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View Full Version : U.S. Issues Puerto Rico will vote on the statehood question again this year.


alnorth
02-07-2012, 09:43 PM
ELECTION NIGHT UPDATE:

Statehood is winning by a very strong margin with 70% reporting.

Will Mitt Romney's Embrace of Puerto Rican Statehood Play in Florida? (http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2012/01/30/mitt-romney-will-puerto-rican-vote-give-him-florida/)

Gingrich Promises Puerto Rican Statehood, Cuban Spring at Orlando Event (http://reason.com/blog/2012/01/28/gingrich-promises-puerto-rican-statehood)

This is a little-known issue that most people don't know about, but could abruptly surface as a really big deal early next year.

Puerto Rico is currently a commonwealth of the United States, and for the past 113 or so years the US has been trying to get them to decide their island's future (we've asked them, repeatedly, to either ask for independence, or apply to become a state, they are too big to remain a territory forever) We have other little dinky tiny territories of military significance like Guam, but nothing anywhere else close to the population and economy to credibly ask for statehood.

There are many differences between being a commonwealth and being a state, but basically the two big ones are: 1) they have no voting representation in congress and cant vote for president, and 2) They are exempt from paying federal income taxes, though they still pay medicare and social security. Obviously, if you are fine with having no autonomy and not voting, that sounds like a pretty sweet deal, P.R. gets most of the support, federal funds, and benefits of a state, without the federal taxes.

They have voted 3 times in their history on what they want their island to do. The first time "do nothing and remain a commonwealth" won overwhelmingly back in the 60's, but in 1993 a lot of people on the island wanted to apply for statehood, they voted, and statehood just barely lost. (49% stay a commonwealth, 46% apply for statehood, 5% seek independence). They voted again in 1998, and again statehood barely lost, getting 47% of the vote.

This November, 14 years after the last vote, Puerto Rico is going to vote again, and the pro-statehood governor has managed to rig things a little more cleverly this time. They will have 2 questions on the ballot, the 1st one will be "stay a commonwealth or seek a change?" The 2nd question, which becomes effective if change wins, will present 3 options: "seek independence, seek a free association, or apply for statehood". The thinking here is that the few percent of nutty independence-seekers will join the statehood vote to win on question one for change, then the commonwealth people, not wanting independence or a free association, will vote statehood.

If that happens, then sometime in 2013, Puerto Rico will probably formally petition the congress and the president to become the 51st state, and, having seen the people of the island vote to do that, our government will probably have to act. Maybe impose some requirements and a long 8-year or whatever waiting period like Alaska and Hawaii went through, but they wont be able to just flat ignore a request for statehood from a US territory that has more people than 22 other states, and that would be large enough to have at least 4 representatives in the house.

Could be interesting. If you are wondering about politics, they claim to be split. Their governor (who endorsed Romney) is republican, and their elected non-voting member of congress is a democrat.

alnorth
02-07-2012, 09:46 PM
By the way, the free association option, which probably has no chance of winning, is almost independence but not quite. They would become a sovereign nation, lose a ton of the support and funding we send them now, but enter into agreements closely binding them to the US on trade, defense, etc, which we could cancel at any time and tell them they are on their own. This arrangement would be similar to Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau. They wont do this, because Puerto Ricans born in the future would then lose their birthright US citizenship, which they highly value.

HonestChieffan
02-07-2012, 09:54 PM
Why do we want them as a state? Just more welfare

Chocolate Hog
02-07-2012, 09:59 PM
Why do we want them as a state? Just more welfare

I find this ironic from the guy who gets government subsidies.

alnorth
02-07-2012, 10:05 PM
Why do we want them as a state? Just more welfare

The poor people in PR already get almost everything a poor person in KS can get, and they don't pay federal income taxes for it.

We've also seen what happened to a very poor island in the Pacific when they got statehood, and I don't think PR is as poor as they were.

HonestChieffan
02-07-2012, 10:34 PM
I find this ironic from the guy who gets government subsidies.

I dont.

HonestChieffan
02-07-2012, 10:35 PM
The poor people in PR already get almost everything a poor person in KS can get, and they don't pay federal income taxes for it.

