The NEW Nuclear Option. Puerto Rico and DC Statehood.

tstorm823

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 24, 2020
968
182
48
Country
USA
You all understand that Puerto Ricans have consistently rejected statehood and you're essentially discussing forced total annexation, right?
 

Asita

Answer Hazy, Ask Again Later
Legacy
Apr 4, 2020
184
145
48
Country
USA
Gender
Male
You all understand that Puerto Ricans have consistently rejected statehood and you're essentially discussing forced total annexation, right?
Not so, actually. While in 1967, the vote was soundly in favor of remaining a commonwealth (65.9% voter turnout), in 1998 the vote was pretty evenly split, with 50.5% voting for remaining a commonwealth and 46.6% voting for statehood (voter turnout was about 71%). Where it gets interesting, however, are the 2012 and 2017 votes.

In 2012, Puerto Ricans were asked two questions. Whether or not to continue Puerto Rico's territorial status (54% said no), and if not whether it should be a state (61.2%), independent (5.5%), or a sovereign nation with free association with the US (33.3%). Congress chose to ignore the results on the grounds that 500,000 additional submitted ballots were blank.

The 2017 results erred more towards "Free Associated State", but this was exceptional in its own right as turnout was anomalously abyssal, with only 23% voter turnout.

They submitted another bill on the matter (H.R. 4901) in 2019, and they've scheduled another referendum vote for November 3 this year.
 

tstorm823

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 24, 2020
968
182
48
Country
USA
Not so, actually. While in 1967, the vote was soundly in favor of remaining a commonwealth (65.9% voter turnout), in 1998 the vote was pretty evenly split, with 50.5% voting for remaining a commonwealth and 46.6% voting for statehood (voter turnout was about 71%). Where it gets interesting, however, are the 2012 and 2017 votes.

In 2012, Puerto Ricans were asked two questions. Whether or not to continue Puerto Rico's territorial status (54% said no), and if not whether it should be a state (61.2%), independent (5.5%), or a sovereign nation with free association with the US (33.3%). Congress chose to ignore the results on the grounds that 500,000 additional submitted ballots were blank.

The 2017 results erred more towards "Free Associated State", but this was exceptional in its own right as turnout was anomalously abyssal, with only 23% voter turnout.

They submitted another bill on the matter (H.R. 4901) in 2019, and they've scheduled another referendum vote for November 3 this year.
Just to clarify, because they breakdown might obfuscate the math. Of the 54% who voted to change status in 2012, approximately 61.2% voted to be a state. Which means roughly 33% actually voted for statehood. They didn't ignore the results because a bunch were blank, rather a bunch were blank because the people voting to keep the status quo weren't answering the second question because they already essentially voted against all 3 options.

And like, that sort of question splitting is ridiculous. Like, why would you answer those questions separately like that? What if the majority of those who voted for statehood also voted to continue territorial status? That makes the results of the second question completely meaningless, we can't possibly know what percentage of people actually prefer statehood over continued territory status because of the way they wrote the ballot.

So in 1967, they voted against statehood. In 1998 they voted against statehood. In 2012 they voted against statehood. And in 2017 they boycotted the vote. Even if you spin it as though maybe they're slowly coming around to the idea, that doesn't even remotely justify the "Puerto Rico deserves to be a state, it's just those meany Republicans being racist again" sentiment in this thread. Practically every data point you can find indicates Puerto Ricans see themselves as an independent entity
 

Adam Jensen

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
103
81
33
f Dems then moved to make Washington DC and Puerto Rico States, Would the GOP finally be done in for?
Pretty much. With four more Senators for the Dems and a likely expansion of the Supreme Court, the GOP would be politically mutilated. Add to that the fact that many of them are facing criminal investigations as we speak. If Dems take over, those investigations won't be swept under a rug.
 

lil devils x

🐐More Lego Goats Please!🐐
Legacy
May 1, 2020
3,005
939
118
Country
🐐USA🐐
Gender
♀
Just to clarify, because they breakdown might obfuscate the math. Of the 54% who voted to change status in 2012, approximately 61.2% voted to be a state. Which means roughly 33% actually voted for statehood. They didn't ignore the results because a bunch were blank, rather a bunch were blank because the people voting to keep the status quo weren't answering the second question because they already essentially voted against all 3 options.

