Friday, November 11, 2016

#Calexit: Californians campaign to leave the United States after Trump victory


As the firmly Democrat-voting state of California comes to terms with Donald Trump’s election victory, a group of campaigners are gaining traction in their fight to have the state secede from the union.
Anger and disappointment among those who voted for Clinton (61.5 per cent of Californian voters, against 32.3 per cent for Trump) has seen a marked increase in attention for the Yes California campaign, with supporters making Calexit a trending topic on social media.
The Yes California website states: “We advocate for peaceful secession from the United States by use of an independence referendum to establish a mandate, followed by a nationwide campaign to advocate in support of a constitutional exit from the Union.”
Generally characterised as a fringe campaign, it nevertheless has some high profile backers, including Silicon Valley luminaries such as Shervin Pishevar, co-founder of Hyperloop, who yesterday announced on Twitter that he planned to fund a “legitimate campaign for California to become its own nation”.
Speaking to CNBC, he described his backing for Calexit as “the most patriotic thing I can do,” adding: “We can re-enter the union after California becomes a nation. As the sixth largest economy in the world, the economic engine of the nation and provider of a large percentage of the federal budget, California carries a lot of weight.”
According to 2015 figures from the IMF, if California were to become independent it would be the world’s sixth-largest economy, ahead of France and India, and one place behind the United Kingdom.
According to the Yes California website, the state would be legally entitled to secede from the union if an amendment to the US Constitution was proposed and approved by two-thirds of the House of Representatives and Senate. The amendment would then have to be accepted by at least 38 of the 50 states to be adopted.
There is one major obstacle in the way of the campaigners, who are proposing a referendum on the issue in spring of 2019, however. This man points it out:
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