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What would you think of a ballot where 90.7% of the electorate voted and 98.8% of those voted one way? It sounds like one of those throwbacks to the bad old days of the Soviet Union or an election organised by some now overthrown Middle East dictator.

Yet this vote had been declared "free and fair" by a group of international observers. Where? The Falklands Islands (Las Malvinas in Spanish) in the South Atlantic. The islanders were faced with a referendum on whether or not to remain a British Overseas Territory (BOT). Winston Sim1th's earlier diary gives an excellent historical perspective to the referendum.

Of the 1517 votes cast, three were against (and one ballot unaccounted for - in view of the majority the Returning Officer decided against a full recount).  Those three are thought to be those islanders who wanted independence rather than a BOT. Like Gibraltar off southern Spain, the Falklands are largely self-governing with the UK retaining responsibility for defense and foreign affairs. The islands Council does represent the views of its electorate at the UN on the anti-colonization committee.

In Argentina the ownership of the islands is often used as a diversion from domestic troubles by both military juntas and the present President as a distraction from the 25% inflation in the country. Their view is simply that the views of the islanders are irrelevant, it is a matter of ownership dating back to the early 19th century. This of course goes against one of the founding principles of the UN, that of self-determination. In a US context for example, should Texas be handed back to Mexico even if (presumably) the vast majority of Texans are opposed? Should the USA be forced to impose independence on Puerto Rico despite only 6% (vastly more than the presumed 3 in the Falklands) being in favour at their 2012 referendum, although the majority rejected the current relationship?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)

    "Who stood against President Obama in 2012?" - The trivia question nobody can answer.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 08:20:57 PM PDT

  •  Thank God you are talking about the Falklands. (0+ / 0-)

    For a moment there, I thought you were talking about trying to get the chemical companies out of the US food supply or passing any meaningful gun control ...

  •  It's even more lopsided than that. It's 99.8% for (0+ / 0-)
    •  Official result (0+ / 0-)

      It's that odd missing ballot that they did not include in the count but decided against trying to find that threw the returning officer I think. (Either that or the poor internet connection used in the broadcast) Title now changed.

      There were also four (presumably) spoilt ballot papers - ones which did not have either any mark or an invalid one (writing rude things about the Argentinians for example).

      The official published result gives a full breakdown and a link to the initial report from the international observer mission.

      "Who stood against President Obama in 2012?" - The trivia question nobody can answer.

      by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:35:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The result is plausible with such a small number (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    of voters, and the minor fact that their native language is English and the overwhelming majority are of British descent (with most of the remainder being of other European descent).  There is essentially no reason, political or cultural or economic, that they would prefer to be Argentinian based on who briefly controlled the land in the 19th century.

    Ask me if I'm afraid. I say, "Of course not. I'm a fool, and fools never die."

    by Troubadour on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:10:37 PM PDT

  •  Sounds like the margin (0+ / 0-)

    was a wee bit bigger that Al Franken beating Norm Coleman, so I will stand down from Def Con 1 in the Recount Room.

    Your ever-lovin' Winerev!


    "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

    by WineRev on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 05:38:48 AM PDT

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