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[经济学人] [2011.08.13] End of a fantasy 幻想破灭

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金币

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发表于 2011-8-16 10:55 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
本帖最后由 mylta 于 2011-8-16 08:42 编辑

End of a fantasy
幻想破灭


A backlash against the state’s feisty conservatives fizzles out
抵制本州爱争辩的保守派的行动以失败告终


Aug 13th 2011 | FOND DU LAC, WISCONSIN | from the print edition



IN A neighbourhood of double garages and tightly cropped lawns, a woman stops her car in the middle of the road and leaps out to tell Randy Hopper, her state senator, how strongly she supports the reforms he and other Republicans legislators have championed in Wisconsin. There were not enough such voters to save Mr Hopper, who was turfed out of office in the middle of his term in a recall election this week. But there were enough of them to deny Democrats the majority they were seeking in the state Senate, and to dampen hopes on the left that aggrieved public-sector workers could restore their electoral fortunes nationwide next year.

这片街区的每栋房子都配有两个车库,房子四周的草坪修剪得整整齐齐。一位女士把她的车子停在路中间,快速地下了车,跑去告诉州参议员兰迪•郝波,她是多么支持他和其他的共和党立法者在威斯康星极力推行的改革。郝波先生的任期刚刚过半,本周,在一场罢免选举中从原先的职位上被拉了下来,而又没有足够的选民对他进行拯救。但他们却有足够的选票否决民主党多数派(他们一直寻求在参议院中能够占有多数),降低民主党对于左派的希望,这些受到伤害的公共部门职员明年大选时可以在全国范围内再行使他们的选举权。

In February the Republicans who control the state legislature had tried to push through a “budget repair” bill which aimed to reduce spending in part by severely restricting collective bargaining for the public sector. Government employees were to be stripped of any say in their benefits, while their pay, in future, would rise no faster than the consumer price index. The Democratic minority in the Senate, lacking the votes to block the bill, instead fled the state, depriving the chamber of a quorum. It was only after the Republicans worked out a parliamentary manoeuvre to get around the quorum requirement and pass the collective-bargaining reforms, three weeks later, that they returned, vowing to use every means at their disposal to avenge the Republican assault on labour.

2月份,控制着州立法机构的共和党试图推出一项“预算修正”法案,旨在通过严格限制公共部门的集体采购等行为以减少支出。政府雇员被剥夺了代表自己利益的任何话语权,今后,他们收入的增速不得快于CPI的增速。而参议院中的民主党少数派,缺少足够的选票阻止该法案的通过,于是逃离了本州,使得参会者达不到法定人数。直到三周后,共和党人制订了议会策略,解决了议会对于法定人数的要求,最终通过了集体采购改革,这时,离开的民主党人开始回归,宣称要使用一切可以使用的手段报复共和党人对于劳工的打压。

One of those tools is recall elections, which Wisconsin allows for any public official, provided that they are at least a year into their current term and enough voters sign a petition. The main object of the Democrats’ ire, Governor Scott Walker, had been elected barely three months prior to the beginning of the row, as had all of the state representatives and half of the state senators; they cannot yet be recalled. So the Democrats focused instead on recalling the eight Republican senators over a year into their terms who had voted for the reforms. The Republicans, not to be outdone, decided to try to recall eight Democratic senators who had absconded.

手段之一就是罢免选举,在威斯康星州,任何的公共官员都适用这一做法,只要他们的本届任期已满一年,签署请愿书的选民达到规定数量。民主党迁怒的主要目标是州长斯可特•沃尔克,但他和所有的州代表以及半数的州议员一样,在争论开始之前的三个月刚刚上任。还不能实施罢免程序。于是,民主党人把矛头对准了8位任期超过1年、支持集体采购改革的共和党参议员。共和党也不甘示弱,决定罢免曾经逃离的8名民主党参议员。

The Democrats only managed to drum up enough signatures to force six of the Republicans to face the voters again, on August 9th. Had they won three of those races, they would have gained control of the Senate, which would have allowed them to stymie any new Republican initiatives they disliked. In the end, however, they won only two. Moreover, two Democrats face recalls of their own next week, which could conceivably take the two parties back to square one.

民主党成功争取到了足够的签名,迫使6名共和党人8月9日必须面对选民的投票。如果在这次投票中,民主党能赢得三个席位,他们就将获得参议院的控制权,这样,对于他们不喜欢的共和党的新动议,他们就能有效否决。最终,他们只赢得了两席。而且,两位民主党议员下周也同样要面临罢免选举。相信两党到时又会站在同一起跑线上。

The Democrats argue that it was a victory simply to get sufficient numbers of voters worked up enough to force the recall elections in the first place. The Republican senators whom they took on were last elected in 2008, a good year for Democrats, so were always going to be hard to dislodge. There clearly has been a small swing in the Democrats’ favour since 2008, and a bigger one relative to their dire showing in 2010. But their failure to win a more sweeping victory nevertheless puts paid to their claim that a clear majority of ordinary Wisconsinites find the governor’s agenda too extreme.

民主党认为,能够赢得了那么多激愤的选民,对共和党议员进行罢免选举,单单这一点,就是一个胜利。作为他们对手的共和党参议员都是2008年当选的(这一年是民主党的好时光),要想赶他们下台将会更加困难。很明显,2008年以来,人们对民主党的支持已发生微小的波动。较大的波动与他们在2010的糟糕表现相关。他们没能赢得更多的全面胜利,使他们的要求化为泡影:让大多数的威斯康星民众知道州长的工作计划是多么的极端。

What all this means for the rest of the country is unclear, to say the least. The dispute has definitely riled many in Wisconsin: turnout was much higher than in most special elections. But it was still lower than in a typical presidential year. That makes it hard to infer anything much about next year’s elections, when voters are likely to be more numerous but perhaps less inflamed. One thing seems certain, however: the Democratic fantasy of an irresistible leftward swing among voters outraged by Republican extremism is just that.

至少可以这么说,这些做法对美国其他州究竟意味着什么,还不清楚。很明显,争论使威斯康星州的很多方面变得不再明朗,投票人数比最特殊的选举高出许多,但比典型的总统大选还是低出不少。明年的大选,可能是选民人数众多,但热情不高,因此很难对明年大选作出有价值的判断。但有一件事倒是确定的,民主党想利用左翼普通选民的激情反对民主党保守派的幻想已无果而终。
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