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Writing a constitution

November 14, 2009

Re "Convention dissension," Opinion, Nov. 9

Patrick Collins' anti-convention commentary rests on two shaky tenets.

First, he says that the more diverse the convention is, the more partisan it will be. Does he think a convention chosen by the Legislature would be more likely to rise above self-interest?

Then, he quotes James Madison crediting America's successful 1787 Constitutional Convention to the extraordinary circumstances of the Revolutionary period.

One could take this to mean we should wait until California is in the dumpster before acting.

A better quote to consider comes from Alexander Hamilton. The task, he said, was to "decide whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend, for their political constitutions, on accident and force."

David Dietrich


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