Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Vote NO on Constitutional Convention!

The Communist Party of Illinois joins with the entire state labor movement and many education and advocacy organizations (http://protectillinoisconstitution.org/why.html) to recommend a NO vote on the Constitutional Convention.

Certainly there is a temptation to act because of frustration with the current legislative gridlock and the many things in the state constitution that are unfair and unjust. But opening the state constitution to a rewrite at this time opens the labor led people's movement to big dangers.

1. The same forces guiding the political process today in Springfield will likely dominate the crafting of a new constitution, resulting in the same infighting and potential domination by corporate interests and machine interests. The process will be opened for big business, corporate and other anti-labor forces and single issue organizations to sow confusion and change things they have been wanting to for some time.

For example state pension system, right to work legislation, etc.

2. Changes can be made to the constitution through an amendment procedure. In fact some groups already are discussing submitting an amendment to change the state tax system so education funding can be more equitable. This requires continuing to build the labor led movement to elect more progressive elected officials to the state legislature and governorship to make the necessary changes.

3. The process will be quite time consuming and costly - estimated at $80 million and stretching over a couple of years.

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