Vote NO to the 2021 California Governor Recall
Californians face disaster on many levels. Fires are consuming entire cities, the COVID Delta variant is infecting thousands, and unpaid rent and student debt threaten to swell the ranks of the homeless. The ruling Democratic Party in the state is failing people miserably. As a socialist feminist party, the FSP does not trust any of the twin parties of the profit system. Although the recall effort California Governor Gavin Newsom Offers Opportunity To Remove Capitalist Politician From Office, FSP says VOTE NO. This time around, the recall and selection of Newsom’s replacement is extremely undemocratic. He is heavily funded by the right and could install a candidate who receives only a small percentage of the vote.
An undemocratic process
The right of recall started as a democratic reform to give me aand through which voters can hold elected officials to account. This process and the initiative process were instituted in California about 100 years ago. At this time, the Southern Pacific Railroad used its vast wealth to control the state government. Reminder and initiative were introduced as tools to protect people from these wealthy minorities.
But the capitalists are now using these measures to their advantage. With unlimited private campaign spending, processes designed to promote democracy have become The opposite. Uber and Lyft took advantage of the initiative process last November. Spending more than $200 million, they sponsored Proposition 22 to strip rideshare drivers of their rights as employees.
This recall is even more undemocratic because of the way the incumbent is replaced. After voting yes or no to the governor’s removal, voters are asked to choose from a list of 46 replacement candidates. The candidate with the most votes wins. Newsom could be recalled if No votes totaled less than 50% on the first part of the ballot. However, he could be replaced by someone who wins a very small percentage of the candidates’ votes. (Hypothetically, if all 46 candidates split the votes evenly, each would get 2.17%. So someone could become governor with a share slightly above that percentage!).
Part of a right-wing movement for power
This election is taking place against the backdrop of the far right’s grip on political power in every possible way. Besides January 6and coup attempt to overthrow the presidential election elections and voting restrictions enacted by state legislatures to disenfranchise people of color and the poor, the right is using recall elections across the country to install candidates who represent its anti-immigrant, racist, anti- LGBTQ+, sexist and anti-work-class program. In an effort to recall Newsom, it’s clear that the top contenders are consistent with this program.
No support for Newsom and Democrats
By opposing the governor’s recall, the FSP is giving no support to the incumbent Newsom. His policies boosted profits for state billionaires while poorer Californians suffered unemployment or facing exposure to COVID without sufficient protective equipment. Instead of pushing health giants and big pharma to make tests and vaccines quickly and easily available, Newsom has overseen a county-by-county random rollout that has left some of the most vulnerable sick and dying. This includes 227 prisoners, actually sentenced to death, while most could have been released on humanitarian grounds.
No candidate to recommend
Of the 46 candidates vying to replace the incumbent governor, the FSP does not recommend voting for any. There are two Green Party candidates and two who identify as Socialists. We do not endorse the Greens. Instead of identifying the profit system as the source of the economic and social problems facing working people, the Green Party supports a softer, softer form of capitalism.
Among the Socialists running, David Moore of the Socialist Equality Party has a platform that is anti-war and anti-capitalist. But MS (publisher of the World Socialist Web Site) is extremely sectarian. They have repeatedly taken other leftist groups to capitalist courts or harassed them with outrageous charges. They are remarkably backward on issues of race and gender, oppose affirmative action, and pretend to stand up for the rights of people of color, women, and gay people, but abstain from real movements.
Dennis Richter, of the Socialist Workers Party, calls for the end of capitalism, workers’ control over working conditions and the defense of immigrants. But the SWP adopts a competitive and sectarian attitude towards other leftist groups. They label anyone who supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for a free Palestine against Israeli aggression an anti-Semite. In an anti-feminist way, they questioned the credibility of Christine Blasey Ford in his sexual assault charges against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Organize to win
The recall race highlights the limits of the electoral system to achieving lasting gains for the working class. It is time for leftist parties, unions and community organizations to come together to fight for immediate needs and build a movement that can replace old-fashioned and destructive capitalism with humane socialism and workers’ democracy. FSP invites you to work with us towards this goal!
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