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Old Nov 6, 2012, 01:15 PM   #1
Don't panic
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today's vote in Puerto Rico: 51st State?

i haven't seen a thread on this so here it is.

today there is also a referendum in Puerto Rico about their status.
voters have to vote (yes or no) to maintain their territorial status, and have to cast a separate selection on what alternative they favor: statehood, independence or "sovereign free association" (more autonomy, but no independence).

statehood has currently a small margin in polls.
if they win, then congress has to decide how to handle the statehood request.
it seems unlikely they would not become a state.

this would have major impact on politics, with 2 new senators (total of 102), and a redistribution/increase in the congress seats.
it would also significantly change the following presidential election as puerto rico would have 7-8 Electoral votes (not sure if this are added or moved from other states.


what do you think?
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 01:17 PM   #2
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Personally, I hope they end up with statehood.

Among other reasons, just because it would shake things up a bit, and no new states have been added in my lifetime.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 01:54 PM   #3
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Living here in PR for the last ~13yrs, this is a very imp matter that has been discussed a lot.

Usually people here have a very high voter turn-out, Governor elections are always around ~80% turn out! Politics is very imp. here and heavily discussed almost everyday, it's a part of PR culture. There is 3.71 million people on the island.

There is gonna be 2 real options, if remaining as a commonwealth or if becoming statehood. I don't include Independency as a real option, because the biggest part of the population will never vote for it. So if people vote No to commonwealth then you can be pretty sure the next answer will be for statehood. I find commonwealth tends to be slightly preferred to statehood, but I will say is 50/50 so it can go either way.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 01:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsw View Post
Personally, I hope they end up with statehood.

Among other reasons, just because it would shake things up a bit, and no new states have been added in my lifetime.
I too hope they get statehood but now I feel really,really old.

I was born before Alaska and Hawaii became states.

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Old Nov 6, 2012, 02:01 PM   #5
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Living here in PR for the last ~13yrs, this is a very imp matter that has been discussed a lot.

Usually people here have a very high voter turn-out, Governor elections are always around ~80% turn out! Politics is very imp. here and heavily discussed almost everyday, it's a part of PR culture. There is 3.71 million people on the island.

There is gonna be 2 real options, if remaining as a commonwealth or if becoming statehood. I don't include Independency as a real option, because the biggest part of the population will never vote for it. So if people vote No to commonwealth then you can be pretty sure the next answer will be for statehood. I find commonwealth tends to be slightly preferred to statehood, but I will say is 50/50 so it can go either way.
good to get some insider's perspective.
if statehood wins, do you know what's the timeline?
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 02:04 PM   #6
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Doesn't congress have to approve a state ?
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 02:08 PM   #7
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But...but...but, what would we do with the flag?!

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Old Nov 6, 2012, 02:12 PM   #8
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But...but...but, what would we do with the flag?!

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Well..Couldn't we just remove the Texas star and replace it with P.R. ?



I remember when I was in the first grade doing the pledge of allegiance to the flag that had 48 stars.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 02:19 PM   #9
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good to get some insider's perspective.
if statehood wins, do you know what's the timeline?
Timeframe IDK, but both Presidential runners agreed to support whatever PR citizens choose.

Well, the ballot is basically:
a) Do you want to stay the same
b) Do you want to choose something different

Then you have an extra choice of being more specific. Here is a sample.

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Old Nov 6, 2012, 04:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlanga View Post
There is gonna be 2 real options, if remaining as a commonwealth or if becoming statehood. I don't include Independency as a real option, because the biggest part of the population will never vote for it. So if people vote No to commonwealth then you can be pretty sure the next answer will be for statehood. I find commonwealth tends to be slightly preferred to statehood, but I will say is 50/50 so it can go either way.
Is there actually a difference between commonwealth and statehood?

I mean, I live in Massachusetts and technically we are the "Commonwealth of Massachusetts", but I never knew of any actual difference other than the name.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 04:09 PM   #11
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Is there actually a difference between commonwealth and statehood?

