Recently, Governor Walker of Wisconsin, who has a reputation of being anti-union, won a recall election against him, keeping his seat. Those opposed to Walker claimed that democracy had lost and those supporting Walker responded that democracy should have lost because republics are safer and more stable. Even before the election took place, Walker supporters lamented the use of recall elections, preferring to limit voting only to the end of terms. When people realize they will be stuck with the same guy until next cycle, they will make decisions more carefully, they reasoned.
I’m so confused. I thought this election was about Governor Walker limiting the power of public-sector unions, which are inherently anti-democratic. In other words, democracy won…
What am I talking about? Unions in the private sector are useful to protect the employees and keep employers in check, but when the employees of the government unionize, it means a small number of people (the union members) can hold the government hostage until they get their way, thwarting the will of the community as a whole as enacted by their representatives. This is the textbook definition of an oligarchy, not a democracy.
It may very well be that small deviations from pure democracy to keep the government in check are healthy, whether they take the form of term limits, checks and balances, supermajority legislation, or unionized employees; I’m not saying that they aren’t. All I’m saying is that if Governor Walker acted to limit the power of public-sector unions, which are inherently anti-democratic, then Governor Walker is on the side of democracy. When Walker’s opponents and supporters alike claim that democracy lost, when he actually won, they are all speaking nonsense. They miss the bigger picture. It leaves me confused and wondering…which side am I on?
Hi, I'm Dan. I like chocolate, hiking, and politics.