An online publication devoted to educating citizens about politics and government in Michigan


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rewrite the Michigan Constitution?

Michigan voters, in a little over three weeks must decide from either starting from scratch and rewrite the state constitution or to leave it as it stands.

This proposal appears on the ballot every sixteen years since our current version was adopted in 1963, due to the contents the Michigan voters are given this chance for a new constitutional convention to convene.

Secretary of State Candidate Scotty Boman said that, “Don’t be Con-Conned. The make up of the convention would resemble the legislature. The Michigan constitution has been amended on several occasions by citizen initiatives precisely because the legislature has failed to comply with the wishes of the majority of voters.”

With this in mind the hard work and effort by many Michiganders to amend the Michigan Constitution could be in vain because these delegates will have the power to remove such initiatives and the hard, long process of amending the constitution will have to restart from the ground level and work up.

Another possible down side is for the delegates to not only leave certain aspects out of the constitution, but also add things or change them for their personal or party’s benefit, such as changing how the state Supreme Court Justices are elected or a change in term limits.

Other possible downfalls for the approval of Proposal 10-1 include time and money. It will take over a year to convene the delegation and millions of dollars for the process to be completed.

Fellow Michigander, Melanie Inman, takes that into account in her belief when she stated, “No. That’s just a waste of time. They have better things to be doing, like helping out the economy.”

The last two times that this option appeared on the Michigan ballot, in 1978 and 1994, the proposal was defeated, yet with the drive for change and betterment in our current society to ease the trouble of today, that mentality could expand to approving this proposal.

As Michigan’s economy continues to struggle and new ways are being contrived to revamp the society and give the people a way to start over, a new constitution may be helpful.

By starting from scratch the antiquated system has a chance of adding ideals and policies that were left out 48 years ago, such as allowing the definition of marriage to be broadened or making it easier for the people to help decide on important issues.

When asked, fellow Ypsilanti resident, David Wilson, commented that, “I think that Michigan should do a lot of different things. I think a new constitution would help a lot.”

Other policies can be added to be more form fitting of where Michigander’s ideals are. A supporter for this is current Michigan governor, Jennifer Granholm.

Whether Michigan voters perceive the old constitution as antiquated and in need of change with the time, or if they want to keep new policies from changing what seems to be working for Michigan, then show they will have a chance to make their opinion count with their vote on Nov. 2.


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