November 12th, 2012
One of the interesting results of last weeks elections that I heard mostly secondarily was that Puerto Rico had voted to support a move to statehood.
Now, I would like to see Puerto Rico resolve it’s status and I think that statehood is one possibility. It would be difficult for both Puerto Ricans and non-Puerto Ricans for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that this is a nation with a distinct ethnic identity and different language, but it could be accomplished. We have managed the inclusion of a Polynesian kingdom, a religious homeland, a couple republics, and a sparsely populated block of ice; so I’m certain we could find a way to incorporate an island nation in the Caribbean.
I suspect this move would likely skew polling on gay equality negatively and would increase religious adherence statistics. But it would definitely benefit gay Puerto Ricans. And, as a bonus, it would resolve Anita and Rosalia’s musical debate.
But I have long become accustomed to Puerto Rico voting on their future without any clear consensus as to which direction to move in, and I was surprised to hear that over 60% voted for statehood.
And it turns out that they didn’t.
Instead they participated in a political game, an exercise in silliness designed to give advocates of statehood a talking point that had no reflection on reality. (ABC)
The territory question had two parts. The first part asked voters if they favored their current status as a U.S. territory. About 54 percent of voters said no, that they were not happy with the status quo.
From there, everyone could answer a second question that gave three options: statehood, sovereign free association or independence. Sovereign free association is not the same as the current status.
Only about 1.3 million voters answered the second question. Of those, 61 percent chose statehood, 33 percent chose the semi-autonomous choice and 6 percent chose independence, according to the AP. Nearly 500,000 people left the question blank. The population of Puerto Rico is nearly 4 million people.
To give some (very round and extrapolated) numbers:
Roughly 1,800,000 people voted. About 828,000 people like it the way it is. Of those, about 500,000 didn’t answer the second question. Some 328,000 did, listing their second choice.
Around 793,000 chose statehood as either their first or second choice. This is less than half of those voting on the issue of status.
In other words, about 44% of voters selected statehood as their first or second choice, 28% selected some other option as their first or second choice, and 28% selected the status quo as their only choice.
Ultimately the powers that be will decide what they want to do and use whatever means they choose to justify it. But when they tell you that the Puerto Rican people voted by two-thirds in favor of statehood, you can know that you are being snowed.
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Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
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