Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

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Will it?

Yes
2
10%
Probably- it seems to be heading that way
4
20%
I don't know
3
15%
Probably not, but it seems like the most likely candidate
5
25%
No
3
15%
Kittens should be a state
3
15%
 
Total votes : 20

Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

Postby Symmetry on Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:36 pm

One set of votes that seems to have gone unmentioned:


Puerto Ricans showed support in a non-binding referendum to change the island's status as a U.S. territory, preferring to become the 51st U.S. state even as they ousted their pro-statehood governor from office, according to official results on Wednesday.

Puerto Ricans faced two questions in a status vote on Tuesday, with the first asking if Puerto Rico should keep its current status as a self-governing commonwealth.

Nearly 54 percent of voters said no, while 46 percent chose to remain a commonwealth under which Puerto Ricans living on the island are U.S. citizens. They cannot vote for president, however, and are represented by a non-voting delegate in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The second question asked voters, regardless of their answer to the first question, to choose their preference among three non-territorial options - U.S. statehood, independence, or a sovereign free association with ties to the United States.

Statehood gained 61 percent of the vote versus 33 percent for sovereign free association, under which terms of the relationship between a sovereign Puerto Rico and the United States would be detailed in a new pact. Independence received more than 5 percent support.
But nearly one-third of the total votes cast left the answer to the second question blank and were not included in the vote tally. With those ballots counted, support for statehood was calculated to be closer to 45 percent, analysts said.

The referendum was backed by Republican Governor Luis Fortuno of the New Progressive Party which supports statehood.
On Wednesday, he conceded defeat in Puerto Rico's gubernatorial race after narrowly losing his re-election bid.

Fortuno's main rival was Senator Alejandro Garcia Padilla of the pro-commonwealth Popular Democratic Party, or PDP.

"I accept the will of the people and congratulate Governor-elect Alejandro Garcia Padilla," Fortuno said.

With 96 percent of the voting stations reporting, Garcia Padilla had 47.85 percent and Fortuno had 47.04 percent, according to Puerto Rico's State Elections Commission.

The governor's race played out against pressing issues like a stagnant economy, stubborn unemployment of 13.6 percent and a high level of violent crime fueled by drug trafficking, with a record-breaking 1,117 murders being registered on the island last year.

Ahead of the vote, Wall Street expressed concern a loss by Fortuno could upset a fiscal restoration plan he implemented that included government layoffs and other belt-tightening measures.

Puerto Rico debt is widely held by U.S. investors because of its unusual full exemption from federal, state and local income taxes, and investors have credited the Fortuno administration with bringing government finances under control and implementing tax and energy reforms.

However, Puerto Rico's debt has ballooned to $67 billion, making it among the most indebted jurisdictions in the United States, and economic growth remains tepid, growing by 1.1 percent last year after six years of decline.

Debate over the island's status has long dominated politics in Puerto Rico where voters have opted to remain a U.S. commonwealth in four votes held since 1967, but the margin of victory has decreased over the years.

Most Puerto Ricans pay no federal income tax, but contribute to Social Security and are eligible to receive federal welfare benefits, and many have served in the armed forces.

Commonwealth supporters describe Puerto Rico's relationship with the United States as a bilateral pact that allows the island some autonomy, but critics say it is a colony under the complete authority of the U.S. Congress.

Any change in Puerto Rico's status would have to be approved by the Congress.

In 1998, the last time voters were asked to choose their status preference, just over 50 percent chose a "none of the above" option that was backed by the PDP.

The party chose not to support a "commonwealth option" on the ballot because it was defined as a territorial status subject to congressional authority.

The United States seized Puerto Rico as war booty from Spain following the Spanish-American war in 1898. The island was granted a larger degree of autonomous rule under commonwealth status in 1952.


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Last edited by Symmetry on Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

Postby saxitoxin on Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:15 pm

Good post. IMO, they should but they first really need to try to put together a clearer referendum. As I read the above, anywhere between 45%-61% support joining the United States which is a pretty wide margin.

Up until this election, given how well PRs right-wing party has done over their left-wing party recently, it would seem odd for Republicans in Congress to object to statehood. And Democrats wouldn't be able to object without alienating Hispanic voters.