And like, that sort of question splitting is ridiculous. Like, why would you answer those questions separately like that? What if the majority of those who voted for statehood also voted to continue territorial status? That makes the results of the second question completely meaningless, we can't possibly know what percentage of people actually prefer statehood over continued territory status because of the way they wrote the ballot.

So in 1967, they voted against statehood. In 1998 they voted against statehood. In 2012 they voted against statehood. And in 2017 they boycotted the vote. Even if you spin it as though maybe they're slowly coming around to the idea, that doesn't even remotely justify the "Puerto Rico deserves to be a state, it's just those meany Republicans being racist again" sentiment in this thread. Practically every data point you can find indicates Puerto Ricans see themselves as an independent entity
How Puerto Ricans view themselves is irrelevant to how they have been treated. Why does McConnell scream socialism when Puerto Rico Statehood is brought up? The supreme court decisions on Puerto Rico were in fact extremely racist, trying to tip toe around that and twist it into something else does not change what happened here

Hurricane Maria made people there realize more than ever, they do need help from the federal government and the best way to ensure they receive it is to become a state. Life would improve for the people there tremendously when they actually have representation that are there to look out for their interests, and they can no longer be denied their constitutional rights and be treated as "less than" others when they become a state regardless of the previous RACIST supreme court rulings. Most Puerto Ricans do realize that they are better off as a state than independence because their senators would then be able to get them the federal funding they need for their infrastructure programs as well proper FEMA funding after hurricanes rather than have people ignorantly pretend they are not a part of the US so are "undeserving" of help.

Trump even thinking he could strip millions of US citizens of citizenship to sell them for Greenland only goes to show WHY this is needed now more than ever for them to be able to access the resources they still very much need that never came after Maria.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tireseas

Worgen

Follower of the Glorious Sun Butt.
Legacy
Apr 4, 2020
1,515
416
88
Gender
Whatever, just wash your hands.
Ahh, this would be a good solution to get more democratic representation without having to pull any bs with supreme court numbers. Or at least it would make republicans have to appear less racist since there is suddenly another state with a decent number of brown people they can't just ignore.
 

lil devils x

🐐More Lego Goats Please!🐐
Legacy
May 1, 2020
3,005
939
118
Country
🐐USA🐐
Gender
♀
Ahh, this would be a good solution to get more democratic representation without having to pull any bs with supreme court numbers. Or at least it would make republicans have to appear less racist since there is suddenly another state with a decent number of brown people they can't just ignore.
They likely would still have to adjust the courts due to just how bad the justices are that have been appointed. If the judges they put into place legalize gerrymandering and outlaw Universal healthcare, welfare, and other safety net programs, we will not be able to make any improvements at all and essentially will tie the hands of congress regardless of who has the majority. We will STILL have to restructure the courts to either put more judges on the bench to offset the 200+ Trump appointments or get 2/3rsds majority in congress at some point to impeach them all and make constitutional amendments keeping them from breaking the public safety net again. That is the only way we can really prevent them from doing this much damage again from a mass disinformation campaign and voter suppression.

When they have appointed judges so corrupt as to go in and overrule old cases they had no involvement in to rule in favor of banks and outlaw minimum wage increases and undermine state constitutional amendments by the people, we are left with no choice but to intervene. Hell if we have any hope of prosecuting any GOP for their crimes, we are going to have to make sure Trump appointees cant go anywhere near the cases.
 

Worgen

Follower of the Glorious Sun Butt.
Legacy
Apr 4, 2020
1,515
416
88
Gender
Whatever, just wash your hands.
They likely would still have to adjust the courts due to just how bad the justices are that have been appointed. If the judges they put into place legalize gerrymandering and outlaw Universal healthcare, welfare, and other safety net programs, we will not be able to make any improvements at all and essentially will tie the hands of congress regardless of who has the majority. We will STILL have to restructure the courts to either put more judges on the bench to offset the 200+ Trump appointments or get 2/3rsds majority in congress at some point to impeach them all and make constitutional amendments keeping them from breaking the public safety net again. That is the only way we can really prevent them from doing this much damage again from a mass disinformation campaign and voter suppression.

