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We Don’t Need No Secret Ballots…

by Tom McClintock [politician] 8/29/07

If there was any doubt about the anti-democratic nature of the political Left, consider the case of SB 180 by Carole Migden, which just passed the Senate on a party-line vote on its way to the governor. SB 180 replaces vote by secret ballot for farm worker organizing elections with a process euphemistically called “card-check,” in which a ballot can be thrust in front of a worker by any one at any time.

Here’s what I said on the Senate floor:

“The simple question I would pose to the author is, “What is it about the right to a secret ballot that bothers you?”

Tom McClintock

Mr. McClintock is an expert on matters of the State budget and fiscal discipline. He is a Senator in the California State Legislature and ran for Governor in the 2003 recall election. His valuable website is found at http://www.carepublic.com/blog.html[McClintock index]

“That’s exactly what this issue comes down to: the right of every worker to hear both sides of a question and then – in the privacy of a voting booth free from coercion, intimidation or recrimination – the worker is free to cast his or her ballot according to his or her own conscience and best judgment.

“This right assures that whatever the pressure – whether from the employer, the union, the supervisor, the shop steward, even the spouse – that the workers, in the private sanctity of the voting booth, can cast their own votes according to their own best lights – without worrying how it will affect employment or friendships or working relationships.

“This is the absolute, fundamental pre-condition for ANY democracy – NOBODY can look over your shoulder while you cast your vote. NOBODY.

“This measure utterly guts this fundamental principle upon which all free societies are based. It provides that one side can cajole, pressure, threaten, plead, and demand that a worker cast his or her vote while surrounded by other like-minded individuals.

“I’ve heard it said that this is no different than signing a petition for a ballot measure or a candidate. No, it is fundamentally different. Signing a petition does not commit you to vote for a measure. People can be pressured to sign a petition – they cannot be pressured to vote against their own conscience and judgment -- so long as the private sanctity of the voting booth is maintained.

“This measure rips down that bulwark of freedom … for farm workers today; for others, no doubt, just down the road.

“This is despotism in its pure form. An election in which somebody is looking over your shoulder as you cast your vote is no election at all. It is a sham.” CRO




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