Overshadowed by the presidential election, Puerto Rico had a vote regarding it's current status as a commonwealth territory. As a U.S citizen I've always found it to be somewhat embarrassing that we continue to have territories dotting the globe with people that are treated as second-class, so this vote interested me greatly. Plus the possibility of a new state is pretty cool in my opinion. Hasn't happened before in my lifetime, so it's all-around neato. Similar votes have happened before and were flatly rejected, so I really didn't hold much hope for a major shift. Still, the idea of trying to sneak in another star on that blue banner intrigued me.
The vote had two parts: The first part simply asked if they wanted to keep their commonwealth status, surprisingly the vote was 54% against. The second part was actually a three choice vote. Did they want to become a U.S. state, and independent nation, or a freely associated state (the latter seeming to me to be pretty much the same as a commonwealth). 61% of the votes were for a U.S. state!
WELCOME TO THE U.S. OF A, PUERTO RICO!
Oh, shit. Wait. There's more. Apparently that's a big pain in the ass and nobody wants to do that.
So it turns out that a little over half of the people who voted on the ballet left the second part blank. They voted on whether or not to change the status quo, but didn't vote on what change would take place. This is being reported as a failure of the vote because it didn't receive a majority.
Wait. 61% is clearly a majority. It's actually considered a HUGE majority.
Nope, nope, nope. Almost half a million people who voted left it blank so their voice wouldn't be heard. The vote has failed.
If you leave part of your ballot blank IT'S THE SAME AS NOT SHOWING UP TO VOTE!!!!! Five million registered Republicans decided to stay home this year, does that put Obama's reelection in question?
Let's look at this closer. 46% of the voters didn't want a change anyway, so it stands to reason that they didn't complete the second part. Some of the voters who did want a change may have been unsure of what change they wanted, so they left it to their fellow voters to decide. Some might have just missed that part, or maybe they misunderstood. Whatever. Okay. Fine. You know what? Let's just throw out the statehood part if it pleases (since it seems to please the press). Regardless of how much of a big pain in the ass this is to Congress, to the president, to the press, and to flag manufacturers, FIFTY FOUR PERCENT OF THE VOTERS DECIDED THAT PUERTO RICO CAN NO LONGER BE A COMMONWEALTH!!! No matter what it cannot remain as it is simply because it's convenient to the powers that be.
To do otherwise is a fat middle finger to the people of Puerto Rico.
6 years, 8 months ago
10 Nov 2012 14:49 CET