Puerto Rico Votes For Statehood & Nobody Cares

This last weekend Puerto Rico held a vote on Statehood (again…) and this time chose to become a State.

News today mostly ignores it. Al Jazeera had a story on it, many others not so much. Reuters saw no reason to mention it in their 15 minute summary of news.


Well, for one thing, they vote every few years. State vs Independent vs No-Change Commonwealth. Results are mostly no-change. Nothing changes anyway. For another thing, it is a “vote without a difference”. “Non-Binding Referendum”. Meaning “You can vote but if we don’t like the result, well, we’ll ignore it.” Now I’ve never really understood why anyone voting would care about anything that has zero effect. TPTB will just ignore it and do what they want anyway.

No surprise there was “historically low turnout”. But the die-hards were for becoming a State. Now the P.R. Government will put together a request to become a State, that goes to Congress in the USA, who will most likely just ignore it. Seems you can want to be a State, and apply to become a State, but can’t do anything about it.


Amid Historically Low Turnout, Puerto Ricans Vote for Statehood

by Patricia Guadalupe

Residents of Puerto Rico voted overwhelmingly Sunday for statehood in a non-binding vote. The turnout was historically low, however — almost eight out of 10 voters did not participate.

Yeah, 20% turnout…

After a while, when your vote doesn’t do anything, you just stop playing the game of charades. Part of why dictators like to have compulsory voting. It is hard to hide the fact that everyone is on the beach on voting day… and you have no mandate.

So will Puerto Rico become the 51st State? Tune in next year for the next vote… round and round she goes, where she stops, nobody knows…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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19 Responses to Puerto Rico Votes For Statehood & Nobody Cares

  1. Oliver K. Manuel says:

    Government units are fracturing as the only way to cottect tyrannical decisions at the top that ignore the will info the people at the bottom.

  2. Oliver K. Manuel says:

    Government units are fracturing as the only way to correct tyrannical decisions at the top that ignore the will of the people at the bottom.

  3. John F. Hultquist says:

    The population of Puerto Rico was 3,474,182 on July 1, 2015, a 6.75% decrease since 2010. This decline should be encouraged and facilitated.

    The remaining ones could all be moved to a dozen or so US cities (Detroit ?) and subsidized therein. Any Puerto-politicians should be placed under house arrest in Fargo, North Dakota – or some such place. Release after 5 years would be allowed.

    A few thousand workers could remain on the island to remove all trace of human activity, and then they too could be moved off.

    Then, declare the place a world heritage site and allow it to return to a natural state.

  4. philjourdan says:

    This is the longest period in the history of the country when no States have been added. Back when we were adding States, it meant something. Now it just means a re-allocation of the house and 2 more senators. Because states is just a label, it is no longer a definition.

  5. omanuel says:

    Citizens of Ortueo Rico should be allowed to govern themselves without outside supervision

  6. richard verney says:

    Democracy is under attack all across the globe, particularly in the US, UK and Europe.

    In the UK, we had a binding referendum on leaving the EU, and even though Parliament, and the two major political parties agreed to give effect to the result of the referendum, it appears that they will not.

    The referendum was simple. The people, in a so called democracy, were asked do you want to leave the EU, or remain in the EU. The people voted to leave the EU.

    As soon as the result was in, attempts were made either to ignore the result of the referendum, or to water it down claiming that people did not know what they were voting for or were too unintelligent to make an informed decision. Soon the political class started discussing a Hard Brexit and a Soft Brexit, the latter being no exit at all, but to merely escape one or two minor rules and regulations. But the referendum was a binary choice with no middle ground choice of a partial exit.

    The position is very simple and follows as a matter of definition. The EU is not a tangible object, it cannot be held in the hand like a ball. It is an intangible thing consisting of its Institutions, Conventions, Treaties, Rules, Laws and Regulations. To leave such an intangible thing, one has to leave each and every one of its Institutions, Conventions, Treaties, Rules, Laws and Regulations. You cannot leave a train by keeping one foot firmly in the carriage. the UK has voted to get off this (gravy) train.

