From the Roman Republic to California, recall is a political tool as old as democracy itself
The recall – the tool used to attempt to impeach Gavin Newsom as governor of California before his term ends – may sound strange or new. It’s neither. The reminder is almost as old as democracy itself.
This is older than Montesquieu, the famous 18th century French nobleman and philosopher, who argued that elected officials “should be accountable to those who appointed them”. The reminder also predates Montesquieu’s contemporary, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who in “Le Contrat social” wrote: “The holders of executive office are not the masters of the people but their officers (and) the people can appoint and revoke as it pleases. “