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lunes, 4 de agosto de 2008

No solo en PR se habla del plan Tennessee

Image and video hosting by TinyPic By Ron McNinch August 3, 2008 Outside of the 13 original states, the path every jurisdiction in the United States takes to statehood or some other status is unique. A lot of jurisdictions joined as states and got a star on the flag. Others, such as the Commonwealth of the Philippines, chose the path to independence. There seems to be a sort of myth, though, held by the common public that these status changes are snuggly "come on in and join the union" affairs. For those that went to statehood, the road was very rocky. A couple of states have had it pretty easy. For example, West Virginia broke away from Virginia following the outbreak of the Civil War. Nevada, with just a handful of people, also became a state during the Civil War. There was a bit of a fear that following the Civil War, the south would dominate the U.S. Congress, so adding states was thought to help dilute these votes. The best model for getting anything out of the federal government in this area was pioneered by Tennessee. Fed up with getting rebuffed, they elected a full congressional delegation and sent them to Washington, D.C., to demand their seats and statehood. Now known as "The Tennessee Plan," several territories have used this shotgun wedding approach to get themselves married to the federal system. In a way, the United States is like a sort of coy fiance' -- why do today what you can do tomorrow or even later. Serious action If Guam is really serious about this issue, and if our leaders are really serious about it, too, elect two senators at the general elections this fall. Send them to D.C. with a mandate to negotiate a better deal (such as commonwealth) or demand statehood. This is a sort of limited Tennessee Plan approach. Part of our commonwealth deal should be a delegate to the U.S. Senate because, to be frank, over half of the action in Congress takes place there. I wish the Guam Chamber of Commerce board would work with vision and promote better representation within the federal system, rather than play sandbox kiddie politics with local institutions. Who knows, politics is the art of the possible and they might see the light (from Tennessee.)