I don't know what the motivation of the State Representatives is when it comes to right to work. It could be a grudge match that they are finally willing to throw down on. It could be that both sides just truly believe that right to work is such an important issue that it's worth stopping all other business for. I only know one thing for sure...they sure aren't battling it out because the people of the state give a crap...because we don't.
Don't get me wrong. There are some extremely vocal supporters on both sides of the issue. And I'm not saying I don't have my own opinion on right to work, because I do. But an independent survey on the issue by Ball State's Bowen Center said that, for the most part, we Hoosiers simply do not care about right to work.
The survey shows that approximately the same number of Hoosiers are for right to work as are against it. Both those numbers come in right around 25% (27% for, 24% against, within the surveys margin of error.) The remaining half of us? Well they either don't know or don't care about the issue.
What's that mean for those representing us at the Statehouse? I suggest it means they better get their acts together and either and pass or shoot down the bill - and quickly. With this many Hoosiers apathetic to the issue, anything that happens on behalf of this bill that slows down or halts other legislation will simply be considered intolerable.
It's only been three days right now, but there is currently no end in sight for the Democratic walkout. Democratic Minority Leader Pat Bauer has made several statements indicating that there is no current plan for the Dems to leave the state, or that the walkout will last as long as the one last year. Simultaneously, signs of hope for their return are currently few to none. They are demanding the GOP agree to several statewide hearings on the issue, but there has been no indication from Speaker Bosma that he is willing to put the vote on the back burner while such hearings take place.
The Democrats have since announced that they will have their own hearings on the issue. There has not been any statement as to whether they will return after they are completed. One would assume that they would, but depending on the time frame of those hearings, it may be too late for their careers.
Simply, if the Representatives on both sides continue this childish fight for very long at all, the large number of Hoosiers that don't care about the issue will vote accordingly. Not against Republicans. Not against Democrats. They will vote against incumbents. If the Representatives cannot, for the second year in a row, reach enough compromise to even get business started, then this election year will be one full of kicking people to the curbs.
I'd like to add that there's something almost good about this...almost. Politicians being so committed to an ideal they believe is truly for better of all, and willing to risk their jobs in support of that ideal (on both sides), is a rare thing. I don't believe for a second though that either side is so committed to their side because of some great feeling of the better good. Let's be real about this...this is nothing but politics as usual.