I’ll bet you didn’t know this.
The 51st State Party is a political party in New Zealand. It advocates New Zealand becoming the 51st state of the United States of America. The party’s secretary is Paulus Telfer, a former Christchurch mayoral candidate. On February 5, 2010, the party applied to register a logo with the Electoral Commission. The logo – a US flag with 51 stars – was rejected by the Electoral Commission on the grounds that it was likely to cause confusion or mislead electors. (sources omitted)
Although it’s a miniscule party in NZ politics, its few members aren’t exactly alone. Some Guyanans also would like that honor.
Due mainly to emigration to the USA, Guyana’s population growth is in the negative. Only 650,000 people remain in Guyana. According to some studies, of those people who remain in Guyana, almost each and every one of them is awaiting the issuance of an immigrant-visa for the USA!
More than 350,000 Guyanese people have already immigrated to the USA… The overwhelming majority of these individuals support the legal incorporation of Guyana into the USA, in the form of US Statehood, Commonwealth or Territory of the USA…
The advantages derived from American territoriality are many: especially in the areas of culture, technology, science, scientific discovery, drug-interdiction, education, economics, tourism, sports, religion, the environment, the protection of natural resources and the rain forest; and to the overall security of both the USA and Guyana and to the improvement of the quality of life of all the people of both Guyana and the USA.
I’d be sympathetic to the idea, if that’s what most citizens of those countries really wanted. But I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the Kiwis to make a serious bid, unless Oz decides to go for territorial expansion.
Puerto Rico, one of the two most likely candidates for 51st statehood (along with D.C.), held a plebiscite last November in which the majority voted for statehood. And Congress has long had an agreement with PR that with such a vote they would take the issue under serious consideration. So I’ve been wondering if they would, once they got all the sequester bullshit out of the way. But probably not, and probably rightfully so, if David Royston Patterson is correct.
The Nov. 6 referendum consisted of two parts, the first of which requested a yes-or-no vote on the question “Do you agree that Puerto Rico should continue to have its present form of territorial status?” The second part instructed voters to “please mark which of the following nonterritorial options would you prefer.” Three choices were offered; statehood, independence or “sovereign free associated state.”
… On the first part of the plebiscite, 54 percent of those who voted disagreed with the “present form of territorial status.” On the second, 61 percent voted for statehood, 5 percent for independence, and 33 percent for sovereign free associated state. The current commonwealth status was not listed as an option.
Enough voters left the second part blank — some as a protest against the exclusion of the commonwealth option — that one could credibly argue that only 45 percent of the people voted for statehood. Indeed, a recent article in The Hill quoted an unnamed Capitol Hill staff member as saying that some in Congress considered the 61 percent vote for statehood to be a “statistical fiction.”
This is a common attitude in Puerto Rico as well. My cousin Vicky in San Juan — a politically sophisticated liberal and a good-humored pro-commonwealth patriot — called the plebiscite “una trampa” (a trap). In Vicky’s view — and many others’ — the departing governor, Luis Fortuño, who is pro-statehood, put the plebiscite on the ballot in an effort to draw his voters to the polls.
Color me mildly disappointed, but not surprised.