If it is admitted, the Congress needs to enact an official languages law and establish English and Spanish as co-official national languages throughout the U.S., otherwise you risk turning Puerto Rico into a ghetto.
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Re: Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

Postby Symmetry on Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:39 pm

saxitoxin wrote:Good post. IMO, they should but they first really need to try to put together a clearer referendum. As I read the above, anywhere between 45%-61% support joining the United States which is a pretty wide margin.

Up until this election, given how well PRs right-wing party has done over their left-wing party recently, it would seem odd for Republicans in Congress to object to statehood. And Democrats wouldn't be able to object without alienating Hispanic voters.

If it is admitted, the Congress needs to enact an official languages law and establish English and Spanish as co-official national languages throughout the U.S., otherwise you risk turning Puerto Rico into a ghetto.


It'd be an interesting move for the Republicans to embrace it, tough on their base, but a fair few conservative commentators have pointed out that the GOP needs to find a way to engage with Latino voters, or they'll die out on sheer demographics.
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Re: Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

Postby muy_thaiguy on Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:44 pm

I wouldn't have a problem with it. Though it does screw around with the stars on the flag.
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Re: Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

Postby saxitoxin on Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:50 pm

Symmetry wrote:
saxitoxin wrote:Good post. IMO, they should but they first really need to try to put together a clearer referendum. As I read the above, anywhere between 45%-61% support joining the United States which is a pretty wide margin.

Up until this election, given how well PRs right-wing party has done over their left-wing party recently, it would seem odd for Republicans in Congress to object to statehood. And Democrats wouldn't be able to object without alienating Hispanic voters.

If it is admitted, the Congress needs to enact an official languages law and establish English and Spanish as co-official national languages throughout the U.S., otherwise you risk turning Puerto Rico into a ghetto.


It'd be an interesting move for the Republicans to embrace it, tough on their base, but a fair few conservative commentators have pointed out that the GOP needs to find a way to engage with Latino voters, or they'll die out on sheer demographics.


I think the fact that they gave Fortuño a prime-time speaking spot at their convention probably indicates they're priming their base.
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Re: Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

Postby Symmetry on Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:53 pm

muy_thaiguy wrote:I wouldn't have a problem with it. Though it does screw around with the stars on the flag.


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Looks fine to me.
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Re: Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

Postby Baron Von PWN on Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:56 pm

man if they do this all those protesters in the middle east are going to feel silly burning the wrong flag.
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Re: Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

Postby Symmetry on Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:58 pm

Baron Von PWN wrote:man if they do this all those protesters in the middle east are going to feel silly burning the wrong flag.


Nah- it'd be a bump for the economy if they all had to go out and buy new flags. Positives all round.
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Re: Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

Postby saxitoxin on Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:01 pm

I guess you can print huge quantities of flags really fast, too. In Libya, thousands of 50 year-old flags showed up literally within days of "protests" starting. So, even in the middle of war zones, apparently there are massive flag factories all over the world just standing by to start putting out flags by the thousands when local conditions demand it.
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Re: Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

Postby Serbia on Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:20 pm

I don't see a "Possibly" option. Ergo, I ABSTAIN.
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Re: Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

Postby Symmetry on Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:24 pm

Serbia wrote:I don't see a "Possibly" option. Ergo, I ABSTAIN.


That's what the "probably yes, but...", "probably no, but"..., "I don't know", and standard kitten options should cover.
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Re: Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

Postby HapSmo19 on Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:31 pm

As long as at least half the people there are on welfare/work for the government, I'm all for it.

Let's burn this motherfucker down!
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Re: Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

Postby Nobunaga on Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:06 pm

Baron Von PWN wrote:man if they do this all those protesters in the middle east are going to feel silly burning the wrong flag.


... Good one. :)

...
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Re: Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

Postby Juan_Bottom on Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:36 pm

Does anyone else here know what happens when a territory becomes a state? It's a painful process.

I mean, good on them. I'm happy, but I'm also apprehensive of the amount of work that this actually means. For everyone. This is serious, expensive, and taxing stuff.
I cannot waiiiiit to read a new Puerto Rican Constitution either.

This is the flag most commonly associated with the Puerto Rican statehood movement, but I also think that the chosen flag will be more traditional.
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Re: Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

Postby AndyDufresne on Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:34 am

For the good of economy, we should admit Puetro Rico. Actually, every decade or so we should admit another state. Then every time we do so, we can re-make the flag, thus changing and adapting our economy to a completely flag-based production system.

