Thursday, December 4, 2008

Yes, but

Rep. Diego Benavente's proposal to hold CNMI elections in even years makes sense, but isn't it a little late?

Local elections have historically been held in odd years, while the newly-created Washington Delegate is elected in the federal even-year cycle.

Maybe I need a lawyer's help here, but it seems that the Governor, Lt. Governor, Senators and Mayors will be elected in 2009 with the current four-year term provided under the Constitution. Can a Constitutional Amendment during the same election change that term to three years?

Let the legal scholars decide, but it sure would have been cleaner for the amendment to be on the ballot last month. Of course, the Legislature got tied up deciding whether it was a regular election. Not so coincidentally, dangerous ideas (to incumbents) like a part-time legislature and elected Attorney General couldn't take effect until 2012. That AG initiative has been kicking around for years, but it always gets buried in committees.

There's still some question about Mayors and Municipal Councils, too. Especially on Saipan, where frequent flyer and Mayor Juan Tudela is doing his best to prove he's not needed.

At least the Mayor of the Northern Islands has a productive marriage mill going, though I'm always amused that an acting Mayor is appointed when he makes a trip up north.


Lil' Hammerhead said...

It would seem like some type of determination would need to be made prior to the election. You bet the winner of the election is going to challenge any 3 year term.

cactus said...

I kind of like having the regular election and the delegate election in different years. Maybe we can see both federal and local issues more clearly when we are not trying to look at both of them at the same time.

And, to the extent that some of the same issues are inevitably going to be involved in both elections, the results can play off each other in a kind of ongoing electoral conversation. For example, we will already have an idea of how a given governor is doing on federal-related issues before deciding whether to elect a delegate who takes the same or a contrary approach, and vice versa.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

...or we could just have elections every other year.