Monday, April 14, 2008

The simple, straightforward and self-evident case for a Con-Con

Rich has a great column this week about how the ongoing “civil war” between Madigan, Jones and Blago is threatening to cripple Springfield for another long year. It’s hard to see how, in light of this, anyone can argue that our great state’s constitution doesn’t need at least a little tweaking.

The purpose of a constitution is to establish the rule of law and safeguard against the corruptible rule of man. In other words, a constitution exists to limit the harm that a single corrupt or incompetent individual (or individuals) can inflict upon the state by placing limits on their power.

Under our current constitution, the Governor and legislative leaders have amassed so much power that a personal feud between them has completely gridlocked the entire state government. Yes, we can always choose to not re-elect the same Governor, and we can choose to elect legislators who will depose the current leaders of each chamber. But when elections become more about checking the power of an office’s current occupant, they become less about ideas and issues.

A good constitution would allow us to always cast our votes based on “who is the right person for the job” and/or “who will support the best solutions to the problems facing our state,” not “who is least likely to let personal conflicts with other office holders get in the way of the people’s business.” A good constitution ensures that, even if one office holder does have a personal conflict with another, the state doesn’t have to wait until after the next election cycle to become functional again.

Illinois clearly does not have a good constitution.

We deserve a better one.

We need a better one.

7 comments:

Balance,  10:00 AM  

What specifically would you propose be changed to "fix" this perceived problem?

grand old partisan 10:26 AM  

First and foremost, I would prohibit any rep/sen from serving more than a combined total of 8 years as Speaker/President or minority leader. This will ensure that the legislature remains a deliberative body of all the people's representatives and doesn’t become anyone’s fiefdom.

I would also limit the Governor to two terms and replace the amendatory veto with a line item veto only for appropriations.

Anonymous,  12:24 PM  

Death Penalty for those that violate the Constitution?

Article III., Section 3 - Illinois State Constitution.

"All elections SHALL be free and EQUAL."

They don't follow the Constitution now, what makes you think they will if there is a new one?

Anonymous,  6:23 PM  

Listen to Bruno Behrend, KRKS Radio http://www.wkrs.com/
expert on Con Con.

Watch the TV show on Con Con with attorney Frank Avila and Fox news personality Anisa Peraica interview Bruno Behrend.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=300535816486113029&q=Anisa+Peraica+con+con&total=1&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0&hl=en

Hugh 9:49 AM  

A good constitution would allow us to always cast our votes based on “who is the right person for the job” and/or “who will support the best solutions to the problems facing our state,” not “who is least likely to let personal conflicts with other office holders get in the way of the people’s business.”

we can already do what you want, because if someone has the kind of personality that is susceptible to letting personal conflicts interfere with their job, then they are not the best person for the job and it doesn't matter what solutions they offer

Hugh 9:56 AM  

"First and foremost, I would prohibit any rep/sen from serving more than a combined total of 8 years as Speaker/President or minority leader."

the leadership's clout is ceded to them by the membership, not from the constitution

Hugh 10:04 AM  

" ... prohibit any rep/sen from serving more than a combined total of 8 years as Speaker/President or minority leader."

the GA can do that now with a rules change if there was the will.

"Each house shall determine the rules of its proceedings"

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