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3timer

51 stars?

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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.

What?  

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.

WHAT?????

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.
Viewed: 68 times
Added: 5 years, 11 months ago
 
squirrelfox
5 years, 11 months ago
As an American citizen, all I have to say is this: seriously, when the fuck are we going to make Puerto Rico a state???
MystBunny
5 years, 11 months ago
Nothing congress does surprises me anymore.
vixenchan
5 years, 11 months ago
AS a Commenwealth, Puerto rico gets all the benefits and perks of being a part of the USA, you dont need a passport to move between the US and Rico. They get our money, and when something bad happens they get us bailing them out. Yet as a Commonwealth they get there own flag own identity and field there own teams for international events. now tell me  this. Why would they want to give up all that, and as you said if the fit hits the shan in the US they can just break off and be alone.

so okay they dont get the vote on US govermental things, yet they can just ignore the bits they dont want.
3timer
5 years, 11 months ago
Puerto Rico gets almost zero representation in Congress yet they live under U.S laws without the benefit of Constitutionally guaranteed liberties.  Currently they have one nonvoting representative.  As a state they would get two Senate seats plus seats in the House based on population.  That would give them the ability to introduce, and vote for laws as opposed to simply living under them.  They would also have more control over their own commerce, industry, and state level social programs.  They would get higher consideration for federal funding during disasters and for infrastructure.  

Plus they get a star on the flag.

Also, Puerto Rico can't simply "break off".  The U.S owns them as spoils of war.  Just as Congress would have to approve of their becoming a state, they would have to approve of their independence as well.  

In reality, the vote has very little weight.  Congress can ignore it if they want, but they risk further alienating people who already feel like butt monkeys to the U.S.  
FoxonTheFox
5 years, 11 months ago
As an english guy.. im one of those people who couldnt care less about the commonwealth. But 61% is not a political majority. Unlike in the states. It doesnt account on proportional representation therefore 61% isnt a majority. Secondly people have the right to vote and therefore a critical assesment of the bias usa view is not needed. However freedom of speech is tollerated x
3timer
5 years, 11 months ago
Jeez!  It's been over 200 years, get over it already!

JK ;p

We've already explored that the 61% isn't a majority of the voters.  However, 54% did vote for a change.  The vote didn't need to be an overwhelming majority, just a simple majority.  We can't get around that.  If it's statehood, great.  If it's independence, that's great too, I'll support that wholeheartedly.  

"Secondly people have the right to vote..."

If your vote is ultimately meaningless, do you really have the right to vote?
FoxonTheFox
5 years, 11 months ago
If more people voted one way then it would have gone that way and therefore the vote meant something. If no one voted.. well there wouldnt be a vote but they did and they voted into an unclear majority in which the USA finds difficult. I personally would vote for stateship but once again freedom to vote is the idea that people do vote whatever the outcome. They voted. They will have another vote. Haha and im not even 19
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