Voters to decide on constitutional co...

Voters to decide on constitutional convention

There are 29 comments on the Stamford Advocate story from Oct 24, 2008, titled Voters to decide on constitutional convention. In it, Stamford Advocate reports that:

A simple question on Connecticut's ballot Nov. 4 is polarizing advocacy groups, forcing legislators to choose sides and setting off a debate about the very definition of democracy.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Stamford Advocate.

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Barry Haines

Brooklyn, NY

#1 Oct 24, 2008
Glad to see that Governor Rell and House Minority Leader Cafero are on the right side of this issue.

89% of Connecticut residents, as per a 2005 Quinnipiac poll, do not want eminent domain to be used for the purpose of economic development. Our legislators are absolute failures on this issue.

Stamford has a history of eminent domain abuse and a current legislator was centrally involved in the Curley's case.

We need the Constitutional Convention to allow the actual residents of Connecticut to vote on this issue. Allowing developers and others to inappropriately drive legislation is wrong. We can remove some wrongs by allowing actual residents to have their say.

Please vote "Yes" for the Constitutional Convention. Do not allow corruption in Connecticut to thrive.
AFL-CIO

Newtown, CT

#2 Oct 24, 2008
There will be a question on the November 4th ballot for Connecticut voters; "Shall there be a Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) to amend or revise the Constitution of the state?" Vote NO!
The special interests pushing the Con-Con want to re-write our constitution so they can take away workers' rights. Their aim is to force votes on anti-worker ballot initiatives -- like repealing collective bargaining laws, eliminating binding arbitration, and taking away public employees' benefits -- as they have done in other states, like California and Massachusetts.
A Con-Con would also further delay legislative action on important issues like property tax reform and funding for public services. Plus, the Constitution can already be changed by amendment; it has been thirty times since 1970.
The last time voters were asked if a Con-Con was needed, they said NO. We must say NO again this year.
Ralph DV

Warren, NJ

#3 Oct 24, 2008
Let's see what the esteemed legislators in Hartford have given us. A crumbling, outdated I-95 rated by truckers as the worst interstate in the country, a commuter train system that features decrepit, 35-year old trains, the highest state tax on gasoline in the country, school systems that can't measure up to the laughably low No Child Left Behind standards while at the same time refusing to allow school choice, bussing, uncounted thousands of illegal immigrants in virtually every city in our state, oh and don't forget the state tax that wipes out Connecticut's once significant advantage in attracting job creating corporations.

No lets not have a Constitutional Convention that will give THE PEOPLE a say in their governance. After all, the political class are so much better at running things,(with our money) than we could possibly be.

Allowing direct initiative, enabling voters to petition to get issues on the ballot - will bring common sense and reality back to Hartford. No wonder the politicians don't want it, it'll screw up their bookkeeping!
Wally in Stamford

Norwalk, CT

#4 Oct 24, 2008
I go along with Ralph DV and Barry Haines as they have the "spirit" of what a "Con-Con" is all about. If "We the People" can take out the trash, so to speak, in politics then maybe, just maybe, things might improve here in Connecticut. Metro North has invested in its NY/NJ stock but left CT to handle their own, BUT the rolling stock has to be made in NYS since Connecticut HAS NO INDUSTRY ANYMORE THAT CAN MAKE A GARBAGE CAN (example only). Connecticut like the rest of the country has made the profession of Hard, Handmade products a dirty word. The only thing most school kids want to fame, fortune, and an easy job (pushing buttons). So who makes these things they push buttons on? All is made, or 95% anyway, in Asia! Lets get CT back to being a verstile state once more that not only has Hedge Funds but Plumbers, Electricians, Sheetmetal Workers, Artists, carpainters, etc.. Yes, and let the Voters decide, NOT some Union Offical or Politician that is only looking out for his/her next election.
Vox Pop

Plainville, CT

#5 Oct 24, 2008
I have not seen such fear-mongering in a long time.
There is nothing to fear from a new Constitutional Convention. Convention delegates have always been appointed. They must agree on ballot quetions for the voters. And the voters, the people of the state, will either support or reject the proposed amendments, if any should emerge.

