June 16, 2003
Is the recall too much democracy?
It looks like the recall of Grey Davis may in fact become a reality (see this piece on SFGate from the AP.) Is this a good thing? See my post below making the case that the continuing movement towards more popular democracy and away from representational democracy is not always a good thing--and in fact the source of many of the problems with our political system today. Why it would be satisfying from my perspective to remove Davis who has been an unmitigated disaster, this precedent will remove some of the integrity of our elections and create a moral hazard: we will be less careful in making our choices in the real elections if we feel like we have an "undo" feature--as with our word processors. It was upsetting to Republicans, and justly so, when the Democracts substituted Lautenberg for Torricelli at the last moment because they realized they were going to lose. We have to hold our politicians accountable in elections--and ourselves accountable for the choices we make in those elections. With the increased possibility of getting booted from office politicians will follow the polls even more closely--and their principles will be more expendable. While it would be great to see Davis go, and if given the opportunity I will vote against him again, this is moving our democracy in the wrong direction.