Originally Posted by rfrobison
DZ: Don't know if you've seen this thread, but I wonder if you would share your thoughts on whether you think this recall vote was justified.
I admit I haven't been following this story closely. It's a bit hard to get excited about the political back-and-forth in the U.S. from over here, but from my point of view the whole exercise looks pretty suspect, in terms of good governance.
Obviously the recall law is on the books for a reason and I have no doubt the proper procedures were followed and all that, but my cursory glance says this is an abuse of the recall statute, which I assume is meant to address cases of gross mis- or malfeasance, and not simply a "do over" for people who are unhappy with an election result.
Of course, the same could be said about the California recall that put The Governator in power in California, so it's maybe a bipartisan vice, but it's disturbing to me nonetheless.
Honestly, I don't have a strong opinion on this one way or the other. I'm not terribly concerned with how recall elections were supposed to function, and even so using recall or impeachment for partisan purposes is hardly new. As you said, this is just as political a maneuver as the recall election that Scharzenegger won. I'd also say that it's only slightly more political than Clinton or Andrew Johnson's impeachment.
In general, I'd prefer to put people in office through regularly scheduled general elections than through special elections that tend to have lower turnout and disproportionate influence from outside groups and party activists, but I don't see this as a particularly critical concern. So I guess my bottom line is a big "meh." Wisconsin Democrats thought that they could do well enough in a special election to overturn the results of 2010's general. If they had pulled it off I would have been happy to see it, but they didn't quite have the votes. That's democracy.