Opponents of an open exchange of ideas on possible change have evoked pretty much every red herring of the last five decades, save the return of Hannibal Lecter serving your next meal.

Talk about special interests! Just look at the groups opposing an open forum, and look at the kind of money they're throwing at the effort to block a basic, broad based participation in government. Thre "vote no" ads are all over t-v! Big bucks, indeed, to strangle any possible change.

That Richard Blumenthal would lend his name to this tawdry campaign at gagging a government function involving the people of the State is a disservice and a disgrace. Shame on him!
John Marsalisi-Stamfo rd

Danbury, CT

#6 Oct 24, 2008
The list of those who do not favor a Con-Con appears to hold a lot of folks with entrenched interests who work the politicial system to their advantage of to maintain their incumbency. The unions, Dan Malloy and other elected municipal and state officials. What is wrong with having tax payer iniative's avilable? The General Assemby has not been able to deal with property taxes. The people did a fine job with it in california- by Prop 13. The GA has been totally inadequate on the issue of emminent domain, immigration, marriage and so many others.

Ther is no need to fear any potential changes to labor laws. With the election of Obama to join the Democratic lead House and Senate, you will see the pro union legislation flowing in 2009, even the proposal that eliminates the need to a private vote on unionization is expected to pass.
VoteYes

Boston, MA

#7 Oct 24, 2008
Everyone from Fairfield County should vote YES. Why? Well, how much of our tax dollars that get sent to the state actually get returned to the area? Pennies on the dollar. A convention could change that. The status quo will not.
Vox Pop

Waterbury, CT

#8 Oct 27, 2008
We get this chance once every 20 years!

Let's do it!
Madmanmike

Holtsville, NY

#9 Oct 28, 2008
Its good to see "Vote Yes" signs in the city.
Tom

Bristol, RI

#10 Oct 28, 2008
AFL-CIO wrote:
There will be a question on the November 4th ballot for Connecticut voters; "Shall there be a Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) to amend or revise the Constitution of the state?" Vote NO!
The special interests pushing the Con-Con want to re-write our constitution so they can take away workers' rights. Their aim is to force votes on anti-worker ballot initiatives -- like repealing collective bargaining laws, eliminating binding arbitration, and taking away public employees' benefits -- as they have done in other states, like California and Massachusetts.
A Con-Con would also further delay legislative action on important issues like property tax reform and funding for public services. Plus, the Constitution can already be changed by amendment; it has been thirty times since 1970.
The last time voters were asked if a Con-Con was needed, they said NO. We must say NO again this year.
This arguement is completely moot as the General Assembly has done nothing on property tax reform over the past 20 years. What would make you expect that anything is going to happen?

Look exactly who is against a convention and where their money to oppose this measure come from. There you get your answer. Vote YES!

“Hunter and Proud of it!”

Since: Jan 08

Location hidden

#11 Oct 28, 2008
This from the Attorney General on the subject:

State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is among the leading elected officials urging people to ”Vote No on Question 1? when it comes to convening a state Constitutional Convention.

“The convention proposal is a risky and costly process. The State Constitution is not a document to be rewritten carelessly,” said Blumenthal at a recent press conference.”I believe that voters, if really informed about the risks of this proposal, will vote no. As a matter of policy and wisdom, I hope voters will reject this proposal this November. We should not consider changing liberties and fundamental guarantees without a careful process.”

That careful process, according to Blumenthal, is the current process whereby the State Legislature can put ballot questions before the electorate. In fact, the State Constitution has been amended 30 times since 1974 — without a convention being held.

Blumenthal announced his opposition to Ballot Question #1 on September 17 at a State Capitol News Conference held by the Vote No Coalition which includes Council 4 and a long list of organizations and individuals deeply concerned about the question.

