《经济学人》:幻想的终结
日期:2011-08-18 10:44

(单词翻译:单击)

Wisconsin’s recall vote
威斯康星州的罢免

End of a fantasy
幻想的终结

A backlash against the state’s feisty conservatives fizzles out
对本州暴躁保守派的反抗终于失败

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.

在有两个车库、草坪修剪非常整齐的街区,一位妇女将车停在马路中间,从车中走出来,告诉州参议员Randy Hopper,她是多么坚定地支持他和其他共和党立法人拥护的威斯康星州的改革方案。像这样挽救Randy Hopper的选民并不多,本周的罢免选举中,Randy Hopper在任期内被扫地出门。但是否决民主党的选民到处都是,民主党是州参议院寻求的大多数,而且抑制左派希望,权利受损的公共部门的员工可以帮助民主党明年在全国范围重获多数选民支持。

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.

二月,控制州立法机构的共和党试图促成一项“预算修复”的法案,该法案是通过严格限制公共部门集体协商工资达到减少开支的目的。政府公务员将被剥夺对福利的任何要求,而将来工资增长速度将没有消费者物价指数增长的快。参议院的民主党少数派缺乏阻止该法案的投票人数,反而离开了该州,使投票不能达到法定人数。三周后共和党采用议会策略绕过法定人数的要求,并且通过了集体协商工资改革。直到这时民主党才回来,发誓将使用一切手段报复共和党对劳工的剥削。

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.

这些方式之一就是罢免选举,倘若在当前的任期内至少一年而且有足够的选民签署请愿书,威斯康辛州允许罢免任何公职人员。民主党恼怒的主要目标是州长Scott Walker,他是在争吵开始三个月之前刚刚当选州长,所有的州众议员和一半的州参议员也都是上任不到一年,他们不可能被罢免。因此,民主党取而代之地投票罢免上任超过一年且投票支持改革方案的8位共和党参议员。共和党,不会甘拜下风,决定试图罢免已经潜逃的八名民主党参议员。

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.

民主党只能设法鼓动足够的人签署请愿书来迫使六名共和党人于8月9日再次面对选民。只要民主党赢得其中的三次竞选,他们就能获得参议院的控制权,这将使他们能够阻止共和党提出的任何他们不喜欢的新改革方案。但是,最后他们只赢得了两次竞选。而且,两名民主党人将于下周面对他们自己的罢免选举,可以想象出这将使两党回到原点。

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,仅仅获得足够数量怒气冲天选民支持,以迫使罢免选举,这就是胜利。民主党罢免的共和党参议员是由2008年最后选举产生的,2008年对民主党来说是丰收的一年,因此罢免共和党通常比较困难。自2008年,民主党的偏好很明显存在微小的分歧,更大的分歧与是2010年糟糕的表现有关。但是民主党没有赢得彻底的胜利,不过他们不再继续声称:威斯康辛州普通大众中明显有大部分人发现州长的议程太极端。

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.

退一步说,所有的这一切对美国其他地区有什么样的意义尚不清楚。两党之间的争议明显激怒了威斯康辛州的民众:出席者比任何特别的选举都要多。但是人数仍然比典型的选举年的人数要少。这对于推断明年选举情况很困难,当选民们人数更多但激情更少时。但是,有一件事情似乎已经确定:民主党幻想着被共和党的极端主义激怒的选民中,偏向左翼的趋势是不可阻挡的,但这仅仅是幻想而已。

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重点单词
  • controln. 克制,控制,管制,操作装置 vt. 控制,掌管,支
  • budgetn. 预算 vt. 编预算,为 ... 做预算 vi.
  • blockn. 街区,木块,石块 n. 阻塞(物), 障碍(物)
  • iren. 忿怒 vt. 使发怒
  • avengevt. 为 ... 报复,报仇
  • extremeadj. 极度的,极端的 n. 极端,极限
  • electionn. 选举
  • dampenv. (使)潮湿,使沮丧,泼凉水
  • senatorn. 参议员
  • swingn. 摇摆,改变,冲力 v. 摇摆,旋转,动摇