    It now appears extremely unlikely that the UK will leave the EU. It appears that the democratic will of the people is being ignored and that the UK has become a DINO, ie, a democracy in name only. The UK is sliding into the abyss of being ruled by an elected but unaccountable elitist political class not for the people but rather solely for the benefit of the unaccountable elitist political class and their masters, big global corporations, NGOs and the likes of people such as Soros.

    A sorry state for a once great country that founded the mother of Parliaments and the Magna Carta.

  7. beththeserf says:

    Gramsci long march through the institutions. The enemy within,
    happening in Oz. Attacks on free speech, education, energy.
    How to combat it?

  8. Graeme No. 3 says:

    Australia has compulsory voting at State and Federal levels. It looks like about 5% don’t vote, and 5% vote ‘informal’ by not marking the paper in the correct way (according to those I know who have scrutinised the counting, usually by writing rude things about politicians).
    Lately the vote for minor parties has been climbing and a third of the electorate aren’t voting for the mainstream (Liberal, Labor). This has little effect in the lower House where the Liberal Party (in Coalition with the National Party as usual) has a slender majority, most of the rest are Labor but there are 5, one Green, 2 from minor parties, 2 independents (both reelected) out of 150.
    The Senate has 76 of which 9 are from the Greens and 11 from minor parties, although a Liberal senator has formed his own party (partly in response to the Liberals becoming what Americans would understand by liberal).
    So the results in the Senate correspond roughly with the percentage of those not voting for the major parties – reflecting State wide preference voting. This has annoyed the major parties who are trying to change the voting system to reduce these outsiders. One thought has been that voluntary voting would much reduce the number of ‘disaffected’ voters. But this is not an option because those parties elected get money from the public funds; less voters, less money for the party funds.

    The only advantage of compulsory voting seems that it makes it easy for the Opinion Polls to be fairly accurate.

  9. Another Ian says:


    In ciomments over at Conservative Treehouse a person from PR was warning of a Democrat campaign for statehood to get the extra 2 senate seats and leverage in presidential voting

  10. tom0mason says:

    Maybe the UK should try to become the 51st state, they surely have more in common with US thinking than EU genuflecting.

  11. E.M.Smith says:


    You could easily do it… with only one small problem… you would need to lose the monarchy and peerage…


    All they need to do is choose that. So far, they have preferred Fdderal $ over self rule. Their choice.

    @Another Ian :

    Well, at present they are moving mainland so still change the vote. Generally, Hispanics are conservative on many things, progressive on others. I doubt it would change much.

  12. Zeke says:

    John F Hultquist has openly advocated for genocide.

    This has received no censure and no correction from any one here. I have two questions:

    Why has he received no disciplinary action, and why doesn’t any one object to his violent comment?

    I genuinely wonder if it is too close to your own thinking and affections to be able to challenge it, or recognize it for what it is. Does any one need me to retrieve some international definitions of genocide to help determine how many genocidal threats he has advocated?

  13. Jon K says:

    I’m not sure where John Hultquist was going with his comment, but I’m pretty sure genocide wasn’t the intent. Unless you can reasonably attribute the decline in population is the result of a mass execution and not just outward migration from a failing state, I think it’s safe to assume he was proposing moving the population to the current welfare state we already have. I don’t recall any previous either, example?.

  14. Zeke says:

    Okay, I lodged my complaint.

    If a truly objectionable statement is not opposed, I feel uncomfortable.

    Thank you all.

  15. E.M.Smith says:


    Given that the mainland has large populations of Puerto Rican origin, and millions more arriving in the last few years, I took the comment to be advocating for just moving the last few million to more economically viable mainland locations, not killing anyone.

    Do note: My daughter-in-law is (and thus my grand-kids are) of Puerto Rican extraction, so the distinction would matter to me…

    Also note: Puerto Ricans are of several genetic types. They have a large anglo portion, modest African addition, and some island native mix. This means it can not be a “genocide” anyway, only a democide. I know: a pedantic distinction few make. But words really ought to be properly used or it leads to emotional and confusing results.

