Ralph Benko

Crimea. Venice. Scotland. Quebec. Catalonia. Colorado.

Crimea’s vote, a popular vote of no confidence in Kiev, to leave Ukraine (and rejoin Russia) is in some ways unique.

In other ways it appears part of an emerging, worldwide, trend.

Venice voted this week, in a nonbinding referendum, to secede from Italy. 89% in favor: a popular vote of no confidence in Rome.

Scotland will vote next September on whether to disunite from the United Kingdom. Much to London’s dismay.

Parti Québécois is quite likely to take control of the Quebec legislature within a few weeks. PQ’s core mission, albeit currently soft pedaled, has been to establish Quebec as a sovereign nation. In 1995 it came within millimeters of winning a referendum to do just that..

Catalonia proposes a November 9 vote to separate from Spain. Madrid considers this illegal and has promised to quash the voting process. Yet the proposal is an indicator of public disaffection with Madrid.

In the United States, eleven Colorado counties recently narrowly voted down seceding to form a new state (a process requiring more Constitutional steps than were in evidence). The Washington Times, reporting on a somewhat comparable movement to break the governance of New York State into two autonomous regions, writes: “Campaigns for ‘secession’ or a 51st state have been on the rise since the 2012 presidential election — see California, Colorado and Maryland ….”

What is happening?

Ralph Benko

Ralph Benko, author of The Websters’ Dictionary: How to use the Web to transform the world. He serves as an advisor to and editor of the Lehrman Institute's thegoldstandardnow.org and senior advisor to the American Principles Project.

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