The California Recall Election

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Pale Rider

...and Hell followed with him.
Citizen
Is anyone else here following this? It has national ramifications, so I'd hope it's seen as at least as serious as the Georgia runoff was earlier this year.

I voted no, BTW. I didn't even bother selecting a candidate in case Newsom loses.
 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
Nothing should be surprising anymore but California going red would still be really surprising.
 

Ironbite4

Member
Citizen
The fact that they were able to force a recall is worrying enough. The fact that Larry Elder, the front runner to replace Newsome in case of a no vote wants to basically repeal everything in the Constitution should worry people.

Ironbite-a lot.
 

ChessPieceFace

New member
Citizen
It's all such a stupid waste of time and money, the entire process is nakedly undemocratic, and the California Democratic Party managed to screw it all up even more.

First, we're having a recall election because 1.7 million people signed a petition for one, which crossed the legal threshold of 12% of the count of people who voted in the last election. That's an INSANELY low number. Newsom got 61% of the popular vote in 2018, 7.7 million votes! Why should a tiny 12% minority be able to force a recall election, which wastes millions of my tax dollars and steals focus from actual legislative goals? Now it's clear that some of that legislation is going to need to go toward amending the recall process.

Second, obviously the Republicans are exploiting the opportunity by running their worst people, who would never be able to get 50.1% of a real vote in a real election. Here, they don't have to. If "Question 1: Should the Governor be recalled?" gets 50.1% "YES" votes, from Republicans, Democrats who don't like Newsom, independents who feel like they don't get a voice in "normal" elections, and people who just want to watch the world burn, then "Question 2: Who should replace the Governor?" becomes active. And at that point, majority is no longer necessary--whomever is in the lead will become the Governor! So we have a very plausible scenario where "Yes" squeaks out a win, and Larry Elder, a far-right-wing radio host, gets 20% of the replacement votes and becomes Governor. And that's 20% of a total number of voters that will likely be FAR smaller than the number that voted in the 2018 election that Newsom won.

The whole process seems design to encourage the tyranny of the minority, which is a concept Republicans have become expert at exploiting.

Finally, what does the California Democratic Party do? THEY MAKE IT WORSE. They discourage any reasonable Democrats from getting on the ballot for Question 2, and proclaim that Democratic voters should leave that second question blank. Due respect to @Pale Rider, but that's a terrible plan. This is effectively a ranked-choice election, where your first choice should be "NO on Recall" and your second choice should be "But IF Recall passes... this is the best replacement." Yet because of the party's decision, we have no good (or even qualified or competent) Democratic replacement options! Why not get the Lieutenant Governor on the ballot, and have her tie her campaign to Newsom? Most "Question 1: YES" votes will be Republicans, so if Democrats leave Question 2 blank, most of the overall votes for anyone on Question 2 will be Republicans too, and Larry Elder is nearly guaranteed to win. A campaign to vote "NO" on 1, but for Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis on 2, seems like a simple enough message to sell... but they didn't do that.

Anyway, after much back and forth, I ended up voting for some YouTube idiot named Kevin Paffrath. He's unqualified, but he seems to be leading in some polls on the Democratic side, and I couldn't in good conscience vote in any way that could directly help a Republican to win.
 

ChessPieceFace

New member
Citizen
Yup, that was indeed just a big ol' waste of time and money.

Meet the new Governor, same as the old Governor. NO on recall got over 2/3 of the vote. Now can we please reform the recall rules?
 

wonko the sane?

You may test that assumption at your convinience.
Citizen
Shit, canada's national election is costing 610 million. I think y'all got ripped off.
 

G.B.Blackrock

New member
Citizen
It's all such a stupid waste of time and money, the entire process is nakedly undemocratic, and the California Democratic Party managed to screw it all up even more.

