Saturday, August 28, 2010

Long Island could follow Canada's example

Hello from Canada.

Long Island should definitely become a state and move towards greater independence. Other states such as Vermont and Texas can follow suit. They could follow a similar evolutionary process as Canada. Canada gained independence from the British Empire by a slow evolutionary process stretching from 1840 to 1982, as did Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. This is why these four countries do not have an 'Independence Day' - they gained their independence by evolution, not all at once like the USA and most countries.

Long Island could draw some similarities to this process in a shorter period of time by gradually gaining control over its own affairs from New York.

1837 - Rebellions against a corrupt colonial government in Canada leads to a demand for responsible self-government
1840 - Canada gains responsible self-government from Britain
1850 - Canada creates its own currency - replacing British Pounds with Canadian Dollars
1867 - Four British colonies (Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick) are federated into a single self-governing Dominion of Canada with its own parliament within the British Empire
1871-1873 - The remaining British colonies across North America except Newfoundland join the self-governing Dominion of Canada
1880 - The Arctic territories are transferred to the new Dominion. British troops leave Canada. The Canadian army is created
1907 to 1921 - Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the Irish Free State follow Canada's example and become self-governing Dominions with their own parliaments
1910 - Canada creates its own navy
1914 - Britain enters the First World War on behalf of all of the British Empire including the self-governing Dominions
1919 - Canada and the other self-governing Dominions sign the peace treaty ending the First World War separately from Britain
1924 - Canada creates its own air force
1931 - The Statute of Westminster ends the colonial status of the British Dominions and defines Dominion status as completely self-governing with the right to be consulted on all imperial affairs. The Dominions gain the right to conduct their own foreign policies but Britain retains control over their constitutions which are acts of the British Parliament. Citizens of the Dominions remain as British subjects. India moves towards Dominion status. Canada signs treaties with the USA without British signatures
1939 - The Dominions make their own declarations of war separate from Britain. Britain, Australia and New Zealand declare war on September 3, South Africa on September 6, Canada on September 10. Ireland remains neutral.
1943 - Canada opens its first foreign embassy in Washington
1947 - India and Pakistan become self-governing Dominions. Dominion status is redefined as fully independent nations, equal to Britain within the British Commonwealth. Canadian citizenship is created (until then, Canadians were British subjects only). Canadians become both Canadian citizens and British subjects. Canada begins debate on adopting its own flag.
1949 - India becomes an independent republic and the British Commonwealth is redefined as the Commonwealth of Nations - all members are completely free and equal. They may leave if they wish. Ireland declares full independence and becomes the Republic of Ireland. The British monarch drops the title 'Emperor of India' and adopts the new title 'Head of the Commonwealth'. The British Judicial Committee of the Privy Council ceases its control over the Supreme Court of Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada becomes the highest court in Canada. Newfoundland joins Canada as its tenth province, ending British colonial rule in North America
1952 - The last British governor general of Canada is replaced by the first Canadian governor general. Queen Elizabeth II drops the imperial title of 'Great Britain and Ireland and the British Dominions Beyond the Seas' and adopts separate titles in her realms of 'Queen of the United Kingdom', 'Queen of Canada', 'Queen of Australia', etc.
1961 - South Africa declares itself an independent republic
1965 - Canada adopts its own national flag, replacing the British Union Jack with the red and white maple leaf flag. The Union Jack is retained as a royal flag to be flown on royal or Commonwealth occasions only
1980 - Canada adopts its own national anthem, replacing 'God Save the Queen' with 'O Canada'. 'God Save the Queen' is retained for royal occasions only
1982 - Canada gains complete independence - British control over the Canadian constitution is terminated and a new Canadian constitution is proclaimed, written in Canada. Canadians cease to be British subjects, becoming Canadian citizens only. Dominion Day on July 1 is renamed Canada Day (the anniversary of the 1867 act which created the federated country)
1986 - British control over the Australia and New Zealand constitutions is terminated as those countries gain full independence and proclaim their own constitutions
To this day, Queen Elizabeth II remains head of state in Canada, as in Australia, New Zealand and several other countries, but this is by our own choice. We may drop this at any time and become republics like other countries such as India and South Africa have done. It would take only an amendment to our own constitution to do that and would not involve Britain. The governor general is the Queen's representative, but is a local citizen chosen by the Canadian government. The debate over whether to retain the Crown or become a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations will continue in Canada, Australia and New Zealand


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The only disadvantage I can see is a further division where no division is advantageous. My thoughts are that a realignment would be better for everyone rather than a blanket division into a new state.

    I can understand the feeling that Long Island should become its own state but I feel that the new state would work better it the entire New York City metro area would combine into one state on its own. Consider a new state composed of southwestern Connecticut, northern New Jersey, and downstate New York. For the first time the entire metro area would governed as one state and its tax dollars would remain in the metro area.

    The remainder of Connecticut could combine with Rhode Island and southern New Jersey could fold into Pennsylvania.

    Why do states in New England have to be so small when they could combine and decrease the amount of governmental duplications of services? Why not combine Vermont and New Hampshire, and Massachusetts into one larger state? I can see history and state pride being a preventative block but there is no reason to remain separate when combining would be economically more feasible.

    Lastly, if Long Island did become its own state it would have to include Staten Island and Manhattan, right? Otherwise Those two Islands would only connect to New York via a very thin boundary and Staten Island already by proximity should be in New Jersey. Combining the metro area into one state and erasing the boundaries would only make sense.