Should California secede from the USA?

There is a general consensus among nationalists and Unionists alike that Scotland is more than capable of governing itself, if it so chose.

But just because you can do something, does that mean you should do it?

California has one of the largest economies in the world. It has its own unique culture – as different to American culture in some other parts of the United States as the culture in some parts of Scotland are from some parts of England (and some parts of Scotland, for that matter).

And, like Scotland, California tends to vote (at least in national elections) rather differently from the rest of the country – consistently for the Democrat presidential nominee. It was once (albeit briefly) an independent republic and has been a member of the Union for half the time Scotland has been part of the United Kingdom.

So, let’s have the fifth in our series of Questions to which the answer is “Er…”:

Should California secede from the Union, and are those Californians who wish to remain American guilty of being “anti-Californian”?

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31 thoughts on “Should California secede from the USA?

  1. Well, ask a stupid question – expect to get one or two asked back – do you think the former Jugoslavia should have been kept together? What is the point of Luxembourg – should it be forcibly united with one of its more sensibly sized neighbours? Why isn’t Mark Cavendish called British instead of Manx when he wins the green jersey in the Tour de France. Norway becoming independent from Sweden – how did that happen? Andorra, San Marino, Monaco, Lichtenstein – how dare they all seem to be doing quite well in spite of being diminutive?

    What does the status of an American state have to do with anything? Why does California only have two US Senators, the same as Rhode Island or Delaware? Hint – the US has its constitutional arrrangements that seem to suit most Californians, a sizeable percentage of the people of Scotland have some doubts about the current UK situation. If you can’t deal with that fact, go and live in California.

  2. What a dumb post. If Californians want to secede from the USA then they could, I am not aware of any great demand for that, & what does it have to do with Scotland anyway?

    You know people don’t think that Scotland should secede just on a whim, & that the pattern should be repeated globally, just on a whim. There are very good reasons why people think that Scotland should secede – which is something that Labour should try & grapple with, rather than making bizarre analogies with California.

    There is one point in this post that I do understand & agree with:

    ”are those Californians who wish to remain American guilty of being “anti-Californian”?

    I do read posts from cybernats claiming that unionists are anti-Scottish. That is rubbish.

    1. For decades we’ve been told by Nationalists that Scotland has to compared to Denmark, Sweden, Norway then Ireland, Iceland the Arc of Austerity… whatever, they were all wonderful examples of what we should do… now someone brings in California and secession and the Nats bristle….what’s that got to do with Scotland? Eh?

  3. I’m assuming that the subtext of this is a clumsy rehash of the ‘Scotland is fine in the union – why leave?’ question that unionists have been confusing themselves with for decades.

    The question itself is one that should only really be asked of the Californian people. If they believe that they can create a fairer, happier, more sustainable society by seceding from the US, then surely it would be the right thing to do.

    I don’t really see what the second part of the question aims to achieve – it uses a stereotype of nationalism that most right-minded pro-independence thinkers would avoid like the plague. The vast majority of those who wish to remain part of the UK are not anti-Scottish, they simply have different priorities or ideas about what kind of country they want to live in.

    The comparison of Scotland with California is also pretty misleading. California is a state, with far more autonomy from federal government than Scotland has from Westminster, and the logical progression from the anti-independence argument implied by this question is a fully federal UK, which I don’t think many unionists particularly want. The question therefore undermines its own agenda.

  4. Once again our Nationalist comrades fail to realise that there is not majority support for independence, never has been. If the people of Scotland really wanted to separate from the Union then why do so few vote SNP at general elections?

    1. And which of us just suggested that there was majority support for independence?

      You cannot measure support for independence by votes for the SNP – if that were the case, then they wouldn’t currently have a majority in the Scottish Parliament.

      Regarding the ‘never has been’ – I think if you were able to conduct a poll in the mid-14th century on whether or not Scotland should be ultimately ruled from a parliament in England, support for an independent Scottish state may just stretch across the 50% mark… I do admit, however, that such speculation and use of historical precedent does tend to be unhelpful in these debates. Much like your comment.

    2. Once again our Nationalist comrades fail to realise that there is not majority support for independence, never has been. If the people of Scotland really wanted to separate from the Union then why do so few vote SNP at general elections?

      Because some of them vote Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem at elections then there are the Greens etc who support Independence. I expect we’ll use unionist 40% rules only it will be reversed so that the dead will support the motion this time for fairness!

    3. “Once again our Nationalist comrades fail to realise that there is not majority support for independence, never has been.”

      True, but when exactly have the SNP seriously argued for Independence. It’s exactly the same argument that says that people voted Lib Dem, New Labour or Tory at the last few Westminster Elections because they were content with the Union.