This ballot question doesn’t say anything about who goes to the Constitutional Convention or what will be proposed. Convention delegates can propose anything, without limits. Voters have no say in what is proposed at the convention. The delegates to the Convention will do what’s in their best interest, not the public interest.

Also voicing opposition to the constitutional convention are leading constitutional scholars and elected leaders.“Without some overwhelming need for a constitutional convention, such a convention could easily be dominated by single-issue special interest groups,” said constitutional scholar Wesley Horton.“If zealous groups do not get what they want from the legislature or the governor or the courts, they could put the issue to the convention.”

State Comptroller Nancy Wyman said,“I believe that the ultimate power to create change is in the votes we cast to elect our leaders. This ballot question can too easily serve as a tool for the minority - better known as special interests - to overturn the will of the majority.”

“I support our constitution as written,” Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz has stated.“Any amendments or revisions can be made by the people’s representatives in the General Assembly and then approved by a majority of voters.”

Connecticut teachers, students, and public schools could face similar scenarios if the State Constitution is amended to allow statewide referendums.

If you don't think our schools will be hurt by a Constitutional Convention and voter referendums, watch the video



and hear what happened to Massachusetts teachers and their students."

VOTE NO!!!

You have NO idea the can of worms you will open if this passes!!
Jose

United States

#13 Oct 30, 2008
So If I vote "no" on question 1, I will be favoring gay marriage.

If I vote " Yes " on question 1, Then Im against gay marriage.

vote yes.

“Hunter and Proud of it!”

Since: Jan 08

Location hidden

#14 Oct 31, 2008
Jose wrote:
So If I vote "no" on question 1, I will be favoring gay marriage.
If I vote " Yes " on question 1, Then Im against gay marriage.
vote yes.
They are UN-RELATED, it doesn't matter if your FOR or AGAINST gay marriage, the bottom line is you DON'T want this to be approved!

VOTE NO!!
Vox Pop

Waterbury, CT

#15 Oct 31, 2008
What are you afraid of?

A public debate on change?

A public body deciding which changes, if any,
should go before the people of this State for denial or approval?

The will of the voters?

If that's how you feel about the people who live all around you, start looking out for the black helicopters while you're perched up there in that stand.
Madmanmike

Holtsville, NY

#16 Oct 31, 2008
Vox Pop wrote:
What are you afraid of?
A public debate on change?
A public body deciding which changes, if any,
should go before the people of this State for denial or approval?
The will of the voters?
If that's how you feel about the people who live all around you, start looking out for the black helicopters while you're perched up there in that stand.
Yes a debate would be detrimental to their cause.
Really

Morganville, NJ

#17 Oct 31, 2008
Vox Pop wrote:
What are you afraid of?
A public debate on change?
A public body deciding which changes, if any,
should go before the people of this State for denial or approval?
The will of the voters?
If that's how you feel about the people who live all around you, start looking out for the black helicopters while you're perched up there in that stand.
So you favor mob rule?

Just because a majority of the "voting population" favors something, doesn't make it right.

If a majority of the "voting population" favored segregated schools and voted to amend the CT constitution to allow it, you'd be okay with that?

If a majority of the "voting population" felt it was okay for the government to intrude on a woman's right to choice, you'd be okay with that?

If a majority of the "voting population" felt that it was okay to teach creationism in our public schools as part of a science curriculum, you'd be okay with that?

If a majority of the "voting population" felt that it was okay to restrict a persons civil rights because of their sexual orientation, gender, race or any other reason, you'd be okay with that?

The list goes on...

Vote NO to the proposition if any of the above worry you.
Really

Morganville, NJ

#18 Oct 31, 2008
Madmanmike wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes a debate would be detrimental to their cause.
I'm surprised you're supporting it. You may think it puts more power in an individuals hands, but to the contrary, it puts more power in the hands of the majority of the voting population who may have different ideas on freedom than you do. Be careful what you wish for, and think about the unintended consequences.

