On the November 7th election you will see three statewide ballot proposals if you live in New York State. Proposal 1 is the most controversial of the three ballot measures. NY Proposal 1 is the “Constitutional Convention Question“. It is an automatic ballot measure (that appears every 20 years) as opposed to the other two which were bipartisan measures passed in both the Senate and the Assembly.
There is no question on whether or not the New York State Constitution needs a revision. The question lies in whether or not the method of selecting the delegates is appropriate. Governor Andrew Cuomo and many other members of the New York State Democratic Caucus oppose the delegate selecting method. The Mayor of New York City, Bill De Blasio, and the State Assembly Minority Leader, Rep. Brian Kolb (R) support the ballot measure. The measure states that three delegates per New York State Senate district be elected as well as 15 at-large delegates.
Arguments Against NY Proposal 1
Governor Cuomo has stated publically:
The way it will work is you’ll probably elect assemblymen and senators as delegates. And the unions will probably fund the campaigns. And you may make the situation worse, not better.
While I disagree with the Governor on literally every stance he has, he might have a point here. But the fact that a large majority of the elected officials currently in office currently oppose NY Proposal 1 for this very reason certainly makes a statement. The Governor and the rest of the Democratic establishment have no faith in the average New York Voter.
Look At The Campaign Finance: An Argument For NY Proposal 1
Over 4 million dollars was spent to campaign for NY Proposal 1. Nearly 3 million dollars of the 4 million was spent to campaign against the proposal. The New York State United Teachers alone spent $622,000 (that’s 1/5 of the entire “Vote No” campaign contributions) on the “Vote No” campaign. A lot of money was spent to get voters to vote no on the proposal. A constitutional convention vote only comes once every 20 years and it’s highly unlikely the career politicians in Albany will vote in favor of another convention anytime soon.
My final words on the subject are as follows: If you think New York needs a change then go ahead and vote yes. Chances are the “No” voters will win. As of October 31st, the No’s are in the majority according to Siena polling. I for one, agree with the New Paltz Oracle when it comes to the issue:
This entire debate boils down to the level of faith one has in the Convention’s protective mechanisms and the integrity of the average New York voter. A constitutional convention is a huge opportunity for positive reform, but it involves putting decades of already-established reforms at risk.
I, for one, will be voting yes on the issue. I have faith in the people of the State of New York.