I mean, I live in Massachusetts and technically we are the "Commonwealth of Massachusetts", but I never knew of any actual difference other than the name.
PR doesn't get much in the way of representation in Washington (just a non-voting delegate). They also don't pay some federal income taxes - I'm not sure which ones they pay and which ones they don't. If they became a state, of course they'd get 2 senators and representatives in the house - I believe 5 was the number I read somewhere, thus, 7 electoral votes for presidential elections.

For all other intents and purposes, it's the same. Puerto Ricans are US citizens just like anyone born on the mainland and can serve in the military.

I'm sure there are more differences than that though, perhaps Carlanga can point them out. The fact that neither Puerto Rico or Washington DC have full representation in Congress is ridiculous. At least DC gets 3 electoral votes.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 04:11 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by yg17 View Post
PR doesn't get much in the way of representation in Washington (just a non-voting delegate). They also don't pay some federal income taxes - I'm not sure which ones they pay and which ones they don't. If they became a state, of course they'd get 2 senators and representatives in the house - I believe 5 was the number I read somewhere, thus, 7 electoral votes for presidential elections.

For all other intents and purposes, it's the same. Puerto Ricans are US citizens just like anyone born on the mainland and can serve in the military.

I'm sure there are more differences than that though, perhaps Carlanga can point them out. The fact that neither Puerto Rico or Washington DC have full representation in Congress is ridiculous. At least DC gets 3 electoral votes.
I know this, but I was just wondering why he said the only two options were commonwealth or statehood. I thought they are the same thing.

Or is Puerto Rico, which is currently a territory, called the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico already? I might just be confusing myself.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 05:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by P-Worm View Post
But...but...but, what would we do with the flag?!

P-Worm
I realize this is a totally pedantic concern when it comes to PR statehood, but I constantly wonder about it. 50 stars fit so nicely and symmetrically in the blue field. 51 is going to drive my OCD bonkers.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 05:18 PM   #14
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If republicans regularly block legislation to give DC full representation, you can be sure they'll keep PR as far away from statehood as possible.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 05:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zioxide View Post
Is there actually a difference between commonwealth and statehood?

I mean, I live in Massachusetts and technically we are the "Commonwealth of Massachusetts", but I never knew of any actual difference other than the name.
Quote:
Originally Posted by yg17 View Post
PR doesn't get much in the way of representation in Washington (just a non-voting delegate). They also don't pay some federal income taxes - I'm not sure which ones they pay and which ones they don't. If they became a state, of course they'd get 2 senators and representatives in the house - I believe 5 was the number I read somewhere, thus, 7 electoral votes for presidential elections.

For all other intents and purposes, it's the same. Puerto Ricans are US citizens just like anyone born on the mainland and can serve in the military.

I'm sure there are more differences than that though, perhaps Carlanga can point them out. The fact that neither Puerto Rico or Washington DC have full representation in Congress is ridiculous. At least DC gets 3 electoral votes.
The most imp. difference is that people born in PR are US citizens, but cannot vote for President if living in PR. Also, there is a high military turn out here on the island. Since 1917, more than 200,000 American citizens from Puerto Rico have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, serving in every conflict since World War I.

A commonwealth from an insular area is different than a commonwealth in a state. When used in connection with areas under U.S. sovereignty that are not states, the term broadly describes an area that is self-governing under a constitution of its adoption and whose right of self-government will not be unilaterally withdrawn by Congress. There is a mix law here of US laws and old Spaniard laws and many other things that can differentiate from statehood.

As for the taxes: residents of Puerto Rico do not have to pay federal taxes. Residents pay federal taxes (import/export taxes, federal commodity taxes, social security taxes, etc.) and some pay federal income taxes (Puerto Rico residents who are federal employees, or who do business with the federal government, Puerto Rico-based corporations that intend to send funds to the U.S., etc). While most residents of the island do not pay federal income tax, they do pay federal payroll taxes (Social Security and Medicare), as well as Puerto Rico income taxes. PR income tax by itself is high.

