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Thread: On Recalls and Referendums

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    The Mad Monk
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    On Recalls and Referendums

    Total Recall: Wisconsin Voters Suffer in Endless Political Warfare
    By Chris Stirewalt

    Power Play

    Published June 05, 2012
    FoxNews.com

    “11”

    -- The number of Wisconsin public officials recalled from office in the past decade, including three state senators, one mayor and seven Milwaukee county officials.

    MILWAUKEE – Pity the residents of Wisconsin.

    Like the voters of other swing states, Wisconsinites can look forward to weeks of saturation bombing with negative television ads, mailboxes stuffed with campaign junk mail and tense conversations with friends and co-workers.


    The Badger State, one of the friendliest, most neighborly places in the land, has been rubbed raw by endless political conflict. Voters are grouchy and deeply divided.
    -


    But before they get to what is already an ugly battle between President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney or what promises to be one of the roughest Senate campaigns in the nation, Badger State residents have already endured two years of non-stop campaigning.

    This special form of political torture is a result of Wisconsin’s unlucky status: a swing state with liberal laws regarding the recall of public officials.

    Wisconsin was very much part of the progressive movement at the start of the last century, and like other states, embraced the movement’s ideas about more direct democracy. The progressive legacy nationally is mostly about regulations and consumer protection laws, but its most significant short-term success was to amend the Constitution to overturn the framers’ dictum that senators would be chosen by state legislators, not voters.

    On the state level, progressives won the power in several places for voters to be able to yank lawmakers out of office by recalls. The republican spirit of the founders was about indirect democracy designed to cool overheated popular sentiment and add stability. The progressives wanted something much closer to direct democracy.

    In other states with permissive recall laws, like California, referenda and recalls have made governance nearly impossible. As the Golden State heads for the fiscal abyss, a big part of the problem has been the contradictory demands of plebiscites approved by voters over the years (i.e. No new taxes but please provide massive funding to popular government programs) and jittery lawmakers who are always at risk of a recall revolt.

    Wisconsin hasn’t suffered the same way as California, but it is catching up.

    State and local officials are spending something more than $12 million to hold a recall election for Republican Gov. Scott Walker, his lieutenant and four Republican state Senators. This comes after other recall votes in seven other senate districts last summer.

    The irony is that the recalls are all about the state’s blasted budget. Voters moved sharply right in the 2010 elections and gave Republicans total control of state government. The GOP’s solution to Wisconsin’s budget mess was to axe spending and curb the power of state worker unions to collectively bargain and compel civil servants to pay dues.

    Modern-day liberals and union members, heirs of the progressive movement, responded by invoking the recall provisions. Unions have a big upper hand when it comes to recall votes. Special elections are usually low-turnout affairs in which union loyalists can have an outsized effect while moderate voters stay home.

    Plus, with Wisconsin being a swing state, national groups on both sides were quick to provide money and logistic support, further feeding the fire.

    The unions and Democrats, though, came up one seat short last summer in their bid to flip the state Senate. They had already come up short in a state Supreme Court race that turned into a proxy fight over Walker’s budget plan, making it a second defeat. But with money flowing and government workers still outraged, the recall train roared on.

    Today in Wisconsin, voter turnout is expected to be historically high for the final act of this electoral drama. Perhaps not surprising because it, and the awful row over the law that triggered the vote, have dominated the discussion in the state for a year and a half.

    The Badger State, one of the friendliest, most neighborly places in the land, has been rubbed raw by endless political conflict. Voters are grouchy and deeply divided.

    In Madison on Monday, passersby randomly splurted one particular reproductive expletive at FOX News crews in town to cover the vote. Some of these splurters were of the hobo set, but some were dressed for work and seemed otherwise normal.

    This kind of behavior has been a boon to Walker and the Republicans as moderate voters look on aghast as their decorous, civil state devolves into the political Hatfields and McCoys. Pro-Walker voters across the state told Power Play over and over that discouraging the use of recalls to punish political adversaries was as big a part of their choice as anything.

    We talk a lot about the new the “permanent campaign,” but in Wisconsin that’s been the reality since 2010. It’s not surprising that voters would like to take a break.

    Unfortunately for them, no sooner will they have completed this travail that the general election artillery barrage will begin.



    And Now, A Word From Charles

    “I think it will affect the history of unionization in the country, a blow. It will be Armageddon for the government worker unions if they lose. They will have had three shots at this and lost every one.”

    -- Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier”



    Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News, and his POWER PLAY column appears Monday-Friday on FoxNews.com.
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012...tical-warfare/

    Should we back off from more direct democracy, or is it really the way..."forward"?
    "We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work...After eight years of this Administration, we have just as much unemployment as when we started... And an enormous debt to boot!" — Henry Morgenthau, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Treasury secretary, 1941.

