No on constitutional convention

The Alaska State Capitol, photographed on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021 in Juneau. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

By Mike Hostina

A constitutional convention would encourage horse-trading with Alaska’s foundation and future. It would inevitably be a negotiation involving numerous special interests. Like any negotiation in which interests are adverse and common ground is lacking, the resulting document is not likely to be a model of clarity or public policy. Because in a convention all provisions of the Constitution can be re-written, support or opposition to each can be leveraged to broker support for other changes supported by only a minority of delegates. As a result, any document approved by a convention is not likely to serve the overall long term interests of a majority of Alaskans.

Why is this the case? A present day convention has no overarching, unifying, goal such as creation of a model governance document required for statehood. In 1956, the goal of statehood encouraged subordination of special interests and drove consensus for the common good. Of course we are already a state, and have a fundamentally sound constitution. That leaves special interests as the proponents and drivers of a constitutional convention.

Read More: Anchorage Daily News