The Instigator
Jifpop09
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
TN05
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

Puerto Virgo Should Become A State

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
TN05
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/16/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,728 times Debate No: 46047
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)

 

Jifpop09

Pro

I am of the opinion that the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands of the United States should become a full member of the union. The state would be known as Puerto Virgo (Did not make this up). If you want to accept, you must pm me.
TN05

Con

I will be arguing that Puerto Virgo should not become a state. My argument will rest on several key principles, including fair representation, the will of the people, and historical precedent. I look forward to an interesting debate!
Debate Round No. 1
Jifpop09

Pro

Jifpop09 forfeited this round.
TN05

Con

My opponent appears to have forfeited his opening round. No matter; I shall present my argument, just as I would if he would have posted his.

I am a staunch supporter of statehood for Puerto Rico, if they so desire. It is unjust that millions of American citizens are disenfranchised just because they live in a different part of the United States. This extends to all territories. However, my opponent's proposal is problematic and goes about it the wrong way:

My main concern revolves around represention. My opponent suggests that the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico be merged, and then admitted as a state. Presumably this is to extend the right of voting to the Virgin Islands as well, which is of every good intention, but simply isn't right. Puerto Rico has an estimated population of nearly 3.7 million people,[1] while the Virgin Islands only have a population of around 106,000.[2] Further, the Virgin Islands racial majority of blacks[2] would instantly become a small racial minority, trumped by the 99% Hispanic majority in Puerto Rico.[1]

This would result in an unfortunate thing, because, for whatever the Virgin Islands stand to gain by becoming a state, they would lose representation in both Congress and their own affairs. Assuming the size of the Puerto Rico Legislative Assembly remains the same size (51 House seats and 27 Senate seats), the Virgin Islands would only have about 1 seat (at most) in both houses,[3] because under current math each Senate district represents approximately 137,000 Puerto Ricans and each House district represents roughly 73,000 Puerto Ricans. Further, assuming the new state of Puerto Virgo gets an estimated five House seats, roughly one House seat per 740,000 people, the Virgin Islands would not receive even one full House seat.[4] This is actually a downgrade from the current situation, where they at least have a delegate to Congress who can do basically everything but vote.[5] Even if a seat was attempted to be given to the islands, it would likely be struck down under one man, one vote, which requires seats be divided roughly proportionally to population.[6] In all likelihood, the Virgin Islands would be gerrymandered between the five seats - assuming each seat would have have a proportion of 20,000 Virgin Islanders to every 720,000 Puerto Ricans, that means each seat would only have about 3% of voters being Virgin Islanders.

My second argument rests on the will of the people - in every referendum ever made on the subject, a majority of Puerto Rican voters have never supported statehood. Even the recent referendum, which saw a majority of voters reject the status quo, saw only 45% of total voters support statehood in the second round, and to complicate things further a governor from the anti-statehood Popular Democratic Party (PDP) was elected that same election.[7] Simply put, it would be immoral to force statehood - a permanent action - on an island that simply doesn't have a majority support it.

My third argument rests on the issue of precedent - when states are admitted, both parties traditionally support admitting two states to avoid changing the political system. Because Puerto Rico would almost certainly support Democrats by some margin, and 3 out of the 5 states that would lose seats to Puerto Rico come from Republican-leaning states,[4] there would need to be an admittance of a Republican-leaning state to balance things out. While there are some ideas, such as Delmarva (merging Southern Delaware, Eastern Maryland and the Eastern Shore of Virginia), Southern California (merging all of SoCal but Los Angeles County), and Jefferson (merging some of NorCal and southern Oregon), none of them are likely to become states as all would involve allowing Republican areas of Democratic states to leave.

To conclude, Puerto Virgo should not become a state because it would disenfranchise Virgin Islanders, deny the will of the people, and circumvent precedence.

References:
1. https://en.wikipedia.org...
2. https://en.wikipedia.org...
3. https://en.wikipedia.org...
4. http://www.chron.com...
5. https://en.wikipedia.org...
6. https://en.wikipedia.org...
7. https://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Jifpop09

Pro

Yeah, sorry about the forfeit. I misjudged the how much time I had. Anyways...



Further, the Virgin Islands racial majority of blacks[2] would instantly become a small racial minority, trumped by the 99% Hispanic majority in Puerto Rico.[

Race should have nothing to do with politics in the first place. Many states have racial minorities and they still get positions in the government.

