Let candidates commit to recall before they are elected
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Oudtshoorn. 21 November 2012. 06h20. Until such time as our municipalities are again in the hands of the residents, and not in the claws of political parties, voters should demand that all candidates for local councils subscribe to recall. If a candidate does not comply, that candidate should be boycotted.
Ye gods and faeries! Us humans put men on the moon and are exploring Mars – don’t talk to me about impossible!
I propose the following recall contract to be signed by independent candidates in municipal elections:
I the undersigned, NAME, the Independent Candidate for Ward #, MUNICIPALITY, hereby undertakes to adhere to the recall provisions stated below, should I be elected to the MUNICIPAL COUNCIL on DATE.
1. A recall committee (RC) will be constituted to administer all recall submissions. This committee will
1.1. have a term of one year;
1.2. be elected at a general meeting of Ward 2 voters, convened by the independent councillor for the purpose, within 90 days of an election;
1.3. will consist of a chair and four members registered as voters in Ward #;
1.4. oversee the election of the new committee no later than 30 days before the end of its term.
2. Any registered voter in Ward # can file a recall demand with the RC Chair (RCC) at any time, subject to the following conditions:
2.1. no recall is permitted within 6 months of a ward election;
2.2. at least 6 months must lapse after an unsuccessful recall demand; and
2.3. the objector must have been present at at least 3 monthly independent councillor feedback sessions during the 6 months preceding the recall demand.
3. The objector must draft reasons for the recall with supporting evidence.
4. The recall affidavit, together with signatures representative of 20% of registered voters in Ward #, must be lodged with the RCC.
5. The councillor subject to recall has 30 working days to file an answering affidavit with the RCC.
6. The RC will meet with the councillor and the objector within 5 working days of the filing of the answering affidavit to consider the recall.
7. If the objector elects to proceed with the recall subsequent to the RC evaluation, a written intent must be filed with the RCC within 5 working days of the RC evaluation.
8. The RCC must call a meeting of registered voters in Ward # within 10 working days of the date on which the objector has filed an intent to proceed with the recall.
9. The candidate and the objector will address the meeting of registered voters. The objector must lead evidence in the recall case against the councillor. Each party will have 20 minutes to state their case and 10 minutes to reply.
10. The RCC will allow no more than 3 questions from the floor to each party . The party questioned will have 3 minutes to respond and the other party 2 minutes to reply to each question.
10. The meeting will vote, by secret ballot, to proceed to a recall vote, or to dismiss the recall.
11. If the meeting votes to proceed with the recall vote, a poll is to be held within 30 working days.
12. A simple majority on polling day will decide the recall.
13. If the recall succeeds, the councillor will tender his resignation with immediate effect and inform the speaker forthwith to instruct the municipal manager to declare a council vacancy with the IEC.
14. The result of the recall poll will be final and neither party will have recourse to the courts.
I propose that no candidate, of whichever political party, be supported by voters if the candidate does not subject to such recall provisions.
The unspeakable arrogance of political parties to nominate candidates of the leadership’s choice – and to remove councillors not dancing to the party tune at any given time – is a powerfull emetic.
Will Wayne Craig subject himself to the will of the constituents in Bitou Ward 2, as will Francois Geldenhuys?
Or will Craig have to consult “The Dear Leaders” to determine what he should do?
Sure Craig has an obligation to ask permission – which will be denied. As Craig will have to toe the DA party line in all matters, be they in Bitou’s best interest or not.
I remember the former DA Mayor of Oudtshoorn calling for a caucus – I kid you not! – to call Cape Town… On seating arrangements in council. On seating arrangements!
Will intelligence win the day in Bitou Ward 2 on December 5 – will the people of Ward 2 elect someone accountable to them only to represent them in the Bitou Council – for the benefit of all Bitou!