- Politics and Social Issues
The Impact of Recalling Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin
The date for the recall election for Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin has not yet been identified but it is an election which exhibits the conflict between government and unions. Unions are necessary to our economy in terms of representing employees when issues arise but the reduced percentage of members as has been reported are less of a force than in the past.
It is important for voters in Wisconsin to remember the state of the economy in Wisconsin before Governor Walker and the state of the economy today.
Citizens of states are not always going to agree with their Governor and they have a right to initiate action they see fit to address those concerns if they are legal. In this case the recall efforts are legal as defined in the Wisconsin Constitution. Wisconsin along with other states has looked at the cost of maintaining the status quo and as a result difficult changes were required. It is also important to remember that a Governor cannot create legislation, the legislature has this responsibility.
Past actions of the union organizations attempted to recall some elected officials in an effort to change the balance of power. This effort failed to accomplish the goal it established and as a result the initiative to recall Governor Scott Walker began as their next target. A recall election is not held often and the votes will be interesting to see what decisions voters will make. The impact of the recall being successful has not been fully covered in the news media but it could turn the economy upside down. The focus seems to be on negative ads concerning collective bargaining rights by the proponents of the recall and not on the positive changes the state has witnessed since Governor Walker took office. Negative seems to be the focus of opponents to issues while positive seems to be the approach on those favoring issues. This is normal.
Citizens of states are always going to have disagreements with a Governor it is what they do about them that makes the difference. In this case the disagreements by those who support the union position resulted in the recall petition. In recent days issues have surfaced concerning some signatures on the recall petition as representing a conflict of interest. One of the responses to this report is they have a right to sign the petition which is an accurate statement.
One important aspect of being a citizen in this country is the right to our opinion. Recall petitions are never a pleasant experience but they are an aspect of the democracy in which we live. Some see the recall petition as an effort to force their opinion on others who do not feel as they do. This may be true to some degree but the recall effort is creating a perception they want citizens to develop.
The election of Governor Scott Walker and the true impact it has had on the state of Wisconsin is an important aspect for all voters to understand. This includes those supporting him and those involved with the recall initiative. One clear fact involves the financial stability of the state. It was facing a deficit in the budget and Governor Walker balanced the budget without raising taxes. The knowledge of whether the state is better off with Governor Walker or not is a decision the voters of Wisconsin will need to decide. Citizens of each state have certain rights and one of these is the right to recall elected officials provided the process for doing so is defined in their state Constitution as it is in this case.
One last point to make involves the influence being exerted by organizations and individuals who do not reside within the state of Wisconsin. Unions represent a segment of our history which has seen positive changes within the business community with relation to worker rights. The influence they have had in the past benefited the country and they may benefit us in the future, it depends on their focus and the methods they use. Several unions appear to be involved in the current recall effort as a result of changes the legislature and Governor have accomplished. While union leaders voice their actions for recall it does not necessarily mean that each union member is supporting the recall petition. It may be true that union members signed the petition but how they vote will be private. Often times leaders try to speak for their organizations but it does not mean what they are saying is supported by every individual in the organization. Like other states facing the same fight it will be the voters who will have the final say. I am not denying that unions today have positive advantages in raising issues but the tactics being used by some, not all; do not project a positive image.
Individuals who may be considering joining a union may have second thoughts while others may agree with the methods being utilized. The point to be made is unions need to project a positive image to all individuals. The perception of a bad reputation for a union is difficult to turnaround. Individuals tend to remember the bad reputation an organization may have created while the good is overlooked. ENRON is a prime example of an organization that affected many individuals and today that reputation is remembered when their name is brought up in a discussion. This is not the kind of perception unions should want to achieve.