Opinion: Opposite sides agree that a constitutional convention is a bad idea

(Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)

Approving a constitutional convention would be very bad for Alaska.

By Kate Troll and Jim Clarke, Juneau Empire

Everyone who knows us also knows that we generally don’t agree on political matters. In fact, we are commonly on opposite sides of the table when it comes to natural resource matters.

But there is one thing on which we do agree — approving the constitutional convention, on which Alaskans will vote this November, would be very bad for Alaska no matter where you stand. For conservation-minded folk it risks tampering with the sustained yield principle contained in Article VIII of Alaska’s constitution. For the development community it risks business turmoil as now settled principles of law could be thrown open again and new taxes on industry sought to pay for “pie in the sky” ideas.

Moreover, were there to be a constitutional convention it would be very different from that held in Fairbanks in 1955. Fifty-five Alaskans gathered with the common purpose of preparing a model constitution. The delegates recognized that the document they were preparing had to convince Congress that Alaska was ready for statehood. So, they worked together to make it the best. And they succeeded!

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