Sunday, August 15, 2004

BAJA ARIZONA



One does have to wonder if the only way out from under the wingnuts, cardealers, bankers, and developers who run this state is to start a separatist movement. Some have noted that we here in Baja Arizona, as well as Alta Arizona from, say, Sedona up to the Utah border would make a fine Blue State. If we could just excise Maricopa county from the state, or even just certain parts of it, the result would be a great place to live.

Perhaps we can build a wall around Phoenix metro and force the RNC to airlift supplies in. Or perhaps we can fortify the Gila as a sort of Maginot line. We would have to mine the area with Bibles, used cars, and land use lawyers, to distract and confuse those seeking to invade our fair desert.

Or we could perhaps appeal to Mexico to re-invade Southern Arizona and re-annex the area. I think I would prefer to live under the Mexican government than under the bozos currently controlling either the federal or state government.

We don't have the advantage, if you can call it that, of a historical moment making possible our secession, as did West Virginia in the Civil War. Our long-standing grievances will probably remain unaddressed.

I haven't given the issue any serious study, so I don't know the legal way for part of a state to separate from that state. I suppose the real legal answer to the problem is a political question: i.e., "whatever works."

However, I do know that the very first section of the state constitution contains a description of Arizona's physical borders. The decorative text in the header graphic of this site is, in fact, that very language. One can change the constitution by an Initiative measure pursuant to a simple majority vote. Getting a constitutional amendment on the ballot requires only 15% of the total votes cast for Governor in the last election. So perhaps one could wait for a low turnout year, probably 2006, slap a new set of geographic boundaries on an Initiative, and pass it with a thunderous turnout in the north and south of the state.

The borders of Arizona would no longer include our dreamt-of blue state. Or Maricopa county is no longer within the state: like a big donut, the Initiative could just knock a hole in the state. What happens then? I don't know. The area no long part of Arizona becomes a territory again and petitions Congress for statehood? Maybe.

It's an interesting problem. How to get rid of the creeping crud in the middle of the state without the crud being able to stop it. Whoever figures it out, and more importantly, carries it out, would be hero to many.

Everyone knows that outlying counties are getting screwed regarding tax disbursements. Everyplace outside of Metro Phoenix would be materially better off by no longer having to feed the beast with their tax dollars. Everyone knows that Conservative wingnuts would be greatly weakened without the population of Phoenix to perpetuate their power. Places that now have no voice in government, i.e. pretty much everywhere outside of Phoenix, would get meaningful representation. Heck, we could even start over with a rational multiple-member electoral district system that would allow smaller parties a realistic chance at representation.

Of course it is all just a dream. Or is it?

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