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Proceedings and Debates of the 1967 Constitutional Convention
Volume 104, Volume 1, Debates 14   View pdf image (33K)
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ment now before us? The Chair recognizes
Delegate O'Conor.
amendment of Delegate Sickles lucid and
explanatory. I think it has a good effect on
one man rule.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Chairman of
the Committee.
now pending before you was the same one
that was introduced by Mr. Sickles at the
meeting of the Committee where again,
with great lucidity and considerable ear-
nestness, he argues in its behalf. The feeling
of twenty-one members of that Committee,
however, was that they were unconvinced.
In the first place, neither Mr. Sickles nor
anyone else in this room can cite any
precedent in a prior successful Constitu-
tional Convention where that system was
used. In fact, where the triumvirate was
used in Missouri in 1938, and in Michigan
in 196 Iand '62, it gave rise to considerable
problems. In Missouri, just, as Judge
Henderson suggested would be the case
here. there were considerable two to one se-
lections of committee members, with the two
vice-presidents outvoting the president. In
Michigan, the president left the appoint-
ment of the committee chairmen and mem-
bers to a triumvirate of three vice-presi-
dents. two Republicans and one Democrat.
It should come as no surprise that not a
single Democrat became a chairman of any
standing committee in the Michigan Con-
vention; from the days of Pompeii, Caesar
and Brutus, right up to present times, the
triumvirate theory is no way to run an
organization, and it is certainly not a way
to run a Constitutional Convention that has
three, possibly four months in which to do
its work. There is a place for democracy,
also a place for executive leadership. The
Enabling Act says nothing about vice- -
presidents. It speaks of the president, who
is to be the chief officer, and if we elect
the right chief officer, and if he does his
]ob well, he will consult with his vice-
presidents. It would be inconceivable to me
that any reasonable man enjoying the con-
fidence of this delegation and this Conven-
tion and elected to the highest office we
can bestow upon him would be so indiffer-
ent to the feelings, to the views of the
many talented people who sit at these desks,
including the two men who would be elected
vice-president, that he would not consult
with them. I suggest this amendment is a
departure from the rule of practically all
bodies; any organization I have ever been
associated with, if you elect the president
and have confidence in him, you permit
him to pick the committees. Here we have
changed and recommended that the vice-
chairmen be elected, which is a democra-
tizing influence, but in the end it has to be
the president who is going to show the
course of this Convention, and if we have
confidence in the men we elect, it is an in-
sult to adopt this amendment. I urge its
THE CHAIRMAN: The Chair recog-
nizes Delegate Gallagher.
dent, ladies and gentlemen, the Rules Com-
mittee will remember that Friday night
when we discussed this issue, we attempted
to inject an element of more liberal democ-
racy by providing that each committee
would elect its own vice-chairman, and I
feel, as has been expressed by the other
speakers against this amendment, if we
start out with a man who has at least 72
votes and has the confidence of the majority
of this delegation for this Constitutional
Convention, that we can expect fair and
reasonable treatment. I never heard when
I was a member of the House of Delegates
that the Speaker, or that the President of
the Senate was ever unfair in allocating
committee chairmanships or memberships
to committees.
I feel that this Convention has so little
time with so much work, that we simply
cannot allow personalities to become in-
jected, because if it's a two to one decision,
the person who gets the one vote is going
to feel somewhat put out, somewhat at ease,
and we're going to have ten sets of per-
sonality conflicts starting from the be-
I urge you, therefore, to reject the amend-
ment and put your faith in the president of
this Convention by allowing him after con-
sultation to appoint the chairmen, and then
allow each committee to elect its own vice-
chairman. I join with Delegate Scanlan in
urging that the amendment be rejected.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Chair recognizes
Delegate Weidemeyer.
ident, members of the Convention, I have
always been willing to yield to the will of
the majority, and it seems that the majority
here very strongly were opposed to any
secret sessions, any secret ballots, even
for the voting of officers of the Convention.
I am in sympathy with the amendment that
has been offered here. It has a far-reaching
effect on the organization of this Convention

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Proceedings and Debates of the 1967 Constitutional Convention
Volume 104, Volume 1, Debates 14   View pdf image (33K)
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