A foreign visitor witnessing the months of Capitol protests during 2011 and understanding only a smattering of English might very reasonably have concluded that “democracy” is the word Americans use to describe threats and intimidation against anyone who is unprepared to give us whatever we want, right now.
At least that’s the conclusion the visitor could have drawn from the sight of angry mobs chanting “this is what democracy looks like.” Of course those were mainly union crowds, and now we have additional insight into the public employee union definition of democracy. Last week brought word that a union representing correctional officers has undertaken a lawsuit to prevent its members from voting on whether they want the union to continue representing them.
Annual recertification elections are a requirement of Governor Walker’s Act 10 reforms, and the unions’ peculiar understanding of democracy was on display last week from yet another perspective. While the corrections union sues in Dane County to keep its members from voting, public school teachers from Brookfield, La Crosse, Milwaukee, Racine and Waukesha filed suit in Waukesha County, asking the court to affirm their right to vote on union representation.
The latter case was precipitated by union plaintiffs finding Dane County Judge Juan Colas willing to pretend recertification elections are unconstitutional; that question was before the Court of Appeals.
Meanwhile in Milwaukee, the community organizers of Voces de la Frontera and the unofficial union purporting to represent Palermo’s Pizza workers are inventing excuses not to hold the election they insist they want to have, tipping off the rest of us that the union expects to lose if the workers get to vote.
So now we know: Da unions embrace every aspect of democracy, except majority rule.