Search This Site
Opinion :: A vote for the question that raises countless more questions
· 1:13pm October 27th, 2010
I wish that people who write government documents would get in the habit of putting legal questions in a way that is more easy to understand.
For example: The Constitutional Convention question on the Iowa ballot.
On the ballot – as required by law – the question reads:
“Shall there be a convention to revise the Constitution, and propose amendments to the same?”
That question raises many more questions than most voters could answer.
One question is easy to answer: Which Constitution? The Iowa Constitution; although the ballot does not say that.
But after that, nobody really knows what would happen if a majority of Iowans vote yes.
“It’s up to the Legislature,” said a woman at the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office.
How many delegates would the Legislature appoint? When would they meet? What guidelines would they use to decide which parts of the Iowa Constitution to revise or amend? What would be the qualifications required of a delegate?
All of those questions are up to the Legislature – the majority of which has not yet been re-elected.
We can assume most incumbents in the House will be re-elected. But not all.
Therefore, it would be accurate to word Public Measure Question 2 this way:
“Should people we don’t know – many of whom have not yet been elected – appoint more people we don’t know to attend a meeting with guidelines that have not yet been set to offer changes to a document that virtually no Iowan has ever fully read?”
Generally speaking, I do not plan to tell you how I plan to vote, or to tell you how you should.
But this is an exception.
I am going to vote “Yes” on the Constitutional Convention question, and here’s why: A Constitutional Convention would at least make more Iowans more aware of what is actually in the Iowa Constitution. This includes all the Iowans who would participate in the Constitutional Convention process.
Monday night philosophizing
Letter to the Editor: Brad Zaun offers better way in Congress