The rise in the use of the recall procedure to un-elect state law makers was the subject of a recent op-ed piece written by the Washington Post Editorial Board and reprinted in The Journal Gazette on 19 Sep 13. The ox being gored was the recall of two Democrats in Colorado who voted for new gun control legislation.
The Washington Post, and by inference The Journal Gazette, believes that the recall procedure should only be used against those elected officials guilty of “malfeasance” and not for those politicians whose vote was corrupted by the system. This argument has no merit. If a politician is guilty of malfeasance, he or she would no doubt be criminally prosecuted and removed from office by law, not by recall.
The editorial board then threw in a red herring by comparing American recall procedure with the parliamentary “no confidence vote.” But the parliamentary procedure is more like our impeachment procedure in which elected officials bring charges against elected officials. The voters are not involved in the “no confidence vote” as they are in the recall procedure.
However, what troubled me most about the opinion of these pundits was their description of the proper role of an elected representative. They stated that the American system of government is “premised on the notion that voters entrust their representatives to act with deliberation and independence.” In other words, when they get to Washington or the state capitol, they become immune from the voter and are no longer responsible to the voter. They become smarter and more knowledgeable than their constituents. They become rulers by divine right of God.
Well, I want to remind the high and mighty editors that we fought the Revolutionary War over who had the right to make laws governing us. From the words in the Declaration of Independence, “That to secure these rights [of Life, Liberty and pursuit of Happiness] Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just power from the consent of the governed.”
Democrats in Colorado governed in the absence of the consent of those they would govern. Coloradans did not want gun control. Democrat politicians forced it upon the governed. This time the governed fought back and took them out of office.
The same happened in Washington in 2010 with respect to Obamacare and all the other crap that was going on between Reid and Obama. The same happened in Wisconsin where the majority of the people voiced their consent to being governed by Scot Walker over the opposition of labor unions.
My representatives and senators in Washington and in Indianapolis are no smarter than the average person in their districts. We have some politicians around Northeastern Indiana who do represent us as reflected in their votes. We have some who don’t. If Indiana had recall, I would consider using it against those who don’t.
How will they vote on defunding Obamacare? How will they vote on Common Core? How will they vote on same sex marriage? Do we need another revolutionary war to remind our politicians that they are elected to represent us and not the editors of the Washington Post? Neither the editors of the Washington Post nor the editors of The Journal Gazette speak for the majority of people on most issues.
Terry L. Smith