Saturday, January 24, 2009
What happens next?
So now what's going to happen?
Case 1: The election takes place on Monday/Tuesday. It will likely be a train wreck, and will probably fail to meet the Constitutional public notice requirements (though maybe the Elections Council can get something into the paper on Monday). Whoever loses can make that case, at least, though the Elections Council could defend itself by taking the view that the news stories on the topic served as sufficient publicity.
Not that we'll know who loses for a while. Ballot counting starts the week after the election. They'll have to count the ballots by hand, probably, and, without either precincts or online networking, every ballot is essentially going to be provisional. I don't know what method the Elections Council plans to use to ensure that each person only casts one ballot, without compromising ballot secrecy.
After the challenges to the recall election procedure (and you know they'll happen), the result may or may not be thrown out. If thrown out, nobody really knows what happens. Is there a redo? Can the Senate meet while we wait for a redo?
Case 2a: The election does not take place on Monday/Tuesday, and the Elections Council convinces the Senate to refuse to meet until the recall election can take place. The Senate does nothing for a while, perhaps helping keep costs down, or perhaps preventing debate in order to keep costs down. A much more organized and valid recall election eventually will take place which may not be challenged. This requires unanimous consent on the part of the Senate, though.
Case 2b: The election does not take place on Monday/Tuesday, and at least one Senator proceeds to try to meet.
Perhaps the Senate will be forced to not meet by the Judicial Council.
Alternatively, perhaps some Senators will try to prevent the Senate from meeting by not showing up. I don't believe this will work, because a meeting need not have quorum to be called to order. If enough members refuse to show up, though, the Senate can be prevented from carrying out business. All those who don't show up will be absent. I don't think there's much to gain using this approach. After all, any member of the Senate can call the meeting to order, so all it takes is a single Senator for the meeting to take place, even if no business can get done.
In this case, what happens next? Can the recall still be rescheduled? Does it count if it comes late? Again, nobody really knows.
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