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It’s a necessary evil to keep us safe from corruption. Image: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum
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Recall acts help Canadians defend themselves from corrupt representatives

It’s time we start demanding the ability to recall politicians who threaten the health, safety and livelihoods of Canadians. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen politicians join anti-lockdown protests, spread misinformation on COVID-19 vaccines, travel outside of Canada despite the current health guidelines and peddle conspiracy theories.

These politicians are an embarrassment and are actively making the lives of Canadians worse. Anyone who has been paying attention over the past year knows that COVID-19 is a significant threat to the wellbeing of our nation and the people within it. More than 800,000 Canadians have suffered the effects of COVID-19, and there are over 20,000 Canadians who have lost their lives to the virus. While that should be enough to convince everyone to take it seriously, we have elected officials who try to downplay the pandemic as if it were little more than the common cold. We need the ability to remove these people from office.

The most democratic method of doing this is through a recall election or petition. While recall acts are rare in Canada — there is no federal legislation, ditto for most provinces — there is one place we can turn to for a relevant example. British Columbia’s recall process is based on the organization of a petition that, should it be signed by 40 per cent of voters who are eligible to sign the petition, would allow for the removal of a particular member of the B.C. legislative assembly. To be considered eligible to sign the petition, a voter would have to be registered to vote, and previously registered to vote in the official’s electoral district during the election in which they were sworn in.

Without the recall process, we will have to continue to deal with people who are evidently incapable of feeling empathy for the victims of COVID-19 and their families.

The anti-lockdown, anti-mask and anti-vaccine crowd all seem to forget that nearly half a million Americans have died from the virus, in large part due to the previous administration’s decision to not push health mandates. 

This idea that we can simply cover our eyes and hope that the virus goes away on its own is clearly and hilariously wrong. So, if we want to end lockdowns, what can we do? Well, we can wear our masks and distance ourselves, avoid going to anti-lockdown protests, stay in Canada, and eventually inject ourselves with the vaccines. You end lockdowns by achieving the goals set out at the start. The politicians that have pushed anti-lockdown, anti-mask, anti-vaccine nonsense are prolonging the pandemic, not shortening it.

Our collective health, our economy and our way of life has been hurt by these morons. When we have people in office who are doing their best to inflict damage on their constituents, we need to seek out methods to protect ourselves.

The recall process is essential for democracies to function. And for anyone worried about potential abuses of the system — the process doesn’t allow for the easy removal of politicians, as it would be immensely difficult to gain 40 per cent of eligible voters’ signatures. Only in extreme cases, where a significant number of voters wanted an elected official gone, would a recall act come in handy. This is a democratic way to remove the bad eggs that spoil our parliamentary system and we deserve the ability to hold our representatives accountable.

Let’s start pushing our elected officials to introduce recall legislation, both federally and provincially. It’s a necessary evil to keep us safe from corruption.