The pro and con sides of an unconventional Constitutional Convention controversy lined up, and in a balmy room at the UIC campus, they acted out a purely distilled version of a very old American debate: that between the progressive view of democracy, and a conservative view of democracy.
Organized by the UIC United chapter of the State Universities Annuitants Association (SUAA), a panel debated the pros and cons of the once-a-generation Constitutional Convention vote on Tuesday night. Representing pro were populist Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn and ethics crusader state Representative John Fritchey (D-Chicago); on the con side were former state Senator, comptroller, and gubernatorial candidate Dawn Clark Netsch and League of Women Voters official Kathryn Nesburg. Over two hours of debate and question-and-answer led to a neat and simple line between the two sides:
Pro: If we have a constitutional convention, we could make things better.
Con: If we have a constitutional convention, we could make things worse.