18 votes

New Caledonia narrowly rejects independence from France in historic referendum

12 comments

  1. [12]
    flower
    Link
    Why exactly do they want to be independent? Do they feel central government in France is cheating them out of something? Or is it just the opposition trying to unite behind a common cause? Sounds...

    Why exactly do they want to be independent? Do they feel central government in France is cheating them out of something? Or is it just the opposition trying to unite behind a common cause?

    Local media reported that seven cars were set on fire in the north of the capital

    Sounds French to me

    4 votes
    1. [11]
      Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      It's a conquered and colonised country - just like all the European colonies in Africa that wanted independence 50-60 years ago. Why wouldn't a conquered people want to remove their conquerors? I...

      It's a conquered and colonised country - just like all the European colonies in Africa that wanted independence 50-60 years ago. Why wouldn't a conquered people want to remove their conquerors?

      I think the whole argument is summed up well by this one sentence:

      The Kanak population is broadly seen to be pro-independence while New Caledonians with European origins tend to be more in favour of remaining with France.

      It's as simple as that. The conquered Kanaks don't want to be conquered any more.

      6 votes
      1. [10]
        flower
        Link Parent
        Doesn't look that simple to me, it's not as if it's the late 1800's/early 1900's and they have absolutely no power and are mercilessly explored by the metropolis. All New Caledonians are French...
        • Exemplary

        Doesn't look that simple to me, it's not as if it's the late 1800's/early 1900's and they have absolutely no power and are mercilessly explored by the metropolis. All New Caledonians are French Citizens and vote for the European Parliament, the French Parliament and the French Senate. They don't seem to pay any extra taxes and have a big degree of authority when self governing, even more so for the indigenous people who, at least according to the wikipedia page, have an independent governing body and are mostly only tied to the European population and rule when it comes to certain affairs of the judiciary system. Meanwhile they have the protection of the French Armed Forces and investments in education (even an university) from the French government.

        This is not what being 'conquered' looks like. I don't see any advantages whatsoever for them to gain from independence.

        10 votes
        1. [9]
          Algernon_Asimov
          Link Parent
          Some people do things based on principle, rather than for material advantage. Maybe they don't want to be ruled by a foreign government that's halfway around the world.

          Some people do things based on principle, rather than for material advantage. Maybe they don't want to be ruled by a foreign government that's halfway around the world.

          8 votes
          1. [2]
            flower
            Link Parent
            True, some people do think like that. Funny because I'd rather be governed by France than by my own government.

            True, some people do think like that.

            Funny because I'd rather be governed by France than by my own government.

            5 votes
            1. BuckeyeSundae
              Link Parent
              A lot of that may depend on which government you currently have. As an American, I'd say "same."

              A lot of that may depend on which government you currently have. As an American, I'd say "same."

              9 votes
          2. [6]
            SuperHans
            Link Parent
            Indeed. As an American in the Pacific Northwest, I'm not too fond of being ruled by a government on the other side of the continent even at the best of times. I can hardly imagine being cool with...

            Indeed. As an American in the Pacific Northwest, I'm not too fond of being ruled by a government on the other side of the continent even at the best of times. I can hardly imagine being cool with a government based on the other side of the planet in trade for a couple seats at the table. The only real plus I can see is that being French citizens means they have access to the whole EU so if you did want/need to leave the island for work or education you could do so quite easily and would have the entire EU to choose from.

            3 votes
            1. [3]
              EightRoundsRapid
              Link Parent
              Assuming you could afford to leave. New Caledonia is a long way from Europe, and expensive to get in and out of. On paper it looks like a good deal, but is an opportunity open to very few.

              Assuming you could afford to leave. New Caledonia is a long way from Europe, and expensive to get in and out of. On paper it looks like a good deal, but is an opportunity open to very few.

              4 votes
              1. [2]
                SuperHans
                Link Parent
                Indeed, immigrating anywhere is expensive, but my point is that as French/EU citizens their barrier is much lower. People all over the world save what they can with hopes to use it to move to a...

                Indeed, immigrating anywhere is expensive, but my point is that as French/EU citizens their barrier is much lower. People all over the world save what they can with hopes to use it to move to a country with better opportunities, its expensive but they see it as an investment. In most cases, they also have to worry about having to sort out a visa to obtain work or work undocumented. A New Caledonian has 28(soon probably 27) countries to choose from to not have to worry about sorting out a visa. Not saying its a good reason to stay colonized but I can see why someone might vote remain if they had ambitions to leave the island.

                1 vote
                1. Algernon_Asimov
                  Link Parent
                  Are people really that selfish and calculating? "I don't care if you feel oppressed by a government that conquered our ancestors. I'm getting my ticket out of here, and that's all that matters to...

                  I can see why someone might vote remain if they had ambitions to leave the island.

                  Are people really that selfish and calculating? "I don't care if you feel oppressed by a government that conquered our ancestors. I'm getting my ticket out of here, and that's all that matters to me. So long, suckers!"

            2. [2]
              Algernon_Asimov
              Link Parent
              Your situation is slightly different. For starters, it's not like that government on the other side of the continent invaded your country and took over against your ancestors' will (unless you...

              Your situation is slightly different. For starters, it's not like that government on the other side of the continent invaded your country and took over against your ancestors' will (unless you happen to be of Native American descent, which is a whole different matter) - and despite your ancestors' violent fight against that take-over. Your area was settled by the government that currently rules it. New Caledonia was invaded, and the descendants of the native people want their independence back from the invaders.

              1 vote
              1. SuperHans
                Link Parent
                Oh for sure, I didn't intend to compare, as a mostly white person, my displeasure with the other Washington to to a colonized people and their struggle for independence. I guess I was more making...

                Oh for sure, I didn't intend to compare, as a mostly white person, my displeasure with the other Washington to to a colonized people and their struggle for independence. I guess I was more making the point that even as colonizer myself I would much prefer to break from the US and bring control back here. If a similar situation arose here, I would certainly care more about the will of the Coast Salish people than I would about the rest of the US.