Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

urbanguy

A 51st State? US Territory ponders idea!

Recommended Posts

Members of the original team of Covenant negotiators yesterday said they are open to the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas exploring new options in its political union with the United States, including the possibility of making the Marianas the 51st U.S. state.

cq-map.jpg

Four members of the 1972 Marianas Political Status Commission - former speaker Oscar Rasa, businessman Manuel Sablan, Rota mayor Benjamin Manglona, and Washington Rep. Pete A. Tenorio - expressed no objection to the possibility of reunifying the CNMI and Guam and on making the whole of the Marianas into a new state of the United States.

They issued this comment in yesterday's judiciary-sponsored Historical Society Forum on the CNMI Covenant at the Dai-Ichi Hotel Saipan Beach.

"I'd like to be open to that option but we have to make sure that it's going to be something better than we have today. If that [reunification and statehood] is better for the future of our children, if that means better lives for our citizens, then I'm open to that option," said Manglona, responding to a question raised by Associate Justice Alexandro Castro on the issue, which he said had been actually posed to him by a student.

Rasa said it is an issue that will have to be decided "based on necessity and needs of the next generation."

He said the idea is not new, citing that the first governor of Guam had floated the idea of having a Micronesian state. But in general, Rasa said, "I feel the option should be open."

"I think that if we are to stay a part of the U.S. political family, we've got to make sure that we get representation in the U.S. [Congress]," he said.

He also noted that the rejection by Guam of reunifying with the CNMI "was not that extreme."

"We should open this option. In the long run, it's not us who will decide on this [but the next generation]," he added.

Tenorio gave a similar point: "Let's have the next generation look over this."

He said that the Covenant contains a provision that allows the CNMI to choose whether it would continue with its relations with the U.S.

Yet at one point, he said that the CNMI should also consider why Puerto Rico, which has a bigger population than the State of Delaware, prefers to keep its current status as a commonwealth, and why some Guam residents would wish they are a commonwealth.

"I'm a realist," he said, noting that while being a state offers several advantages, it also poses difficulties, including administrative concerns, given the geographic location of the Marianas.

Meantime, when asked to assess the current state of the CNMI following the signing of the agreement 30 years ago, the panelists said they are generally satisfied with what the CNMI has become but noted that more improvements must be done.

In particular, Manglona said the application of federal laws in the CNMI must be clarified.

"Many went to jail thinking that all federal laws are applicable here but let's look at it from the point of view of the Covenant," he said, while expressing support for the reactivation of the Commission on Federal Laws.

"It's no longer active because of lack of funds but if the CNMI wants it, it can be reopened. There are venues which we could use to resolve issues with federal authorities," he said.

Rasa said he is not satisfied with the current policies on federal land leases, as well as the application of federal laws in the CNMI.

These things, he said, should be reviewed to ensure that the CNMI is not shortchanged.

What do you think? :blink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I think it would be great for surfing. But I can't see it getting an NFL franchise for a godawful long time. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

haha yeah i highly doubt that plus i think financially they are in pretty bad shape but of course its only a territory of about 75,000-80,000 however almost half the population is foreign born, the garment industry is really big there so they recruit many foreigners from China, Philippines, Bangladesh, Nepal, etc to work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is interesting. I think that by making themselves a state they would get more national recognition, and more tourism. These islands could easily become as much of a tourist attraction as Hawaii, thus making themselves economically sufficient. This could help them meet the stansards of the rest of the USA, which I assume is much higher at present.

I doubt that they will decide to become a state; for some reason the territoies seem to like staying as they are. I don't understand why that is though.

What are the benefits of becoming a state? Why did Alaska and Hawaii jion the union?

I would like to see a 51st state.

Here are two options for a 51 star flag:

us-51st.gif

Puerto Rican statehood supporters use this design:

us-51sta.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

good article!