    Personally, I think depopulating the island by migration (or otherwise) is not viable. No big Caribbean island that beautiful will ever be empty. What it needs is policies that let the economy free to thrive. Jones Act removal. Min wage set by Puerto Rico, not the Feds. Etc.

    So in summary: Given that the mainland Puerto Ricans are similar in number to the island (I think…) and ongoing migration is large; the most reasonable interpretation was “finish the migration” not mass murder. So that is how I took it, and why I didn’t say anything. I do think it could never work though. Folks don’t like leaving home once settled.

  16. Zeke says:

    EM says, “This means it can not be a “genocide” anyway, only a democide. I know: a pedantic distinction few make. But words really ought to be properly used or it leads to emotional and confusing results.” — and the rest of the points

    Fair enough Chiefio. I accept your analysis. Still, his remarks about “encouraging” demographic decline, and then advancing the idea of forced relocation is not nice.

    You all read to much history praising the Roman Empire, which carried out all of these policies and more as a rule and not an exception. Forced relocation, taking people’s children or their ability to have children, and seizing homes are aspects of genocide. It does go back to Rome and so people who admire Roman civ and yet desire to affirm the nation-state and free trade. You all will always in the end be profoundly conflicted.

    And you are exactly right, that island would not be depopulated for long. Which gave a very bad aftertaste to his post.

    Thanks for explaining, EM, and allowing and sustaining my “objection your honor.” (:

  17. Zeke says:

    Correction, “It does go back to Rome; people who admire Roman civ and yet desire to affirm the nation-state and free trade will always in the end be profoundly conflicted.”

    PS. The only reason I say this is because the free, English-speaking Protestant countries did manage to escape the worst (and defining) aspects of Roman Law: they est. equality before law, abolishing titles/castes, abolished the Emperor’s ability to unilaterally make and enforce law, etc.. Now if you don’t know what you have, it is easy to throw it away.

  18. Zeke says:

    Tangential thread!

    Genocide is in the news because Yazidis and Christians are being killed by ISIS.

    Can the US respond to genocide every where it occurs? This article suggest we should.

    “U.S. law defines genocide as “the specific intent to destroy, in whole or in substantial part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group as such.” In addition to killing, genocidal acts include causing serious bodily or mental harm to a targeted group and transferring children from one group to another.

    As a signatory of the United Nation’s Genocide Convention, the U.S. has a duty to prevent genocide and protect victims of these crimes. The convention is vague with respect to the legal or obligatory next steps that follow the invocation of the term genocide.

    This vagueness, however, should not be used as an excuse for inaction. Rather the U.S. must recognize that the genocide declaration was a critical, albeit symbolic, first step that should spur on U.S. leadership to defend the vulnerable and oppressed.”

    I do not think that we can take action in all cases necessarily, but when power to declare war goes back to Congress, then we can talk. Now concerning the Yazidis and the Christians, one thing we can do is think rightly about genocide. We can think rightly about that situation, and start giving assylum to Zorathrustrians and Christians instead of giving assylum to the perpetrators. We can be a place where people are safe from Sharia violence and persecution, and a place where individuals (not huge numbers) can come to better their lives materially, mentally, and spiritually. And that is not a small contribution to saving people from genocide.

  19. Zeke says:

    “In addition to killing, genocidal acts include causing serious bodily or mental harm to a targeted group and transferring children from one group to another.”

    Not too long ago there was a huge drug bust in Arizona. As usual, many kilos of meth, heroin, and cannabis were seized, along with cash and weapons. The street value was 6 digits, as is often the case. The bust was made on a two-lane highway which went right through an Indian reservation. I do not think it was leaving there. I think it was going there.

    Likewise, the crack cocaine epidemic in the 80s hit the black communities in cities really hard. And after that, the cycle of failure of families and marriages and schools was all but assured. So these drugs are indeed targeting certain groups and contributing to their failure in life. See? “genocidal acts include causing serious bodily or mental harm to a targeted group.” (It so happens that creepy people will than conclude that these drug-assaulted groups are in dependency on government programs because they are racially inferior in some way. I can’t tell you how much I hate that, but I will drop it.)

    Also, drugging children to make them sit in schools is harming a target population as well, in my opinion.

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