aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

Dear Politicians: Don't let the door hit you in the back on the way out

I've never been much of a fan of recall elections, nor of that other strange procedure, passing legislation by plebiscite ("initiative"). Both came out of the new Progressive Movement's agenda that was bubbling up at the end of the 19th Century. They were embraced by Wisconsin and States to the West as a bow to citizen control of government. Until recently, they weren't used much, except in California, which keeps passing new laws at the ballot box (Proposition This, That, and the Other). They were mostly symbolic.

In the last few years, they have been used quite a bit. In fact, we've had several recall elections lately, beginning with the ouster of Gray Davis by Arnold Schwarzenegger some years ago. Last year, then, there were the recall attempts against conservative judges (and legislators?) in Wisconsin and then this year the recall attempt on Scott Walker, again in Wisconsin; all of those failed. And now, two Colorado lawmakers have been recalled for their support of anti-gun legislation. The interesting thing to me is that in all these cases, the liberals/progressives lost, regardless of which side of the election they were on. Conservatives are learning to use progressive tools to respond to progressivism!

This doesn't mean I like initiative and recall any better. I still think they contribute to poorly-written laws and unseemly chaos in government. But it's better than violent revolution, I suppose, which would be the only recourse of the citizens in many parts of the world. So here's to the good citizens of Colorado: Good on ye for throwin' the bums out! Now, if we could all just learn not to elect the bums in the first place . . .

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