Just because it’s the summer and he’s busy doing play-by-play for a minor league baseball team, doesn’t mean Brent Rathgeber isn’t blogging.
The Allen Affair reinforces my belief that we need representative recall legislation in Alberta (and also in Canada) to allow the electorate to remove a recalcitrant elected official from office when appropriate. British Columbia has had such recall legislation since 1991. It has been used over a dozen times to attempt to remove an MLA from office (never successfully). A Member has, however, resigned when it appeared that successful recall was imminent.
The process is commenced when a Proponent, who is an Elector in the Electoral District of the Legislator to be recalled, files a Petition with Elections BC, along with a $50 fee. Then within 60 days, he must collect the signatures of 40% of the eligible electors in the riding demanding that the Member be recalled. Once submitted, Elections BC verifies the names and addresses and, if the threshold has been achieved, notifies the Speaker of the Legislature that the seat has been vacated pursuant to statute and a by-election must be called within 90 days. The recalled Member is eligible to run in the by-election, thus putting into practice the theory that a Member embroiled in controversy should submit to his or her electorate to determine if there is a continuing mandate. But the key factor in the recall legislation is that it is the electors within the electoral district of the impugned politician who exclusively are entitled to determine the fate of their Representative.