Secession in Saint Kitts and Nevis

Another less well known, but equally interesting case of admission of the right to secession is to be found in the federal republic of Saint Kitts and Nevis, comprising those two homonymous islands in the Caribbean.

The 1983 Constitution grants the smaller island —Nevis— the unilateral right to secede. The rule specifies that independence must be supported by the people of Nevis in a referendum by a two-thirds majority (article 113).

Nevis has organized two independence votes so far. The first one, in 1977, was held before the adoption of the Constitution, and was nullified by the central government of the federation, albeit more than 99% of voters supported separation.

At that time, the pro-independence movement argued that, from the moment that the two islands had become a UK associated, semi-independent state, Nevis had found itself turned into a de facto colony of Saint Kitts, the Nevisian islanders’ quality of life having fallen in the meantime.

The second referendum took place in 1998, after the current Constitution had already been passed and the Federation was completely freed from UK rule. The Assembly of Nevis called the referendum. 62% of voters said “yes” to independence.

The share therefore felt short of the required threshold, and independence was not achieved.

State of Local Privatization

Robert W. Poole, Jr. said that a local government could be operated by three people, a manager, a lawyer, and a secretary in his book “Cutting Back City Hall.”

So, I wanted to find out the current state of privatization in local government. The International City/County Managers Association (ICMA) has been assessing local government practices, experiences, and policies in alternative service delivery every 5 years for more than three decades.

In June 2017, ICMA partnered with Cornell University to launch an update to the Alternative Service Delivery (ASD) Survey. Paper surveys were mailed to 13,777 chief administrative officers of all municipalities with a population of over 2,500 and all counties across the United States.

Responses were received from 2,343 local governments, yielding a response rate of 17% with a 2% margin of error. The results were published in June 2019.

This survey provides insights into alternative service delivery among U.S. local governments. Key topics explored include feasibility work done by local governments on private service delivery; obstacles faced in adopting private service delivery; techniques to evaluate private service delivery, as well as shared services with other jurisdictions; and how certain services are provided within communities.

Some of the obstacles to privatization local governments claim to have run into include; Opposition from elected officials 43.2%, Opposition from local government line employees 45.8%, Opposition from department heads 24.4%, and Restrictive labor contracts/agreements 32.8%.

So, what private-sector alternative delivery systems do local governments use?

Alternative service delivery using the private sector:

Vehicle towing and storage 75.5%

Legal services 62.2%

Commercial solid waste collection 61.9%

Operation of daycare facilities  61.0%

Residential solid waste collection 56.7%

Recycling 51.9%

Electric/gas utility operation and management 50.9%

Solid waste disposal 47.4%

Operation/management of hospitals 47.1%

Information technology services  45.8%

Street tree trimming & planting 34.7%

Home health care/visiting nurse  34.7%

Street repair 33.3%

Disposal of hazardous materials 32.4%

Fleet management/vehicle maintenance  31.2%

Addiction treatment programs 30.8%

Mental health programs and facilities  28.3%

Insect/rodent control 26.7%

Facility maintenance 25.5%

Emergency medical transport/ambulance 22.2%

Operation of parking lots & garages  21.5%

Utility meter reading & billing 21.2%

Building security 21.2%

Traffic sign/signal installation/maintenance 19.8%

Maintenance/administration of cemeteries 19.5%

Operation of convention centers and auditoriums  19.5%

Street/parking lot cleaning 18.6%

Affordable housing 18.0%

Operation/maintenance of paratransit system 17.5%

Emergency medical care 16.6%

Collection of delinquent taxes 16.2%

In-home safety improvements for seniors 15.5%

Operation of homeless shelters 15.4%

Parks landscaping/maintenance 15.2%

Operation of cultural and arts programs  15.2%

Operation/maintenance of bus transit system 14.9%

Operation of airports 13.6%

Inspection/code enforcement 13.0%

Youth employment programs 12.1%

Comprehensive land-use planning 11.8%

Personnel services  11.6%

Before/after school programs or summer camps 11.5%

Workforce development/job training programs  11.5%

Programs for the elderly  11.3%

Programs to address hunger 11.1%

Title records/plat map maintenance  10.8%

Tax assessing 10.8%

Snow plowing/sanding 10.4%

Land use review and permitting  10.0%

Elder nutrition programs (e.g., Meals on Wheels) 10.0%

Payroll 9.9%

Child welfare programs 9.7%

Senior recreation programs 9.4%

Youth recreation programs  9.2%

Centralized customer service system (i.e., 311 system)  9.1%

Water distribution 9.0%

Tax bill processing  8.8%

Water treatment 8.7%

Operation of animal shelters 8.7%

Economic development  8.5%

Sewage collection and treatment 7.6%

Animal control  7.5%

Inspection of food preparation facilities 7.4%

Public relations/public information 7.1%

Operation of museums  7.0%

Sanitary inspection  5.8%

Operation of recreation facilities  5.8%

Parking enforcement 4.1%

Prisons/jails 3.7%

Operation of libraries 2.5%

Fire suppression  0.9%

Public safety dispatch 0.8%

Crime prevention/patrol  0.5%

Here’s the report if you want to read it:

2017 Alternative Service Delivery Survey

Secession in Ethiopia

This is probably the world’s most explicit Constitution regarding secession and plurinationality. The Ethiopian Constitution proclaims the “unrestricted” right of “Nations, Nationalities and Peoples” to “self-determination up to secession” (Article 39.1).