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    onodera
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    That's Fox News you're quoting here.
    Direct democracy isn't inherently worse than a republic, but to make it work you need educated population, raising which takes time, and smart questions to ask from them. Balancing the budget by voting will never happen.
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    Should we back off from more direct democracy, or is it really the way..."forward"?
    These are the only choices? You're just parroting whatever you read or hear on conservative media.


    On this inane topic, it is rich that Fox News would complain about destructive partisan politics when it is the worst offender.
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    Guynemer
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    Considering the average American voter, I'm becoming more amenable to the reinstitution of a hereditary monarchy.
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    We could be like China where all the bickering is behind closed doors.
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    OzzyKP
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    Looks like Walker is going to win.
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    Hauldren Collider
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    Quote Originally Posted by OzzyKP View Post
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    Looks like Walker is going to win.
    Excellent news
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guynemer View Post
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    Considering the average American voter, I'm becoming more amenable to the reinstitution of a hereditary monarchy.
    Starting with the illustrious Nemer dynasty?
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    The Mad Monk
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    Well, now that that's over, I really am interested in whether people think recalls and referendums are worth it.
    "We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work...After eight years of this Administration, we have just as much unemployment as when we started... And an enormous debt to boot!" — Henry Morgenthau, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Treasury secretary, 1941.

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    I think recall elections kind of defeat the point of having candidates who are democratically elected to serve for a specified term. Elected officials should only be removed from office for gross violations of the law, and we already have impeachment proceedings for that sort of thing.

    As far as referendums go, they require intelligent voters, which we largely don't have. So I guess I'm against those, too.
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    If they're so friendly and neighborly, why are they called The Badger State? That doesn't say friendly to me.
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    Guynemer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorizael View Post
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    Starting with the illustrious Nemer dynasty?
    **** that ****, no one should want me in charge of anything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guynemer View Post
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    **** that ****, no one should want me in charge of anything.
    That's exactly why you should be in charge.
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    OzzyKP
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorizael View Post
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    I think recall elections kind of defeat the point of having candidates who are democratically elected to serve for a specified term. Elected officials should only be removed from office for gross violations of the law, and we already have impeachment proceedings for that sort of thing.

    As far as referendums go, they require intelligent voters, which we largely don't have. So I guess I'm against those, too.
    I think this is only like the third governor to face a recall election in our history, so that seems reasonable. It was probably reasonable to oust Gray Davis in California. I agree that trying to boot Walker wasn't reasonable this time around, but I don't see why we should throw out the whole recall mechanism.

    I'm fine with referendums too.
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    kentonio
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    Quote Originally Posted by OzzyKP View Post
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    I agree that trying to boot Walker wasn't reasonable this time around, but I don't see why we should throw out the whole recall mechanism.
    Making huge swinging changes to normal peoples lives without a mandate? Can you provide any evidence of where in his original campaign he said he intended to end collective bargaining?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kentonio View Post
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    Making huge swinging changes to normal peoples lives without a mandate? Can you provide any evidence of where in his original campaign he said he intended to end collective bargaining?


    Apparently, he did have a mandate, as has been shown in two recall elections. God you're dumb.

    I also find it hilarious that someone from Britain could be so up in arms about the passage of something in a Midwestern US state. And on top of that, something that is already true in 20+ other states.
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    The Mad Monk
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    Can you provide any evidence that he promised not to? This is nonsensical. He promised to slash benefits for government employees, and this was the mechanism he chose. If the people don't like it, the people can elect someone else to reverse it next term.

    Of course, that's not what happened. What happened was a reaffirmation of his and his allies policies, all thanks to the unoins.

    Again, this is not what this thread is for. Please take it to the other thread. We can chat more there.
    "We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work...After eight years of this Administration, we have just as much unemployment as when we started... And an enormous debt to boot!" — Henry Morgenthau, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Treasury secretary, 1941.

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    Al B. Sure!
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    The referendum was a useful tool for Hitler.

    Just saying...
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    Direct democracy is generally a bad idea. Left-wing politicians are typically smarter and better-informed than the voters they represent. Right-wing politicians are typically smarter and better-informed than the voters they represent.
    "You're the biggest user of hindsight that I've ever known. Your favorite team, in any sport, is the one that just won. If you were a woman, you'd likely be a slut." - Slowwhand, to Imran

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    Guynemer
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    This should be a litmus test. Any self-professed liberal who does not recognize this whole Wisconsin brouhaha as idiotic and inane is a hopelessly lost hyperpartisan, equal to the worst elements of the right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al B. Sure! View Post
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    The referendum was a useful tool for Hitler.

