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New York, New York, New York
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The Independent Republic of New York. It's got a nice ring to it. Besides being a fascinating article, I found it to be a really instructive bit of reading for someone who's always associated the policies of a country with the citizens of its cities. I mean, I know Alberta doesn't work that way, but I kind of figured that most provinces and countries did. I had no idea I had so much in common with the theoretically-average New Yorker as I seem to. I had no idea that the Deep South and the Middle States had so much power, for such a lack of cultural maturity.

I've been searching Google and Google News these past couple of days with the string "secede" and "secession", since everybody and their dog seems to be speculating about the United States of Canada, or some other variant, consolidating the liberals of North America into a country where morals are universal rather than reserved for the exclusive use of the Religiously Gifted™.

As a Canadian, the idea of secession isn't foreign at all. As recently as 1995 there was a referendum on whether Quebec should secede from the Federation. There is still a movement within Quebec that has significant political clout (they're the provincial government!) that is pushing for Quebec to secede and declare its sovereignty. As a British Columbian, I discovered during that referendum that there is a long history of independence and agitation for secession in the West. Historically and contemporarily, British Columbia and Pacific States have been more politically coherent with each other than with the countries of which they are currently a part. Canada, as a nation, is relatively new—Confederation only finished happening in the 1950's with Newfoundland's joining. As the rumblings from Quebec testify, the arrangement of these diverse nation-states into one country is not a done deal.

In this past century, we've seen hundreds of borders re-written as countries conglomerate, separate, re-unite and then separate again. We're no stranger to the idea of borders changing, and yet people somehow find the idea of a State or Province seceeding to be some kind of blasphemy. The lines on the map have never been written in stone, and will continue to change. The question is, does anyone in North America except for Bernard Landrie believe in the ability of the people to make such a choice?

Proud and strong, the Independent Republic of New York would be greeted on the international scene with a warm welcome and open arms. As the seat of the United Nations, a country with the most cosmopolitan and well-traveled people, and an economic powerhouse with a population of 8 million—more than Greece—the citizens of New York, New York, New York would be truly global citizens.

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As obscure rants go this one is pretty good. You should try sending it into the paper.

I would be in good company with the Fundies and nutcases that populate most local papers' Letters to the Editor pages.

I'd probably get a better response by submitting it to the SFU student paper.

blue city, red country

It's not just New York city. Check out the county by county maps: USA Today's red/blue winners, and for even more nuance, proportionate purple shading.

I asked the guy who did the second one if he could make a map where brightness was proportional to population. I wanted to see the shining blue cities and the dim red plains. He said he already tried it, but that Manhattan was bright and the rest of the country was all black. He said even logarithmic scaling didn't help.

Re: blue city, red country

The purple-shaded map is hypnotising. The USA Today map is just depressing. Sooo many red counties, so many people who'd rather vote with their fears than with their heads.

I found it interesting how many counties voted Kerry that were on their respective states' borders with other counties who voted Kerry. Just look at that cluster in the Deep South on the USA Today map. Are those nearest the major cities?

Re: blue city, red country

The blue counties in the Deep South are along the Mississippi river. So if coastal areas and major waterways go for Kerry, what does that mean? Does dehydration make you Republican?

jwz's got a thread that had some of those maps, and more.

I like this 3-d plot (though I believe it is flawed) and the verification of Bush state stereotypes. Don't miss the FAQ for that last one.

Re: blue city, red country

One theory: fish is brain food. The interior soils are iodine deficient, leading to cretinism.

You connect the dots.

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