The African country —which from late 19th century until the end of the Cold War sought to build a highly centralized power— has been organized under a federal model since 1991, after the communist regime led by Mengistu Haile Mariam was overthrown.

There are 11 federal regions/territories, most of them formed on an ethnolinguistic basis: the Oromo, the Somali and the Afar, for instance, each have their own region, with their own government and Parliament.

The Constitution also specifies the procedure to achieve independence: the seceding nation must do a formal request, a referendum in the region must then be held, and finally the transfer of powers to the council of the seceding nation and the partition of property must be organized.

In practice, however, Ethiopia is currently ruled by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which holds 500 of 547 seats in the federal Parliament —its allies control the remaining 47 seats.

The EPRDF is accused by worldwide human rights organizations and by Ethiopian opposition groups alike of ruling the country with an iron hand and of not allowing any real democratic system to take root.

Under those conditions, it is difficult to think that any territory would be now allowed to launch its own way towards independence. The 2016 crackdown against protests in Oromia —the country’s largest and most populated region— are an example of that.

However, the fact that the Constitution says what it says is no small deed, bearing in mind that any future regime change and transition to democracy could lead to a new scenario in which the right to secession could be effectively implemented.

From “Ten countries that grant the right to independence.”

Rule of Law

Rule of law is one of the main reasons to even have a state. Yet it isn’t done well by governments. Research done by Robert Poole in Alameda County, California illustrates this; in one year there were 98,218 felonies reported to the police.

Victimization studies conducted by LEAA and the U.S. Census show that actual crime is 2-3x greater than reported. So, we can estimate the actual felonies at 245,545. For all these crimes, the police only arrested 13,695 adults and 6,798 juveniles.

Of the 13,695 adults, the police released 2,377 on grounds of insufficient evidence, requested misdemeanor complaints against 1,315, and requested actual felony complaints against 10,043.

But the district attorney’s office found that in only 4,946 of the felony cases was there sufficient evidence to warrant felony prosecution; of these 4,946, the municipal court dismissed or processed as misdemeanants 2,714, sending only 2,232 to superior court for felony trials.

Of these, 1,856 were convicted of felonies that means 12% of all arrested as felons, 1.7% of all reported felonies, or 0.7% of all actual felonies. Yet, America’s prisons holds 22% of the world’s entire prison population. This is not counting secret hidden prisons.

So, either, the American people are the worst people on the planet or there is something fundamentally wrong with our system.

Secession in Canada

After the 1995 self-determination referendum in Quebec, in which independence was rejected by a margin of just 1% of the votes, the Canadian government —at that time led by anti-independence Quebecois Jean Chrétien— asked the Supreme Court to clarify whether Quebec was allowed to unilaterally secede.

In response, the Court issued the 2 S.C.R. 217 opinion of 1998, which can be summarized in three main points. The first one, that Canadian law does not provide that Quebec can unilaterally secede, nor that the province can dictate to Canada the terms of its separation.

The second one, that Canada has no basis to reject Quebec’s independence under the democratic principle provided that a majority of Quebecois clearly show in a referendum that they want to split.

And the third one, that if this latter scenario does occur, the Canadian and the Quebec governments must enter into negotiations to agree on the terms of separation.

The opinion of the Supreme Court gave arguments to both sides, as evidenced by the fact that both the Canadian and the Quebec governments welcomed it.

The unionist camp felt that the Court had acknowledged that Quebec could not unilaterally secede, and furthermore, that the decision must be “clear”. In fact, the so-called Clarity Act was born out of this idea: approved by the Canadian Parliament in 2000, the law establishes that the wording of the question of any independence referendum should be clear enough, as should be clear any pro-independence majority.

The same year, the National Assembly of Quebec countered by passing the so-called Act 99, according to which the required “yes” majority in a referendum should be a mere 50% of the votes plus one.

The pro-secession camp was given by the Supreme Court a possibly wider victory, as it became admitted that independence is above all a political issue

The pro-secession camp, on the other side, was given by the Court a possibly wider victory, as it became admitted that independence is above all a political issue, and that democratic decisions made by a majority should prevail over whether the Canadian legal corpus explicitly admits the possibility of Quebec independence.