First, we're having a recall election because 1.7 million people signed a petition for one, which crossed the legal threshold of 12% of the count of people who voted in the last election. That's an INSANELY low number. Newsom got 61% of the popular vote in 2018, 7.7 million votes! Why should a tiny 12% minority be able to force a recall election, which wastes millions of my tax dollars and steals focus from actual legislative goals? Now it's clear that some of that legislation is going to need to go toward amending the recall process.

Second, obviously the Republicans are exploiting the opportunity by running their worst people, who would never be able to get 50.1% of a real vote in a real election. Here, they don't have to. If "Question 1: Should the Governor be recalled?" gets 50.1% "YES" votes, from Republicans, Democrats who don't like Newsom, independents who feel like they don't get a voice in "normal" elections, and people who just want to watch the world burn, then "Question 2: Who should replace the Governor?" becomes active. And at that point, majority is no longer necessary--whomever is in the lead will become the Governor! So we have a very plausible scenario where "Yes" squeaks out a win, and Larry Elder, a far-right-wing radio host, gets 20% of the replacement votes and becomes Governor. And that's 20% of a total number of voters that will likely be FAR smaller than the number that voted in the 2018 election that Newsom won.

The whole process seems design to encourage the tyranny of the minority, which is a concept Republicans have become expert at exploiting.

Finally, what does the California Democratic Party do? THEY MAKE IT WORSE. They discourage any reasonable Democrats from getting on the ballot for Question 2, and proclaim that Democratic voters should leave that second question blank. Due respect to @Pale Rider, but that's a terrible plan. This is effectively a ranked-choice election, where your first choice should be "NO on Recall" and your second choice should be "But IF Recall passes... this is the best replacement." Yet because of the party's decision, we have no good (or even qualified or competent) Democratic replacement options! Why not get the Lieutenant Governor on the ballot, and have her tie her campaign to Newsom? Most "Question 1: YES" votes will be Republicans, so if Democrats leave Question 2 blank, most of the overall votes for anyone on Question 2 will be Republicans too, and Larry Elder is nearly guaranteed to win. A campaign to vote "NO" on 1, but for Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis on 2, seems like a simple enough message to sell... but they didn't do that.

Anyway, after much back and forth, I ended up voting for some YouTube idiot named Kevin Paffrath. He's unqualified, but he seems to be leading in some polls on the Democratic side, and I couldn't in good conscience vote in any way that could directly help a Republican to win.
Replying to this from the comfort of the election results (FYI, I'm in CA).

I'm rather opposed to the system, as it stands, as well, for the simple principle (which I've articulated at length elsewhere) that no one should ever be granted leadership of a region where the majority of voters would have considered him their LAST choice (when more than two people are running, as was clearly the case here).

That said, the decision by the CDP to discourage a "Plan B" was rooted in the 2003 recall results. They believe (wrongly, IMHO, but nonetheless truthfully) that telling voters "No on Recall, but vote for this candidate just in case" confused voters and was part of the reason then-Gov. Davis was ousted. Again, I disagreed with that reasoning, then and now, but now that Newsom was successful in defeating the recall, I imagine it will be hard to argue against his logic. (FWIW, I used "Paffrath" as my "Plan B" vote, too, but am glad we didn't have to resort to that. Even having defeated the recall, seeing Elder in the upper 40% range is more than a little scary.)

As with all such elections, I wish we'd just move to some form of automatic run-off system. For example (this can be done in lots of ways), everyone names their top three choices. If no one breaks 50% when only top choices are counted, drop the candidate with the fewest votes, and count their #2 choices. If you still don't have someone with more than 50% drop the remained lowest-vote getter, and count *their* #2s (or #3s, if necessary). Continue as needed. (Even if one argues that top 3 isn't enough, I'd be happier with a result that stopped at the third attempt than with the simple plurality we currently have.)
 

Pocket

Yep.
Citizen
Yeah, California seems to be both the state most likely to push for ranked ballots next, and the one that would probably benefit from it the most.
 
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