Citizens Want a Constitutional Convention

Member Group : News Releases

A new Franklin & Marshall College Poll released today, January 27, confirms what most citizens already know, and what most political leaders are trying hard to deny. 78% of us think our government needs reform, and 72% think a Constitution convention is the way to do it.

Click here for the complete poll, which features races for governor and U.S. senator.

These results mirror a lack of confidence in the performance of state lawmakers.

Question:"What kind of job do you think the state legislature is doing overall?"
Response: No one thinks the legislature is doing an excellent job. 74% think lawmakers are doing only a fair or poor job. Only 16% think lawmakers are doing a good job, although that represents a 1% gain since the question was asked in October.

Question:"Generally speaking, do you think Pennsylvania’s state government needs reform,
or not?"

Response: 78% yes. 13% no. 9% don’t know.
Question:"How strongly do you feel about this?"
Response: 91% strongly or very strongly. 8% not strongly or not strongly at all.
Our Questions:
• Which gubernatorial candidates will get the message of this poll and begin to campaign on an integrity platform? On a platform that includes the referendum for a Constitution convention?
• Why are our political leaders so out of touch with the people they are supposed to represent? Whose interest does that serve?
• It’s been four and a half years since the Pay Raise of 2005. Why have there been no real improvements in so many aspects of public integrity?
Perhaps the responses to the next set of questions give a clue:
Question:"Which of the following areas of state government do you think need to be reformed?"
• The way campaigns are financed. 78% yes. 13% no. 9% don’t know.
• The structure and operations of the state legislature, including the size of the legislature and the need for term limits. 76% yes. 12% no. 12% don’t know.
• The way state and local governments are financed. 76% yes. 11% no. 13% don’t know.
• The way state legislative districts are created. 47% yes. 26% no. 27% don’t know.
• The way the state’s appeals court judges are selected. 45% yes. 26% no. 29% don’t know.
It is remarkable that so many citizens have such strong opinions, even about relatively esoteric issues.
Question:"Pennsylvania’s constitution establishes the fundamental law of the state, ensuring basic rights to citizens, outlining the structure of state government, and providing rules by which state legislators are elected and how they conduct the state’s business. The state’s current constitution was adopted in 1874 and the last constitutional convention was held in 1967. Would you favor or oppose a state constitutional convention to review the state’s constitution?"
• 45% Strongly favor
• 27% Somewhat favor
• 10% Somewhat oppose
• 10% Strongly oppose
• 8% Don’t know
Either lawmakers are completely deaf to their constituents, or they are consciously determined to maintain the status quo. Only two lawmakers, Barbara McIlvaine-Smith, D-Chester, and Bryan Lentz, D-Delaware, have signed the petition for a referendum this November where citizens can decide whether to have a Constitution convention. If the 253 lawmakers reflected the poll results, 182 of them would have signed the petition by now.
Please keep spreading the word about the petition. Forward this edition of DR News wherever you can, including to your lawmakers. Write letters to your newspapers.
Citizens deserve the chance to decide whether they want a Constitution convention.
If you haven’t already signed the petition, click here.
We can do this. We really can.

Why wait ’til May or November?
Vote for Integrity now and help DR work toward the Constitution convention we need.

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