      You haven’t been on something have you? Andrew Neil’s Blue Nun prehaps?

  5. Once again our Nationalist comrades fail to realise that there is not majority support for independence, never has been. If the people of Scotland really wanted to separate from the Union then why do so few vote SNP at general elections?

    So why waste time here with a mad hypothesis?

  6. Rory is right.

    U.S. federalism points towards Scottish Fiscal Autonomy.

    Hopefully Labour will adopt this position.

  7. This question is a complete red herring, and nothing to do with the question of Scotland’s future. It just shows how silly and far-fetched the Unionists are willing to become in putting forward their arguments. The future of the California should be a matter for the people of California, and the future of Scotland should be a matter for the people of Scotland.

  8. The first paragraph is very misleading. Unionists never talk up Scotland’s ability to succeed with independence. Quite the opposite, they talk down our potential and deliberately twist and distort our Scotlands potential to maintain a fear among Scots about independence.

    And the question posed is also misleading. Those who support independence do not label those who believe positively in the UK as anti-Scottish. Nothing wrong with believing in an independent UK over an independent Scotland. Rather it is those Scots who talk down and belittle the notion of independence who are called anti Scottish. And quite right too.

    My er question for Labour is:
    Should California wish to secede from America and realise it’s commonly agreed potential, should those californians who relentlessly talk down and mislead about California’s potential be guilty of being anti Californian?

  9. Ah yes the Finland question again. Why should Finland not return to Russia or Sweden? The simple answer is the people do not want to. In Scotland the people clearly did not want Labour in Holyrood. No Er there. To borrow a well known Labour leaders phrase “Scottish Labour does not get it” no sign of reality based politics here yet.

  10. American history is so rich and colourful don’t you think? For example the north-west counties of the state of Virginia, seceded from that state in 1861 by repealing Virginia’s Ordinance of Secession from the Union. The Federal Government recognised the breakaway western counties as the real state of Virginia, while the Confederate Government recognised the remaining eastern ones, similarly as the state of Virginia. In 1863 the Federal Government admitted the counties as the separate state of West Virginia and it’s been that ever since. Were the people of Virginia anti-American to leave the Union? And if not where the people of West Virginia anti-Virginian for rejoining it. The point is in this case the majority wanted to leave the Union while the minority did not. The majority being a majority got their way but the minority asserted its right to independence and left Virginia to rejoin the Union.

  11. I think that the big question is are Californians who want to remain within the union “anti-californian”? And if the answer is no, then why should Scots who want Scotland to remain in the union be called anti-scottish?

    1. Keep in mind that California’s legislature has a many powers that Holyrood does not.

      1. Agreed, but thats nothing to do with what I said, which is that those californians who want to stay within the union are not described as “anti-californian”.

        I happen to agree that Holyrood should have more powers than at present (and indeed more than is currently proposed) – but that doesnt changte the fact that anyone who wants anything less than full independence is often described as “anti-scottish”.

  12. This comparison says a lot more about Labour’s attitute towards Scotland than it does the SNP’s.

    You should go on the road with it. It demonstrates we’re months down the line and still nothing has been learned.

  13. John Ruddy. Only those who deliberately talk down Scottish independence are called anti Scottish. That is pretty much everyone in the labour party. Why would any scot talk themselves down and have such a lack of belief in themselves? But labour does. And so for that you are anti Scottish. My advice. Talk up the benefits of Scotland staying in the union, lay off attacking our potential for independence, and nats will have no basis for the anti scottish tag. Understand now?

    1. So if someone who loves Scotland and genuinely wants to see it prosper, yet believes that Scotland would suffer as a result of independence, then saying so is “anti-Scottish”?

      1. It is not anti-Scottish to believe that Scotland is better off in the union. In my view it is a mistaken belief, but that doesn’t make the holder of the belief any less Scottish than me.

  14. Depends. If you think Scotland is doomed to fail with independence, if you think independence brings no opportunities for Scotland, if you think scots are uniquely incapable among all the nations and peoples in the world of running their own affairs, and your arguments are based on inconsistent arguments and dishonest information then yes you are anti scottish!

    If you think that scots can do it well on their own but believe the UK is, all things considered a better option, then no you are not anti-Scottish.

    Which camp are you in?

  15. I am a labour voter. However I would prefer a distinct Scottish party identity. I note several of my comments have now been removed from the site on various topics.
    I consider the comments I have made to have been polite and constructive.
    I now lack confidence that even these comments will be posted.

  16. John you are still no getting this. Talk down scotland’s clear potential and ability to make a go of independence then you rightly deserve the anti Scottish label. But believing the Scotland would be better off in the union is clearly not anti-Scottish as that is a positive choice based on two perfectly viable options. That is the common nat view. Understand now?

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