Pittsburgh has kicked around the idea of doing a "West Virginia" and forming its own state by dividing Philadelphia-centric Pennsylvania. SoCal with Los Angeles and San Diego I know have kicked that around since the 1950s and it was very big in the 1970s from what I hear since the Bay and Sacramento dominate Cali politics. There is also some tension between Dallas/Houston, Tampa/Miami, and Cleveland/Cincinnati. As the ancient Greeks liked to say really they are all "city states" Western Civilization is based on that model but doesn't reflect it now. I'd like to see us move from 50 to 100, annex Canada and Mexico (since most Mexicans and Canadians view this as their land too anyway), and divide some of the states up into better representation. Let the people rule, no more of this artificially lumping in the LAs with the SFs and the Phillys with the Burghs, and no more forcing people to close the southern and northern borders.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know i'd like to see Puerto Rico become a state someday even though they voted it down and might as well have Guam, American Samoa, US Virgin Isles become states too! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The big thing the territories seem to lose out on is Congressional Representation and Presidential Voting. I know that Puerto Rico would by far be the poorest state if it joined, and I assume that the Mariana's aren't in much better shape (Guam is probably better off than the rest). There are some things that territories would have to give up if they became states. I know Puerto Rico has some very lax off-shore business practices that make it very attractive to pharmacuetical firms in particular. The companies get the ease of remaining in American territory (American money, American citizens for employees...) but get around some federal regulations that the states are bound to. As a state, PR would lose that edge. Guam probably has similar attractions with it's large military presense and not having to abide by all federal regulations.

I don't think becoming states would do anything to improve American tourism in the Marianas. They are really far away, for most people it is easier to visit Hawaii or the Carribbean, other Pacific locales like French Polynesia carry more cachet. There would probably be a small peak in tourism as people's interest in the islands were aroused around the statehood issue, but it would quickly wane. The Marianas depend much more on Japan for tourism, that wouldn't change with statehood.

There's also a good chance that Congress would reject the Marianas statehood bid. I think California's 35,000,000 people might be a bit miffed that the Marianas 80,000 people suddenly have the same number of Senators in DC as them. The new state would be considerably smaller than Wyoming's 500,000 people. Congress rejecting their bid could set an interesting precedent. If we won't allow them to be more than what amounts to a colony, aren't we being imperialist? Would we then be forced to set them off on their own? A bid for statehood and a Congessional rejection could set the Marianas down a path they're not ready to take.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow very good point so it would probably be like that with all the other territories with the exception of Puerto Rico because of its pretty large population?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think the population issue would be a stumbling block in that way, true you need to have a certain # of population to be considered but the Marianas (sp) with Guam should have enough, Alaska only has a few hundred thousand don't they? As far as setting a precendent I believe the precendent has already been set back in the 1800s and early 1900s as many territories like Ohio, the Dakotas, Nevada etc. attempted and were rejected initially.

With the representation and the Presidential electoral power it will have . . . THE BIG BOON to statehood is to have EQUAL representation in the U.S. Senate, the higher house of Congress (many legislative powers EXIST ONLY IN THE SENATE, and not the House based on Population). Any new state regardless of population would have AS MUCH POWER legislatively in the higher house as giants like California, Texas and New York, 2 powerful Senators.

Presidential Elections wouldn't be swayed much by them true, but ask the Democratic Party if they would fight for D.C.'s 1 or 2 electoral votes along with New Hampshires 3 or 4 and the Republicans Wyomings and Alaskas safe bet of 3 each election. Yes they are not "battleground" states but the parties do pay attention to them. Those states can add up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you throw in Guam to the NM you have a population of 250,000, so yeah its not gonna have the weight of a California, Florida, Texas or New York in a Prez election BUT it will have EQUAL REPRESENTATION in the world's most delibrative body as those states, there are Counties the size of Alaska and the combined NM and Guam in those states!

My point is that the U.S. Senate with the possible exception of the Oval Office MAYBE is the true force of our nation. Try telling a Senator in Washington he or she isn't. The beauty is that Wyoming and Alaska have just as much of a voice in that body as Texas and California, no more no less. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Each state has a minimum of 3 electors.

The number of electors are equal to the number of senators plus the number of representatives each state has. (total representation in Congress)

SC has 6 representatives and 2 senators, so we have 8 electors.

DC has 3 even though it doesn't have acutal representation in Congress.

monsoon is right though, I doubt Congress would approve the division of a state like PA. I could see it happening in California, but only because it is such a huge state in terms of everything.

I'm fairly certain Alabama has 9 electoral votes, so I don't see the equality issue on that one?

personally, I like the first flag better:

us-51st.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The flag Spartanburger posted isnt too bad because its not as noticeable a change as the other to the average uninformed American :P haha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for correcting me on the electors.  It has been a while since high school history.  :P

The Flag with the circle reminds me of the Betsy Ross flag. 

betsyross.gif

No problem. I just took a whole semester about elections and voting, so for the moment I have alot of that information retained.

I also like this flag because it is less different

us-51st.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.