When they have appointed judges so corrupt as to go in and overrule old cases they had no involvement in to rule in favor of banks and outlaw minimum wage increases and undermine state constitutional amendments by the people, we are left with no choice but to intervene. Hell if we have any hope of prosecuting any GOP for their crimes, we are going to have to make sure Trump appointees cant go anywhere near the cases.
A purge of the lower courts is something that I think has been done a few times, right?
 

lil devils x

🐐More Lego Goats Please!🐐
Legacy
May 1, 2020
3,005
939
118
Country
🐐USA🐐
Gender
♀
A purge of the lower courts is something that I think has been done a few times, right?
It is still hell to impeach any federal judge so we might as well solve the problem if we ever get to the point to be able to do so. Just looking at any of Trump's current nominees, leaving them on the court at all would risk lives for generations.
 

Asita

Answer Hazy, Ask Again Later
Legacy
Apr 4, 2020
184
145
48
Country
USA
Gender
Male
Just to clarify, because they breakdown might obfuscate the math. Of the 54% who voted to change status in 2012, approximately 61.2% voted to be a state. Which means roughly 33% actually voted for statehood. They didn't ignore the results because a bunch were blank, rather a bunch were blank because the people voting to keep the status quo weren't answering the second question because they already essentially voted against all 3 options.

And like, that sort of question splitting is ridiculous. Like, why would you answer those questions separately like that? What if the majority of those who voted for statehood also voted to continue territorial status? That makes the results of the second question completely meaningless, we can't possibly know what percentage of people actually prefer statehood over continued territory status because of the way they wrote the ballot.

So in 1967, they voted against statehood. In 1998 they voted against statehood. In 2012 they voted against statehood. And in 2017 they boycotted the vote. Even if you spin it as though maybe they're slowly coming around to the idea, that doesn't even remotely justify the "Puerto Rico deserves to be a state, it's just those meany Republicans being racist again" sentiment in this thread. Practically every data point you can find indicates Puerto Ricans see themselves as an independent entity
Except you're wrong for the 2012 vote, as can be seen when you check the actual figures.

The two questions on the ballot were as follows:
Question 1: “Do you agree that Puerto Rico should continue to have its present form of territorial status?”
Question 2: “Irrespective of your answer to the first question, indicate which of the following non-territorial options you prefer.”

From most votes to least

970,910 votes against remaining a territory
834,191 votes for becoming a state
828,077 votes for remaining a territory
498,604 blank ballots (Question 2)
454,768 votes for free association
74,895 votes for independence
67,267 blank ballots (Question 1)

That is not voting against statehood, and it certainly isn't voting for independence.

You question why the two questions are split. The basic logic goes as follows: Should we remain a territory? 54% vote no. Motion passes. Since we have voted to no longer remain a territory, we must now ask what it is we want to become. The options are a state, an independence, or a sovereign free associated state. This is not just a vote for everyone who voted against territory status. We're in this together, so everyone gets to vote. In coding terms, it's a nested hierarchy. Question 2 only becomes relevant in the event that a majority vote against territory status in question 1.
 

tstorm823

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 24, 2020
968
182
48
Country
USA
Except you're wrong for the 2012 vote, as can be seen when you check the actual figures.

The two questions on the ballot were as follows:
Question 1: “Do you agree that Puerto Rico should continue to have its present form of territorial status?”
Question 2: “Irrespective of your answer to the first question, indicate which of the following non-territorial options you prefer.”

From most votes to least

970,910 votes against remaining a territory
834,191 votes for becoming a state
828,077 votes for remaining a territory
498,604 blank ballots (Question 2)
454,768 votes for free association
74,895 votes for independence
67,267 blank ballots (Question 1)

That is not voting against statehood, and it certainly isn't voting for independence.

You question why the two questions are split. The basic logic goes as follows: Should we remain a territory? 54% vote no. Motion passes. Since we have voted to no longer remain a territory, we must now ask what it is we want to become. The options are a state, an independence, or a sovereign free associated state. This is not just a vote for everyone who voted against territory status. We're in this together, so everyone gets to vote. In coding terms, it's a nested hierarchy. Question 2 only becomes relevant in the event that a majority vote against territory status in question 1.
Ok, now imagine the questions are switched.

