Thatcher likely paved way for Wisconsin collective bargaining changes

CREATED Apr. 8, 2013

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Scroll through the image galleries for photos of Margaret Thatcher, courtesy NBC News.

MILWAUKEE - A Wisconsin political expert says Margaret Thatcher helped pave the way for many of the controversial political changes we have been through recently in Wisconsin. 

"In terms of changing views of how government relates to the economy, and unions within it," said Political Scientist Charles Franklin, who serves both at Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin.

Thatcher passed away Monday after a stroke.  She served as British prime minister for 11 years.

He explained that Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher are the two people primarily responsible for the rebirth of conservative politics. 

Franklin told Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Jon Byman her style likely provided the early inspiration for the controversial collective bargaining changes we recently went through in Wisconsin.

"In Thatcher's case, it was partly a change in economic policies in Great Britain, a much tougher approach to unions which have some resonance here now," Franklin said to Byman.

Thatcher's views on the role of government in the economy has a lot of parallels to the views driving state government in Wisconsin today. 

Click here for a timeline of Margaret Thatcher's life, and click here for more coverage from NBC News.