Thursday, December 2, 2010

Institutional innovation: Cué proposes recall referendum

In his inaugural speech yesterday day, Gabino Cué announced he would send a proposal to congress for "revocation of mandate," or simply put the mechanism of a recall referendum.

This is excellent news. I am a strong critic of the excessive length of the term of governors in Mexico, which in most cases is six years, and a recall referendum seems like an excellent tool if the desired goal is indeed to introduce more accountability in the political system. While the details of Cué's proposal are not known as yet, these typically involve a petition by a certain percentage of the electorate, which would turn it over to the government, who would then, if the petition is valid, call for a referendum where people are asked whether they want the sitting government out or not.

The very idea of a recall referendum, if used responsibly, is quite an institutional innovation. Credit must go here to Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, who, as far as I know, was the first country on earth to implement this mechanism, and actually allowed one to be held. So far, from what I gather, only Bolivia and Ecuador, have followed suit in their new constitutions.

One final line from Cué:
"Woe to those  who under my term will but their personal well being ahead of the Oaxacan people!"

Ojalá que sí.

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