From “Ten countries that grant the right to independence.”

JACK CASEY

Author of The Royal Green series

By the time I was of voting age in Austin, Texas, I was a pro War-on-Terror hawkish Republican with an ‘ends justify the means’ authoritarian nightmare of a worldview.

Voting for the first time in the 2010 ‘Tea Party’ wave of Republicans to unironically support ‘small government’ helped expose me to some real limited government talk, including Ron Paul who kept saying things that contradicted a lot of my core beliefs, but I wasn’t ready yet and voted Romney in 2012.

It was only later through storytelling, both being exposed to more fiction with themes of liberty (Atlas Shrugged, of course, being one, but honestly even Game of Thrones had a libertarianizing effect on me, as did many others), and especially in writing books of my own where I explored my own beliefs and wrestled with them, that I emerged out the other side a Libertarian. 

That soul searching process helped transform my values, and the information and research soon fell into place to prove the hard truths I had been unwilling to hear before about the War on Terror and many other subjects. 

My ‘patriotic’ hawkish ways were broken, and I had a better war, one of peace and true liberty, to fight for. I was your classic ‘guy on villain’s team has change of heart and turns to the side of the heroes’ character. 

The Red/Blue, Left/Right, two-party system illusion was over for me. My hair began to truly flow Libertarian gold. I had stopped voting by 2014 but started voting Libertarian in 2016, joining the party soon after (reading articles from smart places like Cato, Reason Magazine, FEE, etc., and closely following smart people like Larry Sharpe and Justin Amash). 

For the last year or so I now consider myself in the ‘anarchist’ or ‘ancap’ or ‘voluntary society’ camp (in large part thanks to Spike Cohen and other radical candidates in the 2020 Libertarian primary process), but with much love and respect for the limited government minarchists of the movement and party. 

I see the minarchist wing as being more immediately viable and persuasive to the average voter and an important stepping stone to getting us to where I would like to see us.

Anyone looking to reduce government rather than expand it is an ally to me. I want to grow our tent and welcome as many liberty-minded people as we can to the party, regardless of where they are at on every particular issue.

I spent a lot of 2020 on social media staying up all night trying to win people from the Left and Right to the cause, often through humor and memes, or waxing dark and poetic, usually ending with me crying into my whiskey (sometimes a Seabreeze or other cocktail) or else slamming a fist on my keyboard in frustration, but sometimes making a real breakthrough. 

I’ve spent some time since reflecting on what I got right and wrong promoting the Libertarian ticket and ideas, working on my persuasion abilities, and I’m looking to find where I can best apply my skills going forward.

What I learned however with my own experiences over the years was that sometimes people aren’t ready to hear something through conversation and debate on politics (we’ve all been ‘that guy’ at parties), but rather through storytelling, seeing the ideas and values expressed through characters they become emotionally attached to. 

I didn’t set out to write Libertarian fiction when I wrote my first books, but I could see the eyes of Liberty herself staring back at me through the pages by the time I finished them.

I want to write stories and characters that inspire others the way I was inspired through books/movies/graphic novels/video games that captured that spirit of love and rebellion against unjust authoritarian systems and powers. 

The more our ideas can influence the culture, the sooner we will start winning electorally and help turn this ship around and away from the looming rocks.

Or at least prepare a lifeboat. I’m still relatively new at being an advocate and have a lot more to learn. I am improving my craft and educating myself further, but every day that I can promote Libertarian voices and contribute my own either directly or through stories, I want to help the torch burn just a little bit brighter.

Kyle Anzalone

Found Ron Paul in ’09. I was a libertarian within a few months. Liberty Defined was a key book for me. I read my Rand, Rothbard, Sowell, Woods, Schiffs, and Camus over the next few years and was an AnCap by ’13.

I guess I’d call myself an ancap. The goal is to get people to understand the state is violence. Realistically, I’d like to see the empire end. Close as many military bases as possible, end sanctions, end drone strikes, end wars, bring troops home, end foreign aid, withdraw from NATO. 

I would like my country not to rule lives inside or outside of the US. I think the liberty movement must be cultural and political. It helps to have a libertarian presidential candidate.

But the real change will come when we change minds about the state, war, police, etc. That’s why I work at Antiwar.com and The Libertarian Institute.

ROXY ELIZABETH

Even as a child I despised arbitrary authority so you might say that I have always been a libertarian. Ideologically, I am a voluntaryist, although I am not against using politics as a form of self-defense.

The best-case scenario with the least amount of pain and suffering would be societal moves in the direction of freedom that replaced the need for government services, thereby eliminating them.

