Calexit; California’s hypothetical referendum on independence is dated March 13, 2019.
The chances of a referendum taking place in California to leave the United States, are minimal today, but so was Trump’s ascension to the presidency and a YES vote for Britain’s exit from the EU. However, proponents are motivated by having a defiant President-elect who was opposed by more than 6 million Californians.
The proposal to secede was made official on Monday, and officially registered as the first step to start the process via a referendum which would ask whether voters would support of reject the idea of an independent California.
The initiative, presented within the Californian system, proposes an amendment to the state’s Constitution that eliminates Article III, section 1, where it says:
“The State of California is an inseparable part of the United States of America and the Constitution of the United States is the supreme norm in its territory.”
In a second paragraph, it adds a provision to the State Electoral Law that establishes the obligation to convene a referendum, to be held on March 13, 2019, where the question will be: “Should California become a free, sovereign and independent country?” .
The answer options will be yes or no. The result will be considered a declaration of independence if there is a minimum participation of 50% of the census and 55% of affirmative votes. The governor will be required to apply the result immediately.
The independence of California or Texas, the two largest economies in the country, have always been a vague fantasy held by a few. However, the victory of Donald Trump in the elections can give an impulse to the initiative that brings it closer, at least to carry out the type of referendum that Californian proponents are now presenting.
On election night, a Silicon Valley businessman, who did not like the result, tweeted that he was willing to financially support any initiative in this regard.
The Democratic Party has the seat of the Governor of California, majorities strengthened in both chambers of the state Capitol and all elected state seats. Hillary Clinton won the state of California by nearly three million votes.
The initiative presented by the YesCalifornia platform is now in public comment phase, after which it has to be reviewed and approved by the State and finally published in its final version to begin the collection of signatures.
The group that promotes the referendum presented nine initiatives in this regard. None of them gathered the number of signatures necessary to enter the ballot in the legislative elections of November 2018.
To enter the ballot, the proposal for independence will need to collect 585,407 signatures. It is here that proponents have the Trump effect to encourage people to give their support this time, at least, to openly discuss what has always been a marginal movement in Californian politics.
On November 14, the cities of Los Angeles and New York saw the country’s largest protests against the president-elect.
In Los Angeles, tens of thousands of people occupied Wilshire Boulevard, one of the east-west arteries of the city. City Hall Democrats praised the behavior of the demonstrators.
California’s top lawmakers have been “putting the band before the wound” as they face the possibility of a presidency whose priorities clashed radically with those of the state, not only dominated by the Democrats but also by left-leaning on most issues.
State Senate and Assembly Leaders Kevin de Leon and Anthony Rendon, both Latinos, have publicly pledged to do everything in their power to defend immigrant protection policies in the state, that is, to aide foreigners who entered the country illegally.
California, where Latinos are already the first ethnic minority ahead of non-Latino whites, is the state with the highest number of immigrants in the United States.
The governor welcomed the president-elect with a statement saying that California will not cease in its policies to fight against climate change, in which it has some of the toughest regulations in the country. Those regulations have become benchmarks for countries around the world.
The state also raises the future of Obamacare, the health care reform that President Barack Obama embraced with enthusiasm.
Trump’s presidency, left-wingers believe, threatens to unleash an institutional clash between California and Washington in which proponents of Calexit, who were ignored by voters two years ago, now think they have a strong chance of pushing for independence.