OPINION: Vote To Keep Louisiana Elections, Gov’t Employment Pure
Written by Jeff Sadow - originally published in The Hayride
For many Louisianans, the only reason to vote on Dec. 10 comes in the form of constitutional amendments, where deciding their merit is more complicated than first appears.
Amendment #1 – would prohibit allowing non-citizens to vote in elections in the state. None can in state or local elections currently in Louisiana, but a handful of cities across the country allow it. This would make the prohibition ironclad.
Typically, constitutional provisions should exist only when essential to operating a representative democracy; otherwise, statute is their rightful place (if that). Many such in the Louisiana Constitution aren’t, but this one is. There’s nothing more fundamental to the health of a republic than to ensure voting integrity, where even one counted vote not properly cast by an American citizen and resident of that jurisdiction is an intolerable injury to all Americans. It’s best to rule out the possibility of future mischievous majoritarian branches permitting noncitizens to vote in elections at any level without the people’s approval. YES.
Amendment #2 – would add state Senate confirmation to gubernatorial appointees to the State Civil Service Commission. The six-member panel has its members chosen from nominated slates of three by each of the six private college presidents in the state, apportioned so that each congressional district has a resident named. (State classified employees select the seventh member.)
This method attempts to insulate the SCSC as much as possible from political pressure (also, they serve fixed terms, staggered), as government personnel administration ideally doesn’t respond to politics and politician. It can’t completely cordon itself off, and some analysts argue it shouldn’t, but that’s the idea behind Louisiana’s system.
As such, throwing another 39 politicians into the mix makes the process of global personnel systems governance more political. If politics does creep into the current system, inducing more in an attempt to induce potential countervailing forces doesn’t fix things, it only adds to politicization. The current method isn’t the greatest, but this change would erode that even further. NO.
Amendment #3 – would add state Senate confirmation to gubernatorial appointees to the State Police Commission. The six-member panel has its members chosen from nominated slates of three by each of the six private college presidents in the state, apportioned so that each congressional district has a resident named. (State classified police employees select the seventh member.)
The LSPC essentially mirrors the SCSC in form, content, and intent. For the same reason as #2, this amendment is deficient as well. NO.