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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 3/12/11

Pro-Worker Movement Power in Wisconsin: What's Next?

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From The Nation
Now that a series of crude power plays -- violations of open meetings laws, restricted debates, denial of access to dissenting legislators, snap votes -- have given Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker a momentary victory in his fight to strip public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights, the governor and his allies are claiming that they are implementing the will of people of Wisconsin.

Referencing last November's election results, which gave him the governorship and control of the legislature, Walker has repeatedly said through the month-long fight in Wisconsin that "the people have spoken" and "the voters have spoken."

And, if we elected monarchs (or "kings for four years," as Thomas Jefferson feared), then Walker's pronouncements from on high might have to be accepted -- at least by those inclined toward a docile citizenship.

But, of course, the United States went with a representative democracy model where elected officials are supposed to at least note and ideally respond to the will of the people.

The clear will of the people of, as confirmed by contacts with the offices of Republican legislators that ran in some cases 10-1 against the governor's proposal, in polls that show less than one-third of Wisconsinites support the governor's approach (and that a clear majority would replace him as governor if they could) and in mass demonstrations that have already drawn hundreds of thousands into the streets and that could draw hundreds of thousands more this weekend.

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

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