Maryland is not the only state who wishes to hold a ConCon. (Constitutional Convention)
Hawaii and Illinois have the same issue facing their voters for 2010. Pennsylvania is looking to vote on one for 2009.
The Hawaii election and the issue of ConCon is an interesting one. The Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona is running for the Republican slot to be Governor. He has indicated his desire for a constitutional convention will be a significant part of his political strategy. Smart man. Aiona has accused Democrats of undermining the vote to protect the status quo. Voters in the 1980s and 1990s rejected constitutional conventions. The last convention was in 1978.
Hawaii's Constitution states, " The legislature may submit to the electorate at any general or special election the question, "Shall there be a convention to propose a revision of or amendments to the Constitution?" If any nine-year period shall elapse during which the question shall not have been submitted, the lieutenant governor shall certify the question, to be voted on at the first general election following the expiration of such period."
This is very similar to our Constitution and to Illinois'.
Illinois is facing strong opposition in their effort to hold a Convention. It seems both Democrat AND Republicans are going to fight the effort by the many groups who want to hold one.
It seems that to the elected pols, for the people to exercise the power and right they have under the EXISTING Constitutions, is too much for them to handle. Why would elected officials DENY the people their rights?
The RIGHT to just ask the voters if they want to hold a ConCon is indeed a constitutional right here in Maryland. Just as the right we have under "Art. 10. That freedom of speech and debate, or proceedings in the Legislature, ought not to be impeached in any Court of Judicature."
Who would deny us that right? Or "SECTION 1. All elections shall be by ballot."
The RIGHT to just ASK the people if they want to hold a ConCon should not be opposed by the legislature. Any elected official who WOULD oppose our rights can and should be called out as opposing our civil rights under the Maryland Constitution. Would you be ok with YOUR Senator or Delegate telling you they will fight your right to free speech? Your right to assemble? Then why would you be ok with your Senator denying you the right you have to hold a convention?
There ARE a few elected officials who have already said they will oppose any calling for a ConCon.
Why? They will not elaborate.
In calling for a convention we can look at the existing Constitution and see if OFF STREET PARKING really needs to be a part of such a document. Article XI-C OFF STREET PARKING.
Really? Yes. Off Street Parking in the Constitution.
Another has authorized the city to "make or contract to make financial loans to any person or other legal entity to be used for or in connection with the purchase, acquisition, construction, erection or development of buildings or structures, including any land necessary therefor, within the boundaries of Baltimore City, which buildings or structures are to be used or occupied for residential purposes." Article XI-H. We have all seen the "land deals" that the city has been involved in lately. Maybe it is time to remove or alter that provision to hold the city MORE accountable to the citizens of Maryland.
This is an opportunity we have only every 20 years. How old will you be for the next one in 2030? Now is the time to start the process. Now is the time to engage your representatives. Now is the time to hold Annapolis to its obligation under the Constitution to start this process and work to enable this question to be on the ballot in 2010.
What do you think? It is YOUR Constitution and YOUR right. Use it, or lose it.