This would result in an unfortunate thing, because, for whatever the Virgin Islands stand to gain by becoming a state, they would lose representation in both Congress and their own affairs.

Currently the Virgin Islands are a governing anarchic territory overseen by the US. Not only would they receive the right to a organized state government government, but they would also be able to participate in American politics. The argument " They should not receive representation in the first place, because they wont be represented anyways", is a bad one. Should they not still be offered the same chance to vote and participate in politics. I believe they have much more to gain from joining a already working system, such as Puerto Rico.

My second argument rests on the will of the people - in every referendum ever made on the subject, a majority of Puerto Rican voters have never supported statehood

Now this is false. The last refendrums Puerto Rico has voted in were in favor of statehood. In the 2012 refendrum, 61% of Puerto Ricans favored statehood opposed to a commonwealth. Only 5-6% voted for independence. The Puerto Rican representative is has already drafted a bill, which President Obama has been pushing for. My opponent has clearly not stated the right facts for the 2012 refendrum and is contradicting his opening statement. " I am a staunch supported of Puerto Rican Statehood...".


https://www.govtrack.us...

http://www.hr2000pr.com...

http://www.cnn.com...


Assuming the size of the Puerto Rico Legislative Assembly remains the same size (51 House seats and 27 Senate seats), the Virgin Islands would only have about 1 seat (at most) in both houses,[3] because under current math each Senate district represents approximately 137,000 Puerto Ricans and each House district represents roughly 73,000 Puerto Ricans.

What my opponent does not understand, is that the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico would be a part of the same entity. They would not be two separate states. Unless the Virgin islands join another state like Puerto Rico, they will likely never receive statehood. In order to receive the benefits, they must join a larger state. This would be beneficial as tons of benefits exist to being a state rather then a territory.

My third argument rests on the issue of precedent - when states are admitted, both parties traditionally support admitting two states to avoid changing the political system. Because Puerto Rico would almost certainly support Democrats by some margin, and 3 out of the 5 states that would lose seats to Puerto Rico come from Republican-leaning states,[4] there would need to be an admittance of a Republican-leaning state to balance things out.

Prior to this debate, I had my opponent PM me before I let him accept. He assured me political parties would not be a part of his argument. Regardless, we should not deny 3,800,000 citizens representation due to the fact of political imbalance. There opinion should matter, and there is no reason they should be denied because of political imbalance. If the majority becomes democrat, then so be it. It is the will of the people. Currently, both democrats and Republican platforms support Puerto Rican citizenship anyways.

http://www.usnews.com...

http://assets.dstatic.org...

Citizenship Without Representation
----------------------------------------
America was founded on the phrase " no taxation without representation". Currently, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have been citizens of the United States since the 30's. They are being taxed like the average citizen, but are not being represented. This is against one of our founding values, and should be considered.

http://www.vinow.com...

They are led by a group of people they had not elected.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Currently, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are run by the president and congress. Congress has imposed many laws that Puerto Rico and VI had no say in. Now this is a form of colonialism. Should we not allow Puerto Rico and the Vi to have a say in the government. It has already been shown they want to be neither independent or a commonwealth. We should abide by what they want. Congress has approved a 2.5 million budget for a vote on Puerto Rican independence. With any luck, it will pass.

http://beta.congress.gov...

Sorry for the first round forfeit.
TN05

Con

I appreciate my opponent responding for this round.

My opponent's first argument is that race should have nothing to do with politics. Ideally, yes, but southern states are obligated to create minority-majority districts (ie. districts designed entirely because of race) in both levels of government. Race is indeed a part of politics, and suddenly turning a racial majority into a racial minority that will have no impact on government is simply not a good idea.

Secondly, my opponent argues the Virgin Islands would gain much by becoming a state with Puerto Rico. He offers no evidence to support this and completely ignores that the Virgin Islands would have only 1 representative and 1 senator in the Puerto Rican legislature and would lose the representation they have in Congress. They would lose the current autonomy they have and become completely dependent on Puerto Rico, and island that is vastly different racially and culturally, to fill their needs. They should receive representation, but making them lose even the autonomy they have right now is simply not worth it.

