Constitutional Convention Concern,
No Urgent Need for Constitutional Changes,
Debate on a Constitutional Convention Heats Up: from CT News Junkie
(09/24/2008) -- This November voters will be asked: “Shall there be a Constitutional Convention to amend or revise the Constitution of the State.” It is an important question for the state of Connecticut. The Board of Directors and staff of the Connecticut Conference want to ensure that the members of our churches understand exactly what that vote will mean.
Posted here are a number of articles and explanations providing an overview of the impact of a Constitutional Convention. We encourage you to take the time to understand what this vote means before you enter the voting booth on November 4.
The Connecticut constitution has a long and proud history, earning our state the nickname, the Constitution State. Constitutions are meant to provide order, stability and balance in government. This foundational document, which has served our state so well, is not meant to address hot button issues of the day. The state constitution has been amended 30 times since 1974 – without holding a taxpayer-funded convention.
Since the last Constitutional Convention was held in 1965, Connecticut voters have consistently determined that public policy issues should be deliberated and decided in the legislative process, where bills are scrutinized by committees of cognizance, subjected to public hearings, debated and ultimately signed or vetoed by the Governor. Indeed, it is in the legislative process that all sides of the issue are explored, its relationship to other matters of public policy considered, negotiations between opposing sides conducted and compromises and changes of wording made – all by those accountable to voters through election.
Representatives elected directly by the people in general elections may always amend the constitution through the legislative process. A Constitutional Convention, in contrast, is composed of individuals selected not by voters and citizens at large but by members of the General Assembly for whatever reason they may deem advisable, including lobbyists, partisans on particular issues, and others with no accountability to voters. Convention delegates can propose anything, without limits.
We encourage all members of our churches to educate themselves about these issues in order to vote intelligently according to their own consciences on November 4. The leadership of the Connecticut Conference has chosen not to take a formal stand on this issue, but rather to raise awareness on some of the issues involved, and to offer the educational materials on the web.