Think about the possibilities.

Think about the jobs.

Think about it.


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Re: Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

Postby Juan_Bottom on Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:49 pm

Think about the extra money Puerto Rico can ask for from the Federal Government. And think about them upsetting the balance of Conservatives/Liberals in Congress. The admission of new states was an agitator for the Civil War. This is an immense undertaking. It's exciting.
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Re: Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

Postby muy_thaiguy on Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:52 pm

Juan_Bottom wrote:Think about the extra money Puerto Rico can ask for from the Federal Government. And think about them upsetting the balance of Conservatives/Liberals in Congress. The admission of new states was an agitator for the Civil War. This is an immense undertaking. It's exciting.

Partly new states, and partly if they were abolitionist or pro-slavery to keep the balance (see Bloody Kansas for a good example).
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Re: Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

Postby saxitoxin on Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:23 am

The Puerto Rican Democrats have a cheesy party song ...



... but the Republicans apparently just ripped off the medley to Waving Flag by Canadian pop sensation K'naan ...

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Re: Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

Postby saxitoxin on Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:23 am

Juan_Bottom wrote:Think about the extra money Puerto Rico can ask for from the Federal Government. And think about them upsetting the balance of Conservatives/Liberals in Congress. The admission of new states was an agitator for the Civil War. This is an immense undertaking. It's exciting.


I'm not sure it would have much impact on Congress. On the one hand, Republicans have a stranglehold on Puerto Rico with super-majorities in both chambers of the legislature, but - on the other hand - the whole island probably wouldn't get more than 6-7 members of congress so it's doubtful Republicans would increase their hold on the U.S. House by a meaningful amount, though 2 Puerto Rican Senators could put the GOP over the top in the U.S. Senate.

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Re: Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

Postby daddy1gringo on Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:01 pm

Nothing is going to happen.

First, the vote wasn't binding, and the people in La Fortaleza are the non-statehood people (for the status quo, which is known as the "ELA": Estado Libre Asociado: "Associated Free State"), who have clearly stated their intention not to proceed on it.

Second, statehood didn't really win. Read the description again. In the first question, the status quo got 46% compared to all possible changes combined. What lost to statehood 33 to 61 in the other question was something similar to the ELA, but more independent. The questions were gerrymandered to look like people overwhelmingly support statehood when they don't.

Consequently, the Populares have no real mandate to pursue statehood.

I have lived in Puerto Rico for the last 8 years+, and the "statehood vs. ELA" is really the only issue between the parties, besides whose candidate is the bigger desgraciado sinverguensa. It's about evenly divided between the "statehood" PNP ("Pe-Ne-Pe") and the "ELA" Populares. Any time the statehood people look like they may be getting ahead, all the Populares have to do is form an alliance with the Independentistas, who favor a complete break-away, and who have about 5% of the people backing them, give or take 2 or 3% at any given time.

Even if the PNP ever got their way and we petitioned for statehood, as has been mentioned, there is no guarantee that the US wants another state. It depends largely on which states would be losing representatives from the fixed number in Congress: if they have powerful reps, it will probably get bogged down and die.

A couple of random thoughts:

Statehood is probably not a good idea for PR as most Ricans who have a regular job couldn't afford federal income tax coming out of their checks.

On the other hand, it would be a good idea for the US because this is a great strategic place for military bases. "Rosie Roads" naval base and the Air Force base in Aguadilla all but closed down when Ricans protested the bombing practice on Vieques. I used to live in Groton, Connecticut and the Submarine base there has only remained open because Connecticut always has powerful Senators (Weiker, Ribicoff, Dodd Sr, Dodd Jr, Lieberman, etc.) It's a sucky place for a sub base. The subs have to get miles down a river past 2 bridges that could be turned into impassible barriers by a well-placed bomb. Even after they get out the mouth of the River they have to travel a long distance in Long Island Sound before they can submerge -- they're sitting ducks. Also, Navy people hate being stationed there because the weather sucks.

Puerto Rico, on the other hand has huge deep trenches right off the coast. I have whale-watched from the beach across the street from my house.
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Re: Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

Postby jimboston on Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:04 pm

saxitoxin wrote:Good post. IMO, they should but they first really need to try to put together a clearer referendum. As I read the above, anywhere between 45%-61% support joining the United States which is a pretty wide margin.

