A Few Recall Thoughts

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One thing a lot of people are saying is that it is not right somehow that Gray Davis could get 49 percent of the vote in the recall election and then be replaced by someone who gets only, say, 15 percent of the vote. They say that this could happen is wrong.

But this can happen in most any election in the U.S. where there is a primary; you could lose the election with 49 percent and, if there are a sufficient number of candidates, the eventual victor could have a relatively small percent. This has been possible for many years; the possibility of it cannot make it unfair, unless the whole system is unfair.

Bill Maher said something absolutely ludicrous the other night: that a recall is not how the "founding fathers" of this country intended the system to work. What he apparently doesn't realize is that the "founding fathers" had no collective intentions for the details of the selection of the leadership of the individual states, but left that as a matter for the individual states to decide for themselves.

And, in fact, the people of the state of California, a hundred years ago, decided that this is the way things should work in California. It is a democratic process if for no other reason but that the people of California have stated this is how it should work. And if they don't like it, they can change the process so this can't happen again.

Every complaint about the recall itself, every court challenge to it, seems to me to boil down to "it's the law, it's been the law for a long time, there is nothing remotely illegitimate about this procedure, and if you don't like it, then change the law."

That's not to say you shouldn't be opposed to the recall procedure as used here; personally, I think people who wish to use it just because they lost last time are abusing the process. But abuse of the process does not make it illegitimate. And it should also be noted that for every person I've talked to who wants Davis gone just because they dislike him, there are several who want him gone because he lied about the depth of the budget problem during the last election, or because he has continued to mismanage the state's economy.

Bill Maher did get one thing absolutely right, though: he said that if you want to get someone in the governor's mansion to really change things, to shake them up, then Arianna Huffington is the candidate for you. I don't think I would vote for her if I still lived in California, but I would consider it ... how can any libertarian not feel some affinity for an intelligent, capable person who wrote a book called "How To Overthrow The Government"?

Right now, the most interesting candidates to me are Huffington and Peter Ueberroth. If the main problem is fixing the budget, you should get people who can fix that problem: Ueberroth is someone who is just plain capable, having successfully run Major League Baseball, the 1984 Summer Olympics, and numerous large and small businesses. The guy's got sk1llz. He does not have, however, popular backing or name recognition. But if you talk to southern California businesspeople who are thinking about leaving the state, if they could hand-pick a governor to turn things around, he'd be the guy, and that's something to consider. use.perl.org

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

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