Thirdly, my opponent asserts 61% of Puerto Ricans favored statehood in the 2012 referendum. This is a political line, but is blatantly false. 1,776,000 Puerto Ricans participated in the referendum. Out of Puerto Ricans that specified an answer to the second part of the referendum (statehood, associated free state, independence), 61% (824,000) did indeed select 'statehood'. However, 480,000 voters (or 26% of those who voted) left that part of the ballot blank in protest the ballot's options. When these voters are factored in, the '61%' total drops to only 45% - as I established earlier.[1] 824,000 'pro' voters out of 1,726,000 total voters is certainly not a majority. I also notice my opponent ignored my statement that Puerto Ricans, in the same election they supposedly supported statehood, elected an anti-statehood governor. Simply put, there is no consensus for statehood and it is wrong to act until there is.

Fourthly, my opponent seems to be confused by my argument. Instead of tying to contradict my factual statements regarding the status of the Virgin Islands in Puerto Virgo (that the Virgin Islands would not be entitled to very many representatives at the state level and at the federal level they wouldn't even have one representative), he argues that statehood is great even if you lose all political power. If he'd be fine with being a cultural and political minority with little to no representation, OK, but I highly doubt Virgin Islanders would want to give up sovereignty for a vote that won't even be able to do anything.

Fifth, my opponent seems to think political parties are part of my argument - they are not. The political system is part of my argument, and precedence has been that we don't mess up the political system by swinging the balance of power through admitting states. It's the weakest argument here, but it's still an argument.

Now, onto my opponent's own arguments.

First, he states Puerto Ricans and Virgin Islanders are taxed without representation. I agree with this, although it is worth noting that neither Puerto Ricans nor Virgin Islanders pay federal income tax. Secondly, he notes that they are governed federally by officials they have not elected: I also agree with this. However, neither of these arguments explain why the Virgin Islands should sacrifice their autonomy and what little congressional representation they have to become a cultural and political minority on an island they frankly have little in common with.

References
1. https://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
Jifpop09

Pro

This was a good debate. Here is my summary.

- Race should not affect politics, and the governments of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are already simmilar.

- Virgin Islanders should get recognition on a national level, even if that recognition is little.

- The US would benefit from the federal income tax.

- People that are considered US citizens , should be represented.

- No taxation without representation.

- A majority of citizens want statehood as opposed to the status quo ( That was the question on the refendrum)

- Both political parties are in support of statehood.

- The platform of the ruling party is not just anti-statehood. They have a much larger platform. Many people in the party support statehood too.

- Puerto Ricans and Virgin Islanders (even less) have nearly no representation on a national level.

- It allows the government to have a better hold over 4,000,000 citizens.

Thank you for debating this with me, and good luck.
TN05

Con

Before I start, I would like to note my opponent has not responded to any of my rebuttals to him, and has instead ignored them. These ignored points include the requirement for minority-majority districts, and the fact that both islands don't pay income tax. He has also not ever given a reason why the Virgin Islands should give up all their political power to join a state with a different culture aside from basically "Because they should". But I'll go ahead and respond to my opponent's final points.

*My opponent argues race should not affect politics. I already went over this in round 3, but race does affect politics and the fact the islands are culturally dissimilar is a big problem.
*My opponent argues the Virgin Islands would get federal representation. I have already established they would not (unless you consider being outnumbered 20,000 to 720,000 to be 'represented') and would in fact lose what little real representation they have.
*My opponent introduces a new argument, income tax. I don't disagree here, but why bring it up now?
*My opponent introduces no taxation without representation, which I would agree with but does not answer why the Virgin Islands should give up their autonomy and what little representation they have.
*My opponent changes his argument to 'a majority of citizens want statehood as opposed to the status quo'. I have already established this as false so I do not need to go over it again.
*My opponent argues both parties support statehood. This is true... for Puerto Rico. None support forcing the Virgin Islands in on it.
*My opponent argues they have little representation at the national level. This is true. It is also true Virgin Islanders would lose that representation if they became a state
*Finally, my opponent argues that this would allow the government to better control 4,000,000 people. I simply don't get this argument... if that logic is correct, why not merge every state and territory with California? That ought to be easy to control.

In conclusion, I have firmly established that the state of Puerto Virgo would destroy the representation of the US Virgin Islands at both the federal and state (territorial) level, goes against the wishes of the Puerto Rican people, and circumvents political tradition - I have also debunked all of my opponent's arguments. Vote Con!
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by TN05 3 years ago
TN05
I want to accept this debate but you aren't allowing anyone to PM you.
Posted by Jifpop09 3 years ago
Jifpop09
Well baby steps my friend. Puerto Virgo comprises nearly 4,000,000 people. They have been considered US citizens for nearly 100 years. Their inclusion into the US should not be about political allegiance, but the plain right to represent themselves.

