yesterday's recall election should be that it was mostly a referendum on the idea of recall elections. This was my point yesterday, and exit polling data confirm it.

Daily Kos found that 60% of voters thought that recall elections were only appropriate for official misconduct. Another 10% said they are never appropriate. Only 27% said they should be used for any reason.

As Daily Kos states: "Turns out people just don't like the idea of a recall -- something worth filing away as an important lesson."

Yes, I don't like recall elections either, especially if the only complaint is that the person you are trying to recall disagrees with you on policy. That's what general elections are for.

Between elections you should be organizing, speaking out, demonstrating and basically doing everything you can (legal, of course) to make incumbents understand that if they don't change course, they will be put out of office soon enough. It's amazing how that realization can modify an elected officials behavior. But even if it doesn't, assuming they won fair and square, the price of democracy is in giving them their turn at the wheel.

The majority of voters in Wisconsin seem to agree that there is something fundamentally unfair about circumventing legitimate process. I agree with them, much as having Scott Walker win yesterday pains me. It was not only dumb to have the recall, but wrong.

You reap what you sow.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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