Recall elections serve purpose

Thu, Sep 19 2013 — Source: Aberdeen News

I am not a big fan of recall elections. This example of direct democracy is largely an artifact of the progressive era in American politics, when it was assumed that state legislatures were corrupt gaggles of bought-and-paid-for politicians. Allowing the voters to send the rascals packing ahead of schedule was supposed to be a remedy for the said corruption.

It rarely works that way. It is the responsibility of elected legislatures to deal with genuine corruption, either in their own assemblies or in the executive branch of the government. When they fail to do so, it is the responsibility of the voters to remember that in the next regularly scheduled election.

More and more, recall elections allow passionate blocs of voters a second chance to win an election that didn’t go their way the first time. Modern means of marketing a communication make it much easier than it once was to get the number of signatures needed to trigger a recall. As turnout in off-season elections is typically low, the outcome may be decided by a very small percentage of very disgruntled voters.

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