The Conservatives here in the United Kingdom have taken several pages from the Republican Party playbook. Following an election campaign predicated on fear, they’ve broken the shackles that the Liberal Democrats allegedly constrained them with and are now free to enact their agenda unfettered.
One of the first items is to enact legal hurdles to industrial action. Instead of a majority of those submitting ballots for a strike action, “a strike affecting essential public services will need the backing of 40% of eligible union members under government plans” with a minimum 50% turnout. To quote the new Business Secretary, Sajid Javid:
We’ve seen, including in the last five years, strike action that took place where perhaps only 10% to 15% of the members of that profession actually voted for it, and that’s not right, it’s unfair, especially when it comes to essential public services.
This is pretty rich considering the Conservatives translated 36.9% of the vote into an absolute majority of the seats in the House of Commons, thus achieving (for the time being) an elective dictatorship in the inimitable words of Lord Hailsham (pictured). Yet, this was based on a turnout of 66.1%.
In other words, the Conservative government has derived its mandate from a mere 24.3% of the eligible electorate.
Again, our Business Secretary:
By increasing the thresholds it will certainly increase the hurdles that need to be crossed, but that’s the right thing to do, it’s the fair thing to do.