Mark Spengler and Diane Aoki square off on the ballot question
October 21, 2008 – Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
After Thursday’s mayoral candidate forum at Kealakehe High School, a short debate was held on whether or not Hawaii should have a constitutional convention. Holding the so-called ConCon will be a question for voters to decide on the November 4th ballot.
Moderated by Sherry Bracken, the point / counterpoint event featured the views of ConCon supporter Mark Spengler, and ConCon opponent Diane Aoki.
A constitutional convention would allow the people of Hawaii to propose a revision of, or make amendments to, the state constitution. The existing constitution allows voters to decide if such a convention is necessary every 10 years. The last one was in 1978, thirty years ago.
If the voters decide to hold a ConCon, delegates would be elected to pose amendment questions which would be voted on by the people of Hawaii. Issues that could be dealt with range from education and energy, to sunshine laws for government. The ConCon would be no earlier then 2010.
Opponents feel it is too costly and could hamper union efforts to organize effectively. Proponents say the costs are overstated, and that it is a good exercise in democracy.