Point of View: Leave well enough alone; vote ‘no’ on a constitutional convention
In these inflammatory, divisive, and uncertain times it would be fatal for Alaskans to risk a constitutional overhaul.
By Mossy Kilcher for The Homer News
In 1955, my father, Yule Kilcher, was elected one of 55 delegates to help write Alaska’s Constitution. This had to be done before Alaska could ask to become a state. Delegates from cities and Bush villages representing a wide diversity of beliefs, ideas and experiences, came together toward a common goal. This goal was to achieve statehood in opposition to many Alaskans who preferred territorial status. Because these delegates were united in their mission, they were able to compromise on even the most thorny issues. Regardless of their political affiliations, men and women worked side by side for the benefit of all Alaskans, respectfully and without rhetoric. They learned from each other, honored differences of opinion, and to the best of their ability, crafted solutions that included everyone’s perspective. My father was a liberal and proud of it, having immigrated from Switzerland, which has many parties, not just two. He thought the two-party system inadequate, divisive and prone to extremism. Alaskans being an independent lot, it was difficult for him to convince some members that liberal social programs and laws that benefited the “little guy” would ultimately serve the good of all. Many of his left-leaning views worked their way into the Constitution, as did the ideas of many who thought very differently from him. The result: one of the best, most inclusive and progressive constitutions ever written, and amazingly it took only two months to accomplish!
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