Other Fun Facts:

- The Marshall Islands are independent.
- Washington is already incorporated with the US, so it is not a territory.
- Guam and the Samoan Islands are to small to be independent.
- These places have been in favor of the status quo, and not statehood.

There was actually a proposal to merge our former Micronesian trust territories, to form one state including the FSM, RMI, Palau, Guam, and Samoa at one point. I made a debate relating to it already. Anyways, I suggest those smaller places like Guam and Samoa are to be incorporated. Kind of like the Palmyra atoll.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
Posted by Jifpop09 3 years ago
Jifpop09
Well baby steps my friend. Puerto Virgo comprises nearly 4,000,000 people. They have been considered US citizens for nearly 100 years. Their inclusion into the US should not be about political allegiance, but the plain right to represent themselves.

Other Fun Facts:

- The Marshall Islands are independent.
- Washington is already incorporated with the US, so it is not a territory.
- Guam and the Samoan Islands are to small to be independent.
- These places have been in favor of the status quo, and not statehood.

There was actually a proposal to merge our former Micronesian trust territories, to form one state including the FSM, RMI, Palau, Guam, and Samoa at one point. I made a debate relating to it already. Anyways, I suggest those smaller places like Guam and Samoa are to be incorporated. Kind of like the Palmyra atoll.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
Posted by Oromagi 3 years ago
Oromagi
Puerto Ricans and the Virgin Islanders are American citizens denied the right to representation and the right the vote. To the extent that sizable majorities of both populations wish statehood, I think both territories should enjoy full franchise. The biggest obstacles are:

On what grounds may we incorporate these islands, but not American Samoa, Guam, Marshall Islands, District of Columbia? We could solve this by allowing all to achieve statehood, but multiple tiny states would enjoy disproportionately grand representation in Congress to a destabilizing degree. We might incorporate all districts and territories into a single state, but a state speckled across half the planet would be unwieldy, hard to represent, and in constant internal conflict. We might absorb the territories into various territories- Caribbean into FL., Pacific Islands into HI, DC into MD, but this generally opposed by the absorbing states. MD might be willing to take in DC, but the much of Federal Govt. would consider this infringement and all other states might object to one state favored with the Capitol City.

All extant districts and territories are profoundly in alignment with the principles of the Democratic Party. Few Republican politicians see any political advantage in enfranchisement of overwhelmingly Democratic voters. Therefore, the issue can't be realistically considered unless such a time as Democrats possess a controlling interest in legislature an executive.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
Jifpop09TN05Tied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: For a debate I knew very little about to start with, the decision was surprisingly easy. I simply don't see anywhere near the amount of rebuttal necessary from Pro for him to win this debate. Con hits at a number of key tenets to his arguments, and what little I get in response is mostly mitigation, most of it just assertions that were easily countered by the sources Con had already presented. As long as Pro refuses to argue the points about representation, it's a simple decision, since the only benefits Pro ascribes to their becoming a state is that very representation. I could vote on ill-will as well, since most of those arguments remain unscathed at the end of the debate. Conduct goes to Con due to the forfeit - gotta watch that. As for sources, the vote there also goes to Con because his sources remain strong by the end of the debate, whereas one key source was taken down from Pro. By not defending it or attacking Con's, Pro concedes the source points.
Vote Placed by rakovsky 3 years ago
rakovsky
Jifpop09TN05Tied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro used really good resources. Unfortunately, the fact that he missed a round meant that he had less space to rebut Con. Another tough thing is that Pro bears the burden for his assertion. I think both sides made good arguments. i don't care much about Con's claim that we have to factor race into all this. But a big concern is whether the Virgin Islands would lose their ability to have much say at all in the federal level, or would instead their political voice be swallowed up by Puerto Rico's if they merged. Their cultures are at least different enough and they are far enough apart that this would be a downside. That is, if right now they get at least some representation, but would lose it if they were joined, then it seems like a loss to them. ("My opponent argues they have little representation at the national level. This is true. It is also true Virgin Islanders would lose that if they became a state") Unfortunately, Jif might not have noticed what is for me a big Con.