We've also seen what happened to a very poor island in the Pacific when they got statehood, and I don't think PR is as poor as they were.

PR = Hawaii?

Chocolate Hog
02-07-2012, 10:36 PM
I dont.

Of course you don't you're a typical Republican. Government handouts are bad unless they are for you.

FD
02-07-2012, 10:39 PM
Why do we want them as a state? Just more welfare

:facepalm:

BucEyedPea
02-07-2012, 10:41 PM
As a designer I don't like how the stars on the flag will layout. Be weird. I say no to statehood.:harumph:

La literatura
02-08-2012, 08:18 AM
It sounds exciting.

blaise
02-08-2012, 08:31 AM
I would think most people there wouldn't want to be a state. They have their own identity now, I don't think I'd be rushing to just be #51.
I don't know much about Puerto Rico, though.

Direckshun
02-08-2012, 11:59 AM
Puerto Rico votes this down in droves every time.

Why shouldn't they?

They get all the federal benefits (except voting in American elections) and pay zero federal taxes.

They even vote in both parties' primaries.

patteeu
02-08-2012, 12:09 PM
Is Puerto Rico a slave state or a free state?

Direckshun
02-08-2012, 12:10 PM
Is Puerto Rico a slave state or a free state?

Indentured servitude.

BWillie
02-08-2012, 12:13 PM
I don't really understand Puerto Rico. It's like the US, but not really...what benefit do they get if they DO become a state.

patteeu
02-08-2012, 12:15 PM
I don't really understand Puerto Rico. It's like the US, but not really...what benefit do they get if they DO become a state.

Senators with names that end in "z" like Gomez, Ramirez, Martinez, and Fernandez.

blaise
02-08-2012, 12:35 PM
"I'm Puerto Rico! HO!"

Thig Lyfe
02-08-2012, 01:50 PM
I usually vote straight Shark but there are a few Jet candidates who interest me this year.

whoman69
02-08-2012, 02:59 PM
I don't really understand Puerto Rico. It's like the US, but not really...what benefit do they get if they DO become a state.

What benefit do we receive from keeping them as a commonwealth? Sounds like they're getting the free lunch. They should either be a state or declare independence.

whoman69
02-08-2012, 03:00 PM
Senators with names that end in "z" like Gomez, Ramirez, Martinez, and Fernandez.

Already have that in Florida. Racist much?

alnorth
02-08-2012, 03:01 PM
Puerto Rico votes this down in droves every time.

Why shouldn't they?

They get all the federal benefits (except voting in American elections) and pay zero federal taxes.

They even vote in both parties' primaries.

Uhh, you are wrong. Statehood barely lost by low single digits the last 2 votes.

The primary issue for their dominant party in PR is statehood. Its pretty easy to imagine them voting for it.

blaise
02-08-2012, 03:04 PM
Already have that in Florida. Racist much?

Oh, now it makes sense. You don't like Curb Your Enthusiasm. This post.

You have no sense of humor.

blaise
02-08-2012, 03:06 PM
If you wanted an offensive Puerto Rican post it would be something about getting 8 of them into a voting booth.

patteeu
02-08-2012, 03:08 PM
Already have that in Florida. Racist much?

Florida senators don't represent Puerto Rico. And neither of the senators from Florida have a name ending in "z" anyway.

blaise
02-08-2012, 03:13 PM
Florida senators don't represent Puerto Rico. And neither of the senators from Florida have a name ending in "z" anyway.

I don't think Puerto Rican is a race, either. It seems to be a failure all around.

WoodDraw
02-08-2012, 05:32 PM
They're already US citizens and are pretty much treated as a state in most situations. It makes sense. If they choose statehood in the referendum, I think Congress will act pretty quickly to set them on a path to statehood. But there will be some awkward situations, especially over their seats in the house (a couple states will end up having to give up a seat) and I guarantee you over spanish being such a dominant language.

Honestly though, I'm impressed with most politicians on the issue. We'll see if it survives the election. I think it'd be good. A little diversity is always good, and hey - it's pretty cool to add a new state.

mikey23545
02-08-2012, 05:54 PM
Senators with names that end in "z" like Gomez, Ramirez, Martinez, and Fernandez.

