Recall election is one of the tools a democratic society can use when a lawmaker “goes off the reservation” and affirms laws that adversely affect the electorate.
In present-day politics, there seems to be a rash of elected officials voting against their constituents’ wishes. These counter-intuitive changes in political position seem to be spurred on by popular events, which compel these politicians to support bills that they would otherwise not support.
I give the same example: Colorado’s gun control law. It is for this reason that the recall election is not only necessary, it is imperative if the electorate is to maintain control over the body politic.
But does the use of such a political tool cause turmoil and the destabilization of our political system? No, not in the least. On the contrary, the use of a recall election reaffirms the power of the electorate.
And it is the duty of the electorate to use any lawful tool at their disposal in an attempt to keep our elected officials cognizant as to who is in control: the people. The only ones who fear a recall are those of the minority opinion, as demonstrated in the Wisconsin recall vote.
Insofar as the recent use of this tool seems to indicate an abuse of the electorate, the use of recall elections is not new. It has been used to remove governors in North Dakota in 1921 and California as recently as 2003.
Historic records also show that six Republicans and three Democrats in the 33-member state Senate faced a recall vote, though only two senators, both Republicans, were defeated. There are many more examples that can be cited.
So, as far as recall elections go, it may be an under-used tool at best. But one can’t deny the clear message a recall election sends, and for those who initiate such a political tool, they are then obligated to live with the consequences, regardless of which side the recall election falls.