From Wiki:
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Of the current U.S. insular areas, the term was first used by Puerto Rico in 1952 as its formal name in English ("Commonwealth of Puerto Rico"). The formal name in Spanish for Puerto Rico is "Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico," ("Associated Free State of Puerto Rico"). The United States acquired the islands of Puerto Rico in 1898 after the Spanish-American War. In 1950, Congress enacted legislation (P.L. 81-600) authorizing Puerto Rico to hold a constitutional convention and in 1952, the people of Puerto Rico ratified a constitution establishing a republican form of government for the island.[2] Puerto Rico's political relationship with the U.S. has been a continuing source of debate in Puerto Rico, the United States Congress, and the United Nations. The issue revolves around whether Puerto Rico should remain a U.S. territory, become a U.S. state, or become an independent country. The debate has spawn several referendums, presidential executive orders and bills in the U.S. Congress. Ultimately the U.S. Congress is the only one who can make decisions regarding the political status of Puerto Rico, as stated under the Territorial Clause.[3]
Despite the Spanish translation of the term "commonwealth", Puerto Rico's relationship with United States is not a Compact of Free Association (which is the case for the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, and the Marshall Islands). As sovereign states, these islands have full right to conduct their own foreign relations, while the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is part of the United States as a territory.[4]
The territory was organized by the Foraker Act in 1900, which was amended by the Jones-Shafroth Act in 1917. The drafting of the Constitution of Puerto Rico by its residents was authorized by Congress in 1951, and the result approved in 1952. The government of Puerto Rico has held several referendums with the options of U.S. statehood, independence, and commonwealth; the commonwealth option has won.
Puerto Ricans have United States citizenship and vote for a Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico, with voice but without vote, in the United States House of Representatives. With the exception of federal employees (such as employees of the United States Postal Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and servicemen in all branches of the military), residents of Puerto Rico generally do not pay federal income taxes (with the exception of Social Security and Medicare taxes) and Puerto Rico has no representation in the Electoral College that ultimately chooses the U.S. president and vice president.
Puerto Rico has sports sovereignty, with its own national Olympic team. Puerto Rico also participates in different international organizations such as the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA) (associate member), the Organization of Ibero-American States (full member), and the Ibero-American Summit (associate member).[5]
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Last edited by Carlanga; Nov 6, 2012 at 05:36 PM.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 05:34 PM   #16
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Well..Couldn't we just remove the Texas star and replace it with P.R. ?
Amen to that!
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 07:57 PM   #17
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A couple of new Latinos might be nice too.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 08:03 PM   #18
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 08:14 PM   #19
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Huh. Didn't know this was up for a vote again.

I'd be very interested to see all the necessary changes that would occur from adding a new state.


Quote:
Originally Posted by P-Worm View Post
But...but...but, what would we do with the flag?
I remember reading that they held a design contest to determine the current 50-star design. I'd really like to see what new designs people would come up with for a 51-star variation. (Might even submit one myself if I could.)
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 08:34 PM   #20
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If republicans regularly block legislation to give DC full representation, you can be sure they'll keep PR as far away from statehood as possible.
Aye. Especially since the predominately Latino population would be toxic to the current Republican party.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 09:16 PM   #21
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I realize this is a totally pedantic concern when it comes to PR statehood, but I constantly wonder about it. 50 stars fit so nicely and symmetrically in the blue field. 51 is going to drive my OCD bonkers.
It's not *too* bad...

Thumb resize.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 09:56 PM   #22
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It's not *too* bad...

Thumb resize.
That is pretty good
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 10:11 PM   #23
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Think of the boom in flag making that will come with a new state! Economic savior!
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 10:28 PM   #24
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Hey wait, this means we would have to go to the moon again. We have flags up there which will need changing!
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 12:37 AM   #25
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http://www.ceepur.org/REYDI_NocheDel...IALES_ISLA.xml

62% for statehood.
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