If at first you don’t secede…

by Fred Ray on July 24, 2008 · 1 comment

We may think the question of secession was settled in 1865 but to judge from the results of a new Zogby poll such is not the case. Almost one American in five believes that it’s okay to “peaceably secede from the United States and become an independent republic.” Eighteen percent would support a secession movement in their own state.

The results aren’t that easy to interpret. Okay, overall for support for secession is highest (26%) below the Mason-Dixon line (hell no, we ain’t forgot!) but it’s 24% in the East.

Politically liberals are much more likely to support it than conservatives (32% vs. 17%), which may reflect the post ’94 conservative political ascendency. Calls for secession have been loudest in deep blue places like Vermont and San Francisco.

In the race/ethnic category, the disparity is even more striking. Nearly half of Hispanics (43%) and a third of African-Americans (33%) would support it, but only 17% of whites.

A followup question asked if “the United States’ system is broken and cannot be fixed by traditional two-party politics and elections.” Nearly half (44%) of respondents agreed.

Are we heading for troubled waters again?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

JZ Temple July 25, 2008 at 12:03 pm

I suspect that the issue of the two party system being broken has popped up every once and awhile in the zeitgeist since the very beginning. It’s a citizen’s right, very happily exercised, to complain about how the whole political system is broken.

Interestingly, there are options. One is the Single Transferable Vote (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_Transferable_Vote) which is currently used in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Malta, plus a few other places. It does provide a much better opportunity for 3rd (and 4th and 5th…) party candidates to be elected. Sadly I suspect the math in the associated explanation will scare off the vast majority of the voting public.


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