Local Connection: Voting for Change

Local Connection: Voting for Change
Updated: Aug. 14, 2018 at 2:49 PM HST
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The primary election Saturday produced few surprises and reinforced some of the unfortunate facts about Hawaii's political climate.

Less than 40 percent of registered voters cast a ballot. That's worse than the primary four years ago. We are in no danger of losing our reputation as one of the worst voting states in the nation.

It won't get much better in the general election when people realize there are only a handful of contests worth turning out for, given the weakness of Hawaii's Republican party. Some 36 Democratic lawmakers will take their seats at the legislature without general election opposition.

That fact that Governor Ige could come from so far behind to win probably had less to do with his strength as a leader or a candidate as it did with Colleen Hanabusa's inability to express herself as different.

During Hawaii News Now's coverage, we heard from a number of respected current and former leaders who agree on one thing: Something has to change in order to restore a two-party state.

That's why voters should turn out in the general election to vote for a long-needed constitutional convention. A con-con is the only way to get around our entrenched legislature to enact real reform. Things like term limits, multi-member districts, or voter initiatives — like they have in many states.

Sadly, the money in the con-con vote is all on the side of powerful unions who will do anything to prevent a convention, which would inevitably target their power.

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