Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Constitutional convention popularity growing

From the NY Times:

Those calling for a convention say it would be an opportunity to wipe clean Albany’s greasy political slate. Some conservative backers hope to create a process for citizen-initiated referendums in New York, similar to that of California and other states, that would provide a permanent check on new taxes. Liberal proponents have other priorities, like new constitutional guarantees of health care or abortion rights.

Others would go even further: Rick A. Lazio, the former congressman, has called for using a convention to abolish the State Senate entirely, leaving New York with a unicameral Legislature.

“There are real political reform issues that ought to be decided, and a convention could do that,” said Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky, a Westchester Democrat and a longtime advocate of a convention.

Including a convention held in 1777, when delegates gathered in White Plains to write the first draft of the New York Constitution, New York has had nine conventions. Some produced what are now hallowed features of New York’s social contract, from the 40-hour workweek to Article XIV, the so-called forever wild provision that limits development in the Adirondacks.

But voters have been less open to change in recent decades. The last convention, held in 1967, ended with a whimper: When several proposed changes to the constitution were later submitted for voter approval, as required by law, each was defeated.

In 1997, voters rejected having a convention at all, urged on by a strange-bedfellows coalition of environmentalists, labor unions, and conservative activists. Those opponents were joined by the leaders of the Senate and Assembly, who wield enormous clout in Albany under the existing rules.


Suzannah B. Troy artist said...

We need some kind of reform that is for sure.

Until we get it we need tv cameras that are covering the inner goings on from Albany to City Hall on tv and internet 24/7 days a week and a jumbo screen with 24 hour/7 day a week coverage of how politicians arrogance is costing tax payers mega bucks in Albany and based on the ON GOING corruption scandal at City Hall in to City Council and staff members there too.

I wanted to vote in the primary but because I am independent I can't which I think is wrong. I was told by a city council candidate I could change partys 25 days before the primary. He was wrong.

I did fill out the form -- thought I would pull a Mike Bloomberg who changes partys more than his underpants but Sept. 16 I am sending in my form to return to independent so for 25 days I was a democrat.

We need major reforms.

Anonymous said...

Anything is better than what we have. I say go for it!

Anonymous said...

The last day to register/re-register to vote to be able to vote in the Sept. 15 primary was last Friday, August 21. The candidate needed to have told Ms Troy the deadline date, not number of days.