Up until this election, given how well PRs right-wing party has done over their left-wing party recently, it would seem odd for Republicans in Congress to object to statehood. And Democrats wouldn't be able to object without alienating Hispanic voters.

If it is admitted, the Congress needs to enact an official languages law and establish English and Spanish as co-official national languages throughout the U.S., otherwise you risk turning establishing Puerto Rico as the official ghetto.


Corrected.
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Re: Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

Postby saxitoxin on Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:11 am

Obama to Puerto Rico: "Drop Dead"

The White House declined to endorse a push by Puerto Rico to become the 51st state, saying that the results of the November referendum were not "clear" and should be studied.

Puerto Ricans voted by a 54 percent to 46 percent margin to end their current association as a self-governing U.S. commonwealth in November. In a separate follow-up question, 61 percent of Puerto Ricans choose statehood over full independence or semi-autonomy. But the Republican, pro-statehood governor Luis Fortuno also lost his reelection bid.

http://www.politico.com/politico44/2012 ... 50912.html
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Re: Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

Postby thegreekdog on Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:57 am

Puerto Rico trying to get in, Texas trying to get out. Maybe there can be a deal that includes a country to be named later (The Virgin Islands?).
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Re: Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

Postby HapSmo19 on Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:35 pm

saxitoxin wrote:
...61 percent of Puerto Ricans choose statehood over full independence or semi-autonomy.


Ah, so 61 percent are on welfare and/or gov employees.

They meet the criteria. Let's bring 'em in!
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Re: Will Puerto Rico be the next US State?

Postby Symmetry on Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:56 pm

daddy1gringo wrote:Nothing is going to happen.

First, the vote wasn't binding, and the people in La Fortaleza are the non-statehood people (for the status quo, which is known as the "ELA": Estado Libre Asociado: "Associated Free State"), who have clearly stated their intention not to proceed on it.

Second, statehood didn't really win. Read the description again. In the first question, the status quo got 46% compared to all possible changes combined. What lost to statehood 33 to 61 in the other question was something similar to the ELA, but more independent. The questions were gerrymandered to look like people overwhelmingly support statehood when they don't.

Consequently, the Populares have no real mandate to pursue statehood.

I have lived in Puerto Rico for the last 8 years+, and the "statehood vs. ELA" is really the only issue between the parties, besides whose candidate is the bigger desgraciado sinverguensa. It's about evenly divided between the "statehood" PNP ("Pe-Ne-Pe") and the "ELA" Populares. Any time the statehood people look like they may be getting ahead, all the Populares have to do is form an alliance with the Independentistas, who favor a complete break-away, and who have about 5% of the people backing them, give or take 2 or 3% at any given time.

Even if the PNP ever got their way and we petitioned for statehood, as has been mentioned, there is no guarantee that the US wants another state. It depends largely on which states would be losing representatives from the fixed number in Congress: if they have powerful reps, it will probably get bogged down and die.

A couple of random thoughts:

Statehood is probably not a good idea for PR as most Ricans who have a regular job couldn't afford federal income tax coming out of their checks.

On the other hand, it would be a good idea for the US because this is a great strategic place for military bases. "Rosie Roads" naval base and the Air Force base in Aguadilla all but closed down when Ricans protested the bombing practice on Vieques. I used to live in Groton, Connecticut and the Submarine base there has only remained open because Connecticut always has powerful Senators (Weiker, Ribicoff, Dodd Sr, Dodd Jr, Lieberman, etc.) It's a sucky place for a sub base. The subs have to get miles down a river past 2 bridges that could be turned into impassible barriers by a well-placed bomb. Even after they get out the mouth of the River they have to travel a long distance in Long Island Sound before they can submerge -- they're sitting ducks. Also, Navy people hate being stationed there because the weather sucks.

Puerto Rico, on the other hand has huge deep trenches right off the coast. I have whale-watched from the beach across the street from my house.


Great post, thanks for the info. I guess I can only ask your opinion on the hypothetical, what if there was a push from within the current states, specifically the Republican party, for Puerto Rico to become a state. It is, from what I can tell, fairly conservative and would do a fair bit to help the party on it's Hispanic credentials without dealing with the immigration issues.

I know that's a big hypothetical, but it seemed like an interesting option, and I'd be interested on your take if statehood had major mainland support.
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