If the best the teachers can come up with is to demand the recall of Liberal MLAs, their cause is lost.
Kamloops-Thompson Teachers Association president Jason Karpuk thinks some sort of recall campaign should be mounted because of Bill 22, the legislation dealing with the teachers' strike.
"It's time that we start trying to force them to step up to the plate and call an election," Karpuk said, without providing anything in the way of details as to how this recall effort was going to come about.
Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake replied, "I guess I'm a little bit surprised he thinks MLAs should be recalled for doing what they think is the right thing to do. It sounds like a bit of a desperate statement for Mr. Karpuk."
Good for Lake for even bothering to respond - he should have just ignored it.
Lake knows a thing or two about recall campaigns. He was the subject of one over the HST. It started will lots of fire and determination a year ago. A group of volunteers went around for weeks collecting signatures, seeming to be getting close to the magic number, and then it fizzled like a Roman candle.
The organizer, Chad Moats, for reasons that remain unclear, shredded the petitions.
The "total recall" campaign was a magnificent failure across the province despite being an offshoot of an anti-HST movement that fired the coals of dissent and had the support of people from all walks of life. Fight HST succeeded in forcing a referendum on the hated tax, and then triumphantly won the referendum.
Teachers, on the other hand, are fighting an up-hill battle trying to get the public on their side. There are at least as many people who think teachers need to be taught a lesson or two as there are those who believe their cause is just.
To start recalling MLAs, they'd have to mobilize a broad cross-section of the public first to their own battle stations, then to recall, and that's not going to happen.
But then, Karpuk knows that. His talk of a recall campaign is just so much jabberwocky. Recalls, like demands for resignations, are pretty much meaningless in this province. Of two dozen attempts, not one recall has succeeded.
They're a nice, democratic-sounding idea, but they were never meant to be a means of bringing down a government. We elect governments to govern. There's a common view that, short of widespread and clearly identifiable corruption within the ruling party, using recall to drum MLAs out of office isn't fair ball.
True, recalls are a theoretical mechanism by which constituents can fire an MLA who has incurred the disfavour of constituents. It's also true that the Recall and Initiatives Act doesn't put limitations on the reasons, but the day an MLA can be fired simply for voting with his or her government on a legal though perhaps unpopular piece of legislation, democracy is in trouble.
Karpuk knows that, too. It's a waste of breath. No matter whether you believe in the teachers' fight, are a teacher yourself, or think they're way over the top in their demands, talking of recall is nothing more than adding to the already thick catalogue of rhetoric that has been written during this dispute.