By John Ostapkovich
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Voters in Wisconsin go to the polls tomorrow for an almost unprecedented shot at unseating a controversial sitting Governor.
This is not just Wisconsin’s story, says John Nichols of The Nation Magazine and author of the book Uprising, who became convinced that the turmoil in his home state echoes around the world.
“The struggle in Wisconsin is no different than in most other states. It happened to accelerate because the Governor was very aggressive in his assault on union rights, collective bargaining, but the truth of the matter is that public employees and teachers in most states now are in the midst of great battles.”
From the Arab Spring to this dust-up in Dairyland, Nichols sees global factors even in local gripes.
“It isn’t just about issues. It’s also about how we do politics in this new ere of very big money and very fast communications.”
And very short fuses. Gone is the day when we’d wait for the next election. In this case, close to a million people demanded an early one.
“That’s a part of our politics, that notion of going to the street and making demands on government, during the term of a governor, not waiting until it is finished. I think we are in a period where our definition of democracy is expanding and we are thinking a lot more about how ‘We The People’ put pressure on our government.”
Nichols says he expects Governor Walker to survive the vote, but notes that the recall petitions got nearly twice the signatures needed.