Question 1: "Do you agree that Puerto Rico should become a US state?"
Question 2: "Irrespective of your answer to the first question, which of the non-state options do you prefer."

Roughly translating the data (since we don't have question 2 broken down by question 1s answers and we can't know the actual breakdown), you'd likely end up with something between 30-50% voting for statehood. Which would be less than 50%, making the second question relevant (since we're all in this together) at which point state beats out the other two by a mile. You can put the other 2 options in as the first question and find the same result. When you have 4 options and none have a majority, whichever you put in that first question is eliminated by default, even if it has plurality support.

Imagine instead you have a room of people deciding on takeout. The options are pizza, burgers, chinese, or burritos. 40% want pizza, 30% want burgers, 20% want chinese food, and 10% want burritos. If you just do a vote, pizza wins. If instead you ask "do we want pizza or not pizza?", not pizza wins with 60%. And then if you repoll, and the pizza group splits even between burgers and chinese, the burgers wins. You've structured the question in a way as to deliberately not pick the most popular option. This crap is why people were leaving ballots blank and boycotting referendums, because the ballots are designed to sway the outcome. Imagine a US ballot done that way, where the first question is yes or no to the Democratic Party, and then a followup is "Regardless of your first answer, who is your choice among the other options." A third of all US presidents were elected without a simple majority, most of whom won the popular vote, there were just more than 2 candidates. You could flip any of those elections with that phrasing.

You can't possibly support that nonsense, can you?
 

Tireseas

Plaguegirl
Legacy
Apr 24, 2020
197
88
33
Seattle
Country
United States
Gender
Trans Woman
A purge of the lower courts is something that I think has been done a few times, right?
Not really. Federally, lower court judges are only really removed for serious breaches of judicial protocol, usually criminal. Most just retire either back into the legal profession or into a full retirement. Removal for political purposes, even valid ones, would be a fairly extreme act of congress that I doubt there is an appetite for even among the most die hard progressives in the Senate. It would suck up all the political oxygen that could be better spent on more substantive law.
 

Asita

Answer Hazy, Ask Again Later
Legacy
Apr 4, 2020
184
145
48
Country
USA
Gender
Male
Ok, now imagine the questions are switched.

Question 1: "Do you agree that Puerto Rico should become a US state?"
Question 2: "Irrespective of your answer to the first question, which of the non-state options do you prefer."

Roughly translating the data (since we don't have question 2 broken down by question 1s answers and we can't know the actual breakdown), you'd likely end up with something between 30-50% voting for statehood. Which would be less than 50%, making the second question relevant (since we're all in this together) at which point state beats out the other two by a mile. You can put the other 2 options in as the first question and find the same result. When you have 4 options and none have a majority, whichever you put in that first question is eliminated by default, even if it has plurality support.

Imagine instead you have a room of people deciding on takeout. The options are pizza, burgers, chinese, or burritos. 40% want pizza, 30% want burgers, 20% want chinese food, and 10% want burritos. If you just do a vote, pizza wins. If instead you ask "do we want pizza or not pizza?", not pizza wins with 60%. And then if you repoll, and the pizza group splits even between burgers and chinese, the burgers wins. You've structured the question in a way as to deliberately not pick the most popular option. This crap is why people were leaving ballots blank and boycotting referendums, because the ballots are designed to sway the outcome. Imagine a US ballot done that way, where the first question is yes or no to the Democratic Party, and then a followup is "Regardless of your first answer, who is your choice among the other options." A third of all US presidents were elected without a simple majority, most of whom won the popular vote, there were just more than 2 candidates. You could flip any of those elections with that phrasing.

You can't possibly support that nonsense, can you?
To be blunt, tstorm, you should not condescend to people when you yourself do not understand the subject matter.

It is not "structured to deliberately not pick the most popular option". It's designed to try and avoid one of the central problems of "first past the post" voting, namely a split vote yielding a result that the majority would find unpalatable. The questions boil down to "Do you want to maintain the status quo?" and "If the status quo is not maintained, what is your preferred alternative?" We can quibble about whether or not this is the best approach until the cows come home, but the simple fact remains that when you say that "they voted against statehood in 2012", you're wrong.
 

tstorm823

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 24, 2020
968
182
48
Country
USA
To be blunt, tstorm, you should not condescend to people when you yourself do not understand the subject matter.

