Not any more

Rossi wants councillors, mayor subject to recall – The Globe and Mail

In Canada on August 30, 2010 at 11:58

If elected mayor, Rocco Rossi would push for recall measures that would allow voters to boot him out of office mid-term.

But he’ll need Queen’s Park to enact legislation to make it happen.

“The sad fact is that in this town it’s a whole lot easier to get rid of a broken blender than it is to recall a rogue politician. And that’s not right,” Mr. Rossi told a news conference Monday.

Mr. Rossi, who is in last place among serious contenders according to the latest polls, said he would consult Torontonians about how recall should work.

A critical question would be how many signatures or votes would trigger a recall. The former federal Liberal party president is in favour of subjecting Toronto city councillors to recall as well.

“The threshold is the key element, as I’ve said, and that’s what will be developed through citizen panels and involvement of the city. I want to give this incredibly powerful tool to the city,” Mr. Rossi said.

Mr. Rossi promised to deliver a formal request for recall — along with a blueprint for implementing it in Toronto — to the premier’s office within six months of taking office.

Recall mechanisms are fairly common in the United States

, but successful recalls are relatively rare. The best-known case is that of California governor Gray Davis who in 2003 become only the second governor in U.S. history to be recalled, paving the way for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s election.

British Columbia

is the only Canadian jurisdiction with recall legislation on the books. The legislation allows voters to kick out members of the legislative assembly if a petition is signed by 40 per cent of voters registered in the MLA’s district on the day of the last election.

However, no B.C. politician has ever been formally recalled. The closest case happened in 1998, when Liberal Paul Reitsma quit while a petition recalling him was in the midst of being verified.

The Rossi campaign received a boost Monday from veteran Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella, who has agreed to formally join his team.

“I’ve told Rocco Rossi I want to volunteer on his Toronto mayoralty campaign. He’s super smart, he treats all people with respect — and he’s fiscally conservative and socially progressive. He’s a good man,” Mr. Kinsella said by e-mail Monday. “Rob Ford is no good on the social issues; George Smithermkan is not top-of-mind when it comes to fiscal discipline.”

More to come

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