    Just saying...
    Good post, Albert Speer.
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  22. #22
    Al B. Sure!
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    It goes along with liberals always claiming they represent the people... the history of both Europe and the US with 'reactionary populism', etc. just shows how different the salt of the earth people are from the liberal elites that claim to represent them.

    A liberal posted on her facebook a status asking if anyone understood what 'reactionary populism' is. I explained it to her. That idea was so foreign to her as a liberal
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  23. #23
    kentonio
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hauldren Collider View Post
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    Apparently, he did have a mandate, as has been shown in two recall elections. God you're dumb.
    He now has a (post dated) mandate for it, but he certainly did not before. I consider being called 'dumb' by you to be a compliment btw, you silly little boy.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mad Monk View Post
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    Can you provide any evidence that he promised not to?
    You'd like me to prove a negative? GOP educational standards much? :

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mad Monk View Post
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    This is nonsensical. He promised to slash benefits for government employees, and this was the mechanism he chose. If the people don't like it, the people can elect someone else to reverse it next term.
    He overstepped his original mandate, and now under a barrage of expensive campaigning he just received a new mandate. The people of Winsconsin now deserve what they get.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mad Monk View Post
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    Again, this is not what this thread is for. Please take it to the other thread. We can chat more there.
    How is arguing that a recall is perfectly justifiable in the context of someone overstepping their mandate not suitable in a thread asking if recalls are justifiable?

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    The Mad Monk
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    If you want to argue that you can have a recall election for any disagreeable thing that come down the pike as a general precept, please do so. As it is, your not addressing that so much as you're having a seizure over an unfortunate result.
    "We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work...After eight years of this Administration, we have just as much unemployment as when we started... And an enormous debt to boot!" — Henry Morgenthau, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Treasury secretary, 1941.

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    kentonio
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Mad Monk View Post
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    If you want to argue that you can have a recall election for any disagreeable thing that come down the pike as a general precept, please do so. As it is, your not addressing that so much as you're having a seizure over an unfortunate result.
    The idea that you could get a million people motivated to a recall effort over 'any disagreeable thing' is nonsense, which is why this is such a rare occurance. It's a mechanism for when leaders do something that spits in the face of large swathes of their constituents. In case you forgot just because someone didn't vote for a politician, that politician is still supposed to act in all their constituents best interests. There has to be some recourse for when a politician gets elected and then oversteps their mandate to the detriment of the electorate.

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    Ben Kenobi
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    I also find it hilarious that someone from Britain could be so up in arms about the passage of something in a Midwestern US state. And on top of that, something that is already true in 20+ other states.
    Kentonio also claims to possess education qualifications. Just because he says it doesn't make it true.

    Oh, and I'm opposed to recall of elected officials - that's what elections are for. There should be a sore loser law, where if you get your *** handed to you, you can't run in the recall.
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    The Mad Monk
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    Quote Originally Posted by kentonio View Post
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    The idea that you could get a million people motivated to a recall effort over 'any disagreeable thing' is nonsense, which is why this is such a rare occurance. It's a mechanism for when leaders do something that spits in the face of large swathes of their constituents. In case you forgot just because someone didn't vote for a politician, that politician is still supposed to act in all their constituents best interests. There has to be some recourse for when a politician gets elected and then oversteps their mandate to the detriment of the electorate.
    Yes, and it's called a court decision. They lost that one too.
    "We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work...After eight years of this Administration, we have just as much unemployment as when we started... And an enormous debt to boot!" — Henry Morgenthau, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Treasury secretary, 1941.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Kenobi View Post
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    Kentonio also claims to possess education qualifications. Just because he says it doesn't make it true.

    Oh, and I'm opposed to recall of elected officials - that's what elections are for. There should be a sore loser law, where if you get your *** handed to you, you can't run in the recall.
    I now support recall elections.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al B. Sure! View Post
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    The referendum was a useful tool for Hitler.

    Just saying...
    What is your message here? I'm just curious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Al B. Sure! View Post
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    It goes along with liberals always claiming they represent the people... the history of both Europe and the US with 'reactionary populism', etc. just shows how different the salt of the earth people are from the liberal elites that claim to represent them.

    A liberal posted on her facebook a status asking if anyone understood what 'reactionary populism' is. I explained it to her. That idea was so foreign to her as a liberal
    Is this comment based on actual data about how "salt of the earth" people voted or are you just assuming they supported Walker?

    Here's a hint: people making less than $50,000 supported Barrett.
    "South Africa is a shithole. It used to be a decent place." -Ben Kenobi, sharing his wisdom on world history

  30. #30
    The Mad Monk
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    I think he's saying that referendums are a more polite form of mob rule.
    "We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work...After eight years of this Administration, we have just as much unemployment as when we started... And an enormous debt to boot!" — Henry Morgenthau, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Treasury secretary, 1941.

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