Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


It's looking more like California governor Gray Davis is on thin ice and heading toward a recall election. This is occurring just over six months since Davis was re-elected. This raises the point that if California voters are so unhappy with their governor, why didn't they vote him out when they had the chance?

In Wisconsin, we've had a lot of experience with recall elections recently. In general, I'm wary of recall elections, because often they are started when an elected official votes a certain way on a given issue, and a vocal minority tries to recall them. People need to be reminded that we live in a representative democracy (AKA republic). This means we elect people to represent our interests in a legislature. Maybe they don't always vote the way people want them to, but that's the way it is supposed to work.

The only alternative to this is direct democracy. One only need to look back at California to see what a debacle that has been in the form of referendums or ballot initiatives. The referendum has simply become a cop out by the legislature to actually voting on an issue. Recall drives and referendums move us down a path that James Madison warned us about in the Federalist Papers. That is, we risk tyranny over a minority by the majority or even tyranny by a vocal faction.

On this Independence Day, celebrate the vision that founding fathers like Madison gave us.


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