I think this could be entirely possible (through agorism, mutual aid, homeschooling, and charitable efforts, for example) but requires a great number of people to get on board.

Our current state of tyranny could serve to drive this or make it virtually impossible. We shall have to wait and see how it all pans out. Ultimately, my vision for the world would be one in which free markets and natural law rule, and society operated in a non-orchestrated, voluntary fashion.

I am involved in trying to make that happen in a number of ways and I coordinate with various groups on issues like homeschooling, community gardening, self-sufficiency, and education regarding libertarian ideas. 

I am currently working on a project called The Zen Libertarian. I appreciate that Self-Determination Advocates helps to advance these kinds of initiatives by providing them with exposure.

Institute for Competitive Governance

ICG Mission Statement

The Institute for Competitive Governance (ICG) wants to show the world a better way to better government by encouraging the research and development of relatively small but deeply innovative special jurisdictions. 

This sort of structural reform can put the power of private competition to work at finding new solutions to oldest problems of public life. As the world has grown increasingly complex and interconnected, governments’ reform efforts have fallen behind the pace of change.

Special jurisdictions, defined as areas exempt from one or more national laws, offer a tool by which countries can test new laws, implement international best practices, and ensure competitiveness for the 21st century.

Competition between special jurisdictions embodies the best aspects of market competition, ensuring that successful practices are rapidly adopted. China lifted 700 million people out of poverty in a large part due to the rapid expansion of special economic zones inspired by Hong Kong.

Their success, among others, has opened new vistas for improving governing services with narrow but deep reforms. The Competitive Governance Institute furthers this area of governmental innovation by generating scholarly work to inform policymakers about special jurisdictions.

ICG promotes the study and development of special jurisdictions through white papers, public education, and advice to policymakers. The Institute maintains a non-partisanship approach to its topic, however, seeking only the universally acceptable goal of improving human communities.

Types of Special Jurisdictions include:

Special Economic Zones; Special Jurisdictions with legal exemptions from select laws–typically, import restrictions and taxes–but sometimes with their own commercial codes, examples include Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Dubai.

Charter Cities; Mixed use urban developments administered by third party governments within a host country. Examples include Early American colonies, like Pennsylvania, and proposed contemporary ones.

Private Cities; Privately owned and operated mixed use urban developments.  Examples include city-sized HOAs like Highland Park, Colorado, and the Gurgaon in northern India.

Cooperatives; Communities in which the residents manage their jointly-owned property, examples include Co-Op City in the Bronx area of New York, NY, and Marilenda, Spain.

Microstates; Small states, often no larger than cities, examples include Liechtenstein, a microstate with one of the highest GDP Per Capita in the world. link

Side Hustles 2/18/21

5 exercises to find your ideal ‘grand-slam success’ side hustle

Before I started my first side hustle in 2014, I had notebooks filled with ideas I never acted on and longtime dreams of being an entrepreneur. I spent many afternoons researching business ideas and writing down the ones I couldn’t stop thinking about.

I came close to launching a couple that seemed straightforward enough to run, like a drop shipping store or a resume writing service. But I couldn’t maintain the enthusiasm to follow through.

Figuring out which ventures to really invest my time and effort into was a challenge. link

RETOOLING YOUR CAREER DURING COVID: A PHILADELPHIA STORY

How a Philly guy switched it up entirely.

You may have seen the self-help articles about how to reinvent your career during COVID.

Many tips include tapping old ties from the past, remembering long-forgotten passions and re-imaging them as work for you, or doing a self-audit by recognizing other skills you may have that haven’t been put to use. While this is all good advice, one Philadelphia fellow stumbled across his next career move almost by accident. link

How to shift your livelihood from active to passive income (Part 1)

One of the greatest things you can do in life is to transfer your source of livelihood from active to passive income. Active income is any income that requires ongoing work to thrive. And Passive income is income that can thrive without work. link

Hungry North Koreans Gripe at Being Forced to Sing and Dance For Late  Former Leader

People wonder why they must venerate Kim Jong Il when they cannot afford food.

North Koreans pressed into mass public tributes to late leader Kim Jong Il for his 79th birth anniversary this month are now struggling to support themselves after missing work for political meetings, patriotic singing contests and dance parties, sources in the country told RFA.

Self-Employed and Side Hustlers Will Likely Contribute £125 Billion to Help UK Economy in 2021

Small business, working at the office.

Pre-pandemic in 2019, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) found over 1.1 million people were either employed in two jobs or self-employed in addition to having another job.

COVID-19 has only accelerated this and the growth of the self-employed and side hustler movement, with changes in employment and lifestyles pushing more people to work for themselves than ever before – either through choice or out of the necessity of being furloughed or made redundant.

The population of self-employed workers in the UK now sits at over five million, making up 15% of the UK’s workforce. link