Already have that in Florida. Racist much?

It's a word that ends in e, called a joke...You fucking boob.

BucEyedPea
02-08-2012, 05:57 PM
They're already US citizens and are pretty much treated as a state in most situations. It makes sense. If they choose statehood in the referendum, I think Congress will act pretty quickly to set them on a path to statehood. But there will be some awkward situations, especially over their seats in the house (a couple states will end up having to give up a seat) and I guarantee you over spanish being such a dominant language.

Honestly though, I'm impressed with most politicians on the issue. We'll see if it survives the election. I think it'd be good. A little diversity is always good, and hey - it's pretty cool to add a new state.

But what about our Flag?

alnorth
02-08-2012, 05:58 PM
They're already US citizens and are pretty much treated as a state in most situations. It makes sense. If they choose statehood in the referendum, I think Congress will act pretty quickly to set them on a path to statehood. But there will be some awkward situations, especially over their seats in the house (a couple states will end up having to give up a seat) and I guarantee you over spanish being such a dominant language.

Honestly though, I'm impressed with most politicians on the issue. We'll see if it survives the election. I think it'd be good. A little diversity is always good, and hey - it's pretty cool to add a new state.

If no one wants to give up a representative, they could just increase the size of the house.

Up until around 1920 they passed a law to increase the size of the house after every US Census, usually after a lot of haggling and arguing (since they know if they increase it just to X, these states will get new reps, but at X+1, this other undesirable state will get a rep, etc). Early last century they got in a huge fight over what number they should increase the house to, they couldn't agree, so in the stalemate they left the number at 435. (They also did not reapportion the seats, in direct violation of the constitution) After the 1930 census, they again couldn't agree on how to change the size of the house. After that, they basically said "screw it", and left it at 435.

whoman69
02-08-2012, 06:01 PM
Florida senators don't represent Puerto Rico. And neither of the senators from Florida have a name ending in "z" anyway.

Mel Martinez was senator from 2005-2009

BucEyedPea
02-08-2012, 06:01 PM
Lawton Chiles, Bill Nelson, Connie Mack.... hmmmmm?

WoodDraw
02-08-2012, 06:04 PM
If no one wants to give up a representative, they could just increase the size of the house.

Up until around 1910 they passed a law to increase the size of the house after every US Census, usually after a lot of haggling and arguing (since they know if they increase it just to X, these states will get new reps, but at X+1, this other undesirable state will get a rep, etc). Early last century they got in a huge fight over what number they should increase the house to, they couldn't agree, so in the stalemate they left the number at 435. (They also did not reapportion the seats, in direct violation of the constitution) After the 1920 census, they again couldn't agree on how to change the size of the house. After that, they basically said "screw it", and left it at 435.

I might be getting my history wrong here, but I believe after one of the last two states was admitted, they temporarily raised the house size until the next census and then reapportioned. Maybe that could be a solution. But I don't see a permanent rise - like you said, it opens everything up to a huge political mess.

whoman69
02-08-2012, 06:05 PM
It's a word that ends in e, called a joke...You ****ing boob.

Its not very funny asswhipe.

alnorth
02-08-2012, 06:07 PM
Just looked it up, apparently the law that was passed to set the number at 435 also was designed to handle new states, and was used for Alaska and Hawaii.

When a state is admitted to the union, they immediately get their rep (or reps), and the house size is temporarily increased above 435. After the next census, it goes back down to 435.

So, if Puerto Rico were hypothetically admitted now, they would probably get 4 or 5 reps, and the house would be temporarily at 439 or 440 members, until after the 2022 election. (Also, we'd temporarily have 439 or 440 electoral votes, which was another reason why increasing the size of the house was hard, the parties could do the math and realize which states would get electoral votes)

edit: actually, we'd temporarily have 544 or 545 electoral votes, forgot about D.C. and the senate, including the 2 from PR. We'd then have 540 electoral votes after 2022, and a majority would be 271 instead of 270

LiveSteam
02-08-2012, 06:18 PM
Its not very funny asswhipe.

