The Best Fix to One-Party Rule Isn’t Recalls. It’s Two Strong Parties.

It’s on. California will vote on whether to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 14.

I am deeply conflicted on the question. I am opposed to recalls on principle. In 2003, I was one of the few conservatives to oppose the recall of then-Gov. Gray Davis. My reasoning hinged on what you might call the Ed Koch rule. After the New York City mayor lost his bid for a fourth term, he was often asked if he’d ever run again. His standard response: “No! The people threw me out and now they must be punished.”

Democracy works best when voters, politicians, and especially parties have to bear the brunt of their mistakes.

The problem with recall efforts is that they often focus on individual personalities, not policies. They end up being about spite. As a result, they tend to let parties off the hook.

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