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Corbella: Kenney's plan for recall legislation needs to be recalled

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Whether it’s called populist Pablum or democratic drivel, one thing is certain, a few of the democratic reform promises made by United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney can best be defined as bad policy.

The democratic reforms announced by Kenney on Valentine’s Day deserve little love, particularly his plan to allow voters to fire MLAs between elections and to ban elected MLAs from switching parties without an election.

Richard Starke, the only remaining Progressive Conservative MLA in the Alberta legislature, recently posted a stream of 20 tweets condemning recall legislation in particular, something he has spoken about passionately in the legislature back in 2016, when recall legislation was put forward as a private member’s bill that thankfully went nowhere.

“Populist parties sell people on keeping elected officials on a short leash with a choke chain,” wrote Starke, a retired veterinarian and the soon-to-be retired MLA for Vermilion-Lloydminster.

Reached at his constituency office Friday, Starke says when you peel back the onion-like layers of policies like recall legislation expect metaphorical electoral tears.

Starke points to the case of Covina, Calif., a city of about 50,000 in the Los Angeles area, as a prime example of why recall legislation is a bad idea.

In July 1993, the entire Covina city council was recalled by angry voters after councillors raised municipal utility taxes by six per cent to make up for a $2.3-million budget deficit.

A new election was held and........

© Fort McMurray Today