Yes it was

patteeu
02-08-2012, 06:47 PM
Mel Martinez was senator from 2005-2009

So what?

jiveturkey
02-08-2012, 07:40 PM
But what about our Flag?

That shouldn't play a role in a decision like this.

alnorth
11-06-2012, 11:33 PM
Bump

Statehood is winning by a very strong margin with 60% reporting. If it wins, PR will probably petition the government to become the 51st state. With their population, if the US admitted them, they'd get at least 6 congressmen, and 8 electoral votes.

ClevelandBronco
11-06-2012, 11:41 PM
Shit. So much for Plan B.

alnorth
11-07-2012, 12:02 AM
http://www.ceepur.org/REYDI_NocheDelEvento/index.html#en/default/OPCIONES_NO_TERRITORIALES_ISLA.xml

Statehood up big with 70% reporting.

WoodDraw
11-07-2012, 12:16 AM
There's a question before that though, and they're voting no to changing the status quo.

http://www.ceepur.org/REYDI_NocheDelEvento/index.html#en/default/CONDICION_POLITICA_TERRITORIAL_ACTUAL_ISLA.xml

[edit]
or wait, did I fuck that up? Are that voting no to the current status?

listopencil
11-07-2012, 12:42 AM
There's a question before that though, and they're voting no to changing the status quo.

http://www.ceepur.org/REYDI_NocheDelEvento/index.html#en/default/CONDICION_POLITICA_TERRITORIAL_ACTUAL_ISLA.xml

[edit]
or wait, did I **** that up? Are that voting no to the current status?


http://www.ceepur.org/REYDI_NocheDelEvento/reydiimages/otros/si.jpg

pr_capone
11-07-2012, 12:50 AM
I don't want them to become the 51st state.

alnorth
11-07-2012, 01:01 AM
There's a question before that though, and they're voting no to changing the status quo.

http://www.ceepur.org/REYDI_NocheDelEvento/index.html#en/default/CONDICION_POLITICA_TERRITORIAL_ACTUAL_ISLA.xml

[edit]
or wait, did I **** that up? Are that voting no to the current status?

First question is whether they want to keep their current status. That is losing.

WoodDraw
11-07-2012, 01:04 AM
First question is whether they want to keep their current status. That is losing.

Yeah, I just pulled up a local newspaper there. I messed up. Shit memory, etc.

Sorry.

alnorth
11-07-2012, 01:09 AM
There is a potential monkey wrench here. (well, aside from the US Congress saying "no thanks", which actually might not be the case they have been wanting PR to vote on their status)

There is a significant minority of people, less than the pro-statehood side, but still a significant minority, who wants to keep their current status as an unincorporated territory. Since they were cut out of question 2, most of them refused to vote on question 2. If you count the ballots that left the 2nd question blank, the pro-statehood vote was only 45%, which would be a plurality but not a majority.

If the congress wants an excuse to deny PR, they could point to that. Or, if they were looking for an excuse to admit PR as a state, they'll just ignore it and give them some kind of long several-year path like Alaska and Hawaii, where they need to do several things, probably including teaching more english in school.

WoodDraw
11-07-2012, 01:18 AM
Yeah, regardless of what happens here - it's going to be years before this happens. At least it'll become a discussion though.

alnorth
11-07-2012, 01:22 AM
Yeah, regardless of what happens here - it's going to be years before this happens. At least it'll become a discussion though.

Romney getting slaughtered in the latino vote, coupled with the fact that the governor of PR is a republican and the non-voting member of congress is a democrat, may make it easier. Many in the GOP might be eager to admit what could possibly be a purplish latino state, and the Dems probably wouldn't be opposed.

WoodDraw
11-07-2012, 01:32 AM
Romney getting slaughtered in the latino vote, coupled with the fact that the governor of PR is a republican and the non-voting member of congress is a democrat, may make it easier. Many in the GOP might be eager to admit what could possibly be a purplish latino state, and the Dems probably wouldn't be opposed.

I doubt the Republicans are in a big rush to have a any negative hispanic votes right now. Especially when I think most of their candidates came out for it.

A lot of this will depend on local politics in Puerto Rico, which I must admit, I'm completely ignorant of. We'll hear more as stuff dies down here.