Vote NO to a constitutional convention.
Vox Pop

Waterbury, CT

#19 Oct 31, 2008
Really wrote:
<quoted text>
So you favor mob rule?
Just because a majority of the "voting population" favors something, doesn't make it right.
If a majority of the "voting population" favored segregated schools and voted to amend the CT constitution to allow it, you'd be okay with that?
If a majority of the "voting population" felt it was okay for the government to intrude on a woman's right to choice, you'd be okay with that?
If a majority of the "voting population" felt that it was okay to teach creationism in our public schools as part of a science curriculum, you'd be okay with that?
If a majority of the "voting population" felt that it was okay to restrict a persons civil rights because of their sexual orientation, gender, race or any other reason, you'd be okay with that?
The list goes on...
Vote NO to the proposition if any of the above worry you.
"Mob rule?"

Gosh, I guess it's worked pretty well so far.

By the way, this is not a "democracy," from the Greek demos (people) and kratos (rule.)
This is a "republic," from the Latin res (thing) and publius (of the people,) created just to avoid your latest red herring, i.e. "mob rule."

You see the Golem everywhere?
If you're so afraid of your fellow citizens openly pondering the government to which they consent (i.e.,a republic,) you're beginning to sound like someone who'd be more at ease with the "right" kind of autocracy instead. You know, one that declared things you're o-k with, no changes. But history has taught us those with unchecked powers did, indeed, make changes anyway. And they were a lot uglier than your fears.

It's not about what either one of us, or anyone else, is o-k with. It's a part of the process of non-mob rule government to which we're entitled.
father

New Haven, CT

#20 Oct 31, 2008
Really wrote:
<quoted text>
So you favor mob rule?
Just because a majority of the "voting population" favors something, doesn't make it right.
If a majority of the "voting population" favored segregated schools and voted to amend the CT constitution to allow it, you'd be okay with that?
If a majority of the "voting population" felt it was okay for the government to intrude on a woman's right to choice, you'd be okay with that?
If a majority of the "voting population" felt that it was okay to teach creationism in our public schools as part of a science curriculum, you'd be okay with that?
If a majority of the "voting population" felt that it was okay to restrict a persons civil rights because of their sexual orientation, gender, race or any other reason, you'd be okay with that?
The list goes on...
Vote NO to the proposition if any of the above worry you.
All of the protections that you fear may be lost by holding a state constitutional convention are covered by federal law and would remain so.

As a father in this state I do know that my civil rights have been violated by the CT Superior and Appellate courts (and now also the Magistrate court). This is despite progress being made on the legislative front. We desperately need reform and hopefully the convention will enable this to happen. Vote yes.
stamfordium

Bronx, NY

#21 Oct 31, 2008
With the exception of a Presidential election, aren’t all elections "mob rule" where the majority decides the outcome, whether the minority likes it or not?

It would certainly be interesting times should the population of Connecticut shift to vote in segregation or a restriction of civil rights; but even if such a vote were to occur, The US Supreme Court would overrule any such vote.

As to the "woman’s right to choice", a woman will always have the same right to choose as a man does; choose your clothes, your restaurants, choose your candidates in an election. As it pertains to abortion (where a man currently has no rights), if the majority of the people in the state voted in favor of a law that would allow the right of an undeveloped fertilized human to have its life continue rather than it being exterminated by its host, I certainly wouldn’t be in favor of it, but this would not be a violation of anyone's civil rights, and would not be the worst thing in the world. Even better, there are nearby states that still allow abortions, so if it mattered that much to me, I'd move there.

As to teaching creationism, well, I can't really imagine such a shift in the Connecticut populace. But, if it were to happen, and the majority really wanted that, I wouldn’t like it, but it's not infringing on anyone's rights, and I could always leave and move to a state that doesn’t teach such nonsense. Or it could be a good time to exercise my rights as parent and I could talk with my child about things like religion and government, and let them know what's what.

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