Sunday, June 11, 2017

50 Plus One?

Will Puerto Rico ever become a state?
For statehood to win approval, the House and Senate must both vote to approve it, and the president must sign off on it. The last states to be added were Hawaii and Alaska in 1959.

With so many voters expected to stay home from the polls, the result won’t “reflect the will of the people,” making Congress unlikely to consider accepting Puerto Rico as a state, Suarez added.

“If they ignore the will of the people, they’re ignoring the will of American citizens, and they’re ignoring a democratic process, which becomes a very problematic assertion,” Rossell√≥ said. “You’re keeping the will of the people of Puerto Rico, who are American citizens, somewhat in the shadows.”

Puerto Ricans themselves haven’t been united on what they want, but without a majority of voters saying yes to statehood, Congress won’t even consider the idea, noted Amilcar Barreto, an associate professor of political science, international affairs and public policy at Northeastern University.

“For the past half-century, preferences for the three status options have essentially been locked,” Barreto said. “The statehood movement is frustrated. … They can’t seem to get that majority because the electorate is divided.”
Given their financial circumstances, they might actually be better off without it...

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