It is not "structured to deliberately not pick the most popular option". It's designed to try and avoid one of the central problems of "first past the post" voting, namely a split vote yielding a result that the majority would find unpalatable. The questions boil down to "Do you want to maintain the status quo?" and "If the status quo is not maintained, what is your preferred alternative?" We can quibble about whether or not this is the best approach until the cows come home, but the simple fact remains that when you say that "they voted against statehood in 2012", you're wrong.
You think explaining the problem with the method there is condescending?

There are alternatives to "first past the post" voting, but this ain't a good one. To start with, it didn't avoid the problem that you say it did. The supposed winning vote for statehood was only voted for on 44% of the ballots. The majority didn't find that option palatable. If they were trying to solve that problem, they could have ranked choice voted. They didn't. Instead, they biased the ballot against only one option.
 

Asita

Answer Hazy, Ask Again Later
Legacy
Apr 4, 2020
184
145
48
Country
USA
Gender
Male
You think explaining the problem with the method there is condescending?

There are alternatives to "first past the post" voting, but this ain't a good one. To start with, it didn't avoid the problem that you say it did. The supposed winning vote for statehood was only voted for on 44% of the ballots. The majority didn't find that option palatable. If they were trying to solve that problem, they could have ranked choice voted. They didn't. Instead, they biased the ballot against only one option.
No, I think "You can't possibly support that nonsense, can you?" is condescending. As I said, however, "we can quibble about whether or not this is the best approach until the cows come home", but you are in no uncertain terms pushing a falsehood when you try to spin the 2012 results as "voting against statehood".
 

tstorm823

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 24, 2020
968
182
48
Country
USA
No, I think "You can't possibly support that nonsense, can you?" is condescending. As I said, however, "we can quibble about whether or not this is the best approach until the cows come home", but you are in no uncertain terms pushing a falsehood when you try to spin the 2012 results as "voting against statehood".
The majority didn't vote for statehood. Just like the previous ballot measure and those before it.
 

SupahEwok

Malapropic Homophone
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
3,145
1,033
118
Country
Texas
Pretty much. With four more Senators for the Dems and a likely expansion of the Supreme Court, the GOP would be politically mutilated. Add to that the fact that many of them are facing criminal investigations as we speak. If Dems take over, those investigations won't be swept under a rug.
Man, I remember a couple years ago when you'd say "just wait a little while longer, the Trump investigations are gonna bear fruit and there will be such a reckoning." At some point, the dream's gotta die, dude.
 

Asita

Answer Hazy, Ask Again Later
Legacy
Apr 4, 2020
184
145
48
Country
USA
Gender
Male
The majority didn't vote for statehood. Just like the previous ballot measure and those before it.
Except the majority did. 970,910 votes against remaining a territory against 828,077 votes for remaining a territory. Majority says they do not want to remain a territory. 834,191 said that if they weren't going to be a territory, they'd prefer to be a state. Majority said they didn't want to be a territory. Majority said they'd prefer to be a state. Hell, there were more votes for statehood than for remaining a territory. It's one thing to argue that the results were somehow prejudiced and thus should be revisited (spoiler: they're voting again in November), but at this point you're simply being revisionist and using creative math to recast the results.
 
Last edited:

tstorm823

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 24, 2020
968
182
48
Country
USA
Except the majority did. 970,910 votes against remaining a territory against 828,077 votes for remaining a territory. Majority says they do not want to remain a territory. 834,191 said that if they weren't going to be a territory, they'd prefer to be a state. Majority said they didn't want to be a territory. Majority said they'd prefer to be a state. Hell, there were more votes for statehood than for remaining a territory. It's one thing to argue that the results were somehow prejudiced and thus should be revisited (spoiler: they're voting again in November), but at this point you're simply being revisionist and using creative math to recast the results.
The whole thing is an exercise in using creative math to recast the results, and you're taking that exercise as gospel. But ~20% of the second ballot vote was people who voted to remain a territory. Take 20% off the second ballot vote and see where the numbers land: it's closer to 700k votes for statehood if you were to put the questions together.

