Worldly Talk

Civil discussion and debate on real world events and issues.

Puerto Rico votes to become a US state

Dire Lint, how'd you wind up with half of my name?

Anyway, both US parties are strongly imperialistic, politicians on both sides of the fence would love to be able to say that they were in office when we added a 51st star to the flag, and both sides would probably try to leverage that into political capital as incumbents against any challengers to their seats.

I base this point of view off the fact that both parties have continued to wage war overseas even though the effects of not waging war would be negligible to US interests and the general populace is leaning against those wars.

Originally Posted by Lord Ben View Post
I asked for evidence, not demographic bigotry.
I'm afraid that the Republicans in power exhibit demographic bigotry. O'Reilly said it himself, "More hispanics, more blacks, more women, and they want stuff. They want things." And a lot of people when asked why they voted to join the States is because they would get more benefits. They would get more stuff.

I'm hoping, for 2016 (hell, 2014), a lot of the "old white guys" are cut and the Republicans can regroup. There are some good ones out there. But they're overshadowed by the ones people see as today's GOP, the ones labelled as elitist, racist, sexist bigots. The ones supported by the same type of people, who also happen to permeate the media (especially Fox).

Hell, Obama, for the most part, is what the GOP should be. Most people tend to agree his actually a little to the right of center. That just happens to be a lot to the left of the GOP right now.

Call me racist somewhere else, if you have evidence that Republicans don't support them as a 51st state post it.

Originally Posted by Lord Ben View Post
Call me racist somewhere else, if you have evidence that Republicans don't support them as a 51st state post it.
I did not call you racist. I invite you to quote where I did. If you're blind to the opinion everyone else has about the current 'big' names in the Republican party, I can't help that. Denial doesn't make it any less true.

I'd also like to point out, bringing Puerto Rico into the states is the BEST move the GOP could do right now, especially to show everyone else that Republicans aren't what everyone else thinks they are. The governor there is Republican, and so, theoretically, the majority of them would vote Republican. Assuming certain big-mouth pundits know when to shut up (which they don't).

Now then, beyond the inital article, the only evidence I have at the moment comes from the primaries, and a comment Rick Santorum made

"Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, created a small political firestorm when he said English should be the principal language in Puerto Rico before it could gain statehood."
I'd lastly like to point out that 53% of people who are Puerto Rican are on the mainland, and the law is in place that they CAN vote for the President if a resident of the mainland. I don't know the demographics on how they voted this electin, however.

Originally Posted by Lord Ben View Post
Call me racist somewhere else, if you have evidence that Republicans don't support them as a 51st state post it.
2010 Puerto Rico Democracy Act, voted on by the House.

Republicans - 39 yea, 129 nay
Democrats - 184 yea, 40 nay

Against that specific legislation sure.

Arguments against H.R. 2499

Opponents of the underlying legislation argue that H.R. 2499 is slanted in favor of supporting statehood over the other options for Puerto Rico's political status. The bill would provide a two-step voting process. The first vote would allow the people of Puerto Rico to choose between selecting a "different political status" or maintaining their "present political status." If the majority of the people vote in favor of a different political status, then a second vote would be held allowing people to choose between independence, free association with the U.S., or statehood. Some argue that under the two-tiered voting system, a political option could potentially receive less than 50 percent of the vote in the second ballot, and be heralded as prevailing sentiment of the Puerto Rican people. For example, in 1998, statehood received 46.5 percent of the vote, while none-of-the-above received 50.3 percent. Under the two-tiered system, supporters of statehood (which history shows is the largest contingent opposed to the status quo) could join other voters in supporting a different political status in the first vote and then push the second vote in favor of statehood.

The legislation contains many questionable provisions. First, the legislation sets up a voting process rigged for success. The legislation sets up a preliminary vote and the voters are given two options. If a majority of Puerto Ricans vote in favor of changing the status of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to “a different political status,” then a second vote would be scheduled to poll voters on the following three options:

“Independence: Puerto Rico should become fully independent from the United States;”
“Sovereignty in Association with the United States: Puerto Rico and the United States should form a political association between sovereign nations that will not be subject to the Territorial Clause of the United States Constitution;” and,
“Statehood: Puerto Rico should be admitted as a State of the Union.”

Clearly, a plurality of the people of Puerto Rico could vote for “Statehood” without a majority of the people voting ever supporting the idea. The people of Puerto Rico have rejected statehood three times and it seems that this vote is set up to allow a simply plurality of the people to carry the day.

Another odd provision allows non-resident Puerto Ricans to vote on statehood for the Commonwealth. The bill states that “all United States citizens born in Puerto Rico who comply, to the satisfaction of the Puerto Rico State Elections Commission, with all Commission requirements (other than the residency requirement) applicable to eligibility to vote in a general election in Puerto Rico.” Residency requirements may be waived, because Puerto Ricans living in the states would naturally favor statehood for the Commonwealth.

This provision allows non-resident Puerto Ricans to undermine the will of the residents of the Commonwealth. According to the U.S. Census, there are more Puerto Ricans residing in the 50 states, than in the proposed 51st state. The estimates as part of the American Community Survey estimates that out of the 301 million people in the United States, 4.13 million are of Puerto Rican descent. The Census also estimates that the population of Puerto Rico is a mere 3.97 million. This would allow for the will of the residents of the Commonwealth to be overridden by people who have chosen to move one of the 50 states.
Not specifically supporting H.R. 2499 doesn't mean they wouldn't let them into the Union.

The process of the two-step plebiscite in your quotes is exactly the same as the one that was just held, so it's entirely relevant to the discussion at hand.

Yep, and people are pointing out the problems with this particular process too.

But it's not the exact same either. This was two questions on one ballot. That other bill was two separate votes.

I love when people resort to accusations of racism in order to avoid having to front an actual argument.

Googling " "puerto rico democracy act" public statements" gives various public statements on the bill. I only went through the first page of 200 results, but there's at least one that includes opposition based on presumed democratic leanings


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