Don’t like your councillor? Most Torontonians want recall legislation
Author(s): Stephen J. D'Agostino*
October 20, 2014
TORONTO –After years of gridlock, transit delays and scandals, a large majority of Torontonians want recall legislation, according to a new Ipsos Reid poll done exclusively for Global News.
Eighty-seven per cent of the 1,252 polled by Ipsos Reid agreed Torontonians should be able to remove politicians from office if they don’t have confidence in their leadership.
Stephen D’Agostino, a lawyer specializing in municipal affairs, said he is “not at all” surprised people want more power over their representatives because right now they only get to vote once every four years.
“When you look at the mechanisms that are available for the public and voters to interact with politicians, they are very few and far between,” D’Agostino said. “Essentially you elect them at the beginning of their term and you have nothing else to do with them until the end when they come back.”
British Columbia has had recall legislation since 1990 and California famously ousted Governor Gray Davis and replaced him with Arnold Schwarzenegger in a 2003 recall.
In Canada, provinces have the power to pass recall legislation for the municipalities and D’Agostino said it’s unlikely the legislation could be reasonably passed for one level of government and not the other.
Recall legislation is meant to give the electorate a tool to oust politicians who’ve lost the moral authority to lead.