Like, imagine 4 choices again, A, B, C, and D. A is preferred by 45% of people, B is 40%, C is 10%, and D is 5%. And imagine if you take away A, the people who prefer A would split among the rest in the same distribution as the others. So first vote you do A or not, and "not" wins 55% to 45%. Then you vote among the remaining 3, and get 73% for B, 18%, and 9% in the second vote. Woah, would you look at that! Option B got 73% compared to option A's measly 45%. That's way more! That's what that ballot was.
 

Asita

Answer Hazy, Ask Again Later
Legacy
Apr 4, 2020
184
145
48
Country
USA
Gender
Male
The whole thing is an exercise in using creative math to recast the results, and you're taking that exercise as gospel. But ~20% of the second ballot vote was people who voted to remain a territory. Take 20% off the second ballot vote and see where the numbers land: it's closer to 700k votes for statehood if you were to put the questions together.

Like, imagine 4 choices again, A, B, C, and D. A is preferred by 45% of people, B is 40%, C is 10%, and D is 5%. And imagine if you take away A, the people who prefer A would split among the rest in the same distribution as the others. So first vote you do A or not, and "not" wins 55% to 45%. Then you vote among the remaining 3, and get 73% for B, 18%, and 9% in the second vote. Woah, would you look at that! Option B got 73% compared to option A's measly 45%. That's way more! That's what that ballot was.
Tstorm, I actually have formally studied analytics and related research, and this falls well within that purview. I'm quite familiar with the trade-offs of splitting and consolidating votes and conditional/nested questions. Moreover, I believe I've made it quite clear in the past that I do not appreciate being treated as an idiot. So unless you want this to devolve into another shouting match of thinly veiled jabs between us, I suggest taking a deep breath and dropping the patronizing "golly gee" attitude.

Let's put this a different way: At town hall, there's a motion to replace the sheriff. It's put to a vote, and...let's say 57% of the participants vote to fire Sheriff Smith. The town is now without a sheriff and needs a new one. That is a non-negotiable point. Nominations are made, and at the next meeting the same voters are to decide whether the new Sheriff should be Johnson, Weisenheimer, or Lingus. No matter how the vote plays out, the 43% of the people who voted for Smith to remain Sheriff are still voting. Does this mean that if Johnson, Weisenheimer, or Lingus do not get more than 43% of the vote that Smith is reinstated? No. Does it mean that the votes of the 43% who voted for Smith to keep the job should be discounted from the second vote? Also no. And it certainly does not mean that we make assumptions about how many of the votes for a given candidate came from that same 43%, subtract them from that candidate's tally and then say that those new figures have to beat 43% or Smith gets reinstated. That's simply not how it works.

Smith was the unopposed incumbent who was removed in the first vote. The follow up vote was about who should be elected as the new Sheriff. The votes opposed to removing Smith in the first motion do not do double duty as representing votes in favor of reelecting Smith in the second motion. Those were answering a completely different question without consideration for Johnson, Weisenheimer, or Lingus as competition. Moreover, the question was not "does Smith have your vote", it was "is he bad enough to warrant immediate removal", which is a very different animal. At best, you could argue that the second question should have had Smith as an option. However, while that would give us a better snapshot of how the candidates compare to Smith, it also represents an attempt at overruling the results of the question of whether Smith should be removed.

To take it away from hypothetical scenarios, we might look to California's gubernatorial recall election in 2003. Two questions on that ballot: Question 1: Should Governor Gray Davis be recalled? (55.4% in favor, 44.6% opposed) Question 2: In the event that a majority voted to recall him, which candidate should replace him? (48.6% Schwarzenegger, 31.5% Bustamante, 13.4% McClintock). But if you want some more concrete figures: 9,413,488 votes total, 4,007,783 saying not to recall Davis. For the second question Schwarzenegger got 4,206,248, Bustamante got 2,724,874, and McClintock got 1,161, 287. I trust I don't have to explain how well that parallels the subject at hand, and how under your logic Davis should have remained governor. However, that's not what happened. Davis was recalled and Schwarzenegger was the new governor. Because what you're objecting to is not chicainery, it's standard operating procedure.
 
Last edited: