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Author Topic: A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy  (Read 28447 times)

Zxcv

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A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« on: January 10, 2003, 11:25:09 pm »

All things considered, I'm not a proponent of the 2-state (or East-West) strategy. However that does not stop me from thinking about it!

I've got a scenario that might be worth kicking around.

The only East-West combo that has a hope of being viable is Wyoming and Vermont, so let's just say that is it.

Now, say we modify the agreement thus:
1) We vote on the single state as it is currently set up, call that state "A". No change there.
2) Now we say, if we pass some total FSP membership threshold (and we can argue this number) in a certain time, then we let the membership vote in a runoff situation between state "A" and our Wyoming/Vermont combo. If Wyoming/Vermont wins we go that route; otherwise stay the course.

The reason I'm thinking this might be a good way to go is this:

1) If you add the population of Wyoming and Vermont, you get a "hyper-state" with a population that is still less than Idaho, New Hampshire and Maine. But it is almost certain that this hyperstate will draw more FSPers and FSP "friends" than any one of those individual states. So on this basis alone, Wyoming/Vermont is a superior choice to these 3 states. So it ought to be put into consideration.

2) It is a better choice than any single state for other reasons - not putting all our eggs in one basket, (this is sort of the counter to the idea for the one-state strategy of putting all our firepower in one arena); better able to negotiate with the feds if two states are doing it (safety in numbers, even if the number is two); higher overall FSP population as well as "friends of FSP", probably by quite a margin; and it looks more attractive for the other 48 states to emulate if more than one FSP state is doing it (can't write it off as a fluke so easily, can't say "It wouldn't apply to our state" so easily because Vermont and Wyoming are dissimilar); finally it would be cool to have 2 free states if they both succeeded!

If done the way I suggest, or some variation on that, it would eliminate the risk of a 2-state strategy, of not having enough people for either one. Just set the threshold high enough! Yet it would provide an incentive for our troops to go out and recruit more people - trying to make that threshold, you know. And I always think it's a good thing to have strong incentives...

What do you think? Go ahead, shoot holes through it, guys...   :)
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Robert H.

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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2003, 02:54:00 am »

The only East-West combo that has a hope of being viable is Wyoming and Vermont, so let's just say that is it.

We could possibly do Wyoming/Delaware as well due to a few factors that might draw more people to Delaware than to Vermont.

1.  Milder weather would draw more who couldn't or wouldn't adapt to New England winters.
2.  More of the big city types would be drawn to Delaware (since Burlington doesn't seem to qualify as a city these days).
3.  More East Coasters would find it an easier move with greater prospects for jobs that they're accustomed to.

According to the Census Bureau, Delaware's 2001 population was 796,165 as compared to Vermont's 613,090.  This is a difference of 183,075 (greater than the difference between Maine and New Hampshire), but even this might be offset by the larger pool of potential FSP members that might be attracted by some of Delaware's features as opposed to New England's.  After all, two of the biggest gripes about candidate states are that they're too cold and too far from the urban universe (with Delaware as the oft-cited exception).  It would also make the prospects of a move less expensive for a larger number of potential joiners, thus expanding the potential pool of members on yet another front.

So, if a two-state option were included in order to draw more members, including Delaware as one of them would be likely to draw even more.  And even with its lower population considered, Vermont might still be a harder win due to the more radical element present in its population.

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1) If you add the population of Wyoming and Vermont, you get a "hyper-state" with a population that is still less than Idaho, New Hampshire and Maine. But it is almost certain that this hyperstate will draw more FSPers and FSP "friends" than any one of those individual states. So on this basis alone, Wyoming/Vermont is a superior choice to these 3 states. So it ought to be put into consideration.

This is quite a reasonable approach.  One of the more fundamental problems we have right now is that we have some great candidate states out there that are being virtually ruled out because it's feared that they could not presently handle the type of influx we have in mind.  This leaves us with choosing a lesser candidate based solely on the idea that it could probably accommodate our numbers with jobs, housing, etc., which then essentially become the only two criteria that really matter at all.  But then we risk alienating a number of people who might join up otherwise.

Why settle for that when we could divide the emphasis and thus appeal to a larger pool of potential members while at the same time reducing the requirements that candidate states would have to meet in terms of available jobs and housing?  This opens up better candidate states to more viable consideration.  

Quote
2) It is a better choice than any single state for other reasons - not putting all our eggs in one basket...

Another good point, and I would argue that it would also present a more realistic opportunity for people to move in advance of 20,000, thus providing the invaluable service of helping to prepare the way for others and making us appear to be less of an "invasion."  Those moving would also be more likely to stay given the differences between the two option states.  Westerners would be less likely to pack up and leave Wyoming for financial or lifestyle reasons, just as easterners would be less likely to pack up leave Delaware.

All in all, the idea would open up better candidate states to viable consideration, expand the pool of potential members, enable "first-wavers" to more confidently go in and prepare the way, and make it logistically, culturally and financially easier for members to move and then stay where they went.

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What do you think? Go ahead, shoot holes through it, guys...   :)

I don't see what it could hurt to at least conduct a poll on the website.  At least we'd know if it would generate any additional interest and participation.  "Should the FSP consider a two-state approach, perhaps Wyoming and Vermont or Wyoming and Delaware?"

There seems to be a fear that we won't reach 20,000 this way, but it seems equally questionable if we'll reach 20,000 once a single state is chosen.  Because once that's done (1/4 of the way to 20,000), we'll have significantly narrowed our potential pool of supporters.  I could be wrong about that though.

TedApelt

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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2003, 10:18:05 am »

I used to be against splitting up the FSP into two states, but after pounding my head against the wall trying to convince westerners that our plan would work very well in Delaware, I am now in favor of it, especially a Wyoming and Delaware combo.  Lets do it.  I am sick of the arguing.

I think Joe is right about the culture shock factor.  I lived in Billings, MT for several years, absolutely HATED it, and was very glad to get the heck out, never to go back.  I am sure that this would be true for many others, and it appears that the reverse is true as well.

And, please make the eastern state Delaware, so that those of us who hate cold and snow can have a place they at least can tolerate.
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TedApelt

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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2003, 10:28:03 am »

Burlington doesn't seem to qualify as a city these days

Not to me, it doesn't!  Philly, now that's a city.

Also, don't forget that DE's short driving distances can't be beat.
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JasonPSorens

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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2003, 11:17:37 am »

A two-state approach would actually make this seem more like a cynical "invasion"... As if we don't really like the state we've chosen, but are trying to grab all we can by invading 2 states at once.  It comes off as a power play.  I think it would be seriously detrimental to the public image of the FSP.

Better idea: pick our state, then those who absolutely don't want to move there can start their own project.  It looks as if one of the smallest states will get chosen anyway, so that is a viable strategy.
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TedApelt

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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2003, 11:34:40 am »

  What most of this comes down to is risk.

 Show me a risk- free guarantee that we are absolutely, 100%-positively going to have success creating a true 'free-state' and I will gladly move my family on foot, at risk of death, to a wind-swept hill in a refugee camp and live out of a tent and feed my family rats --if I have to, of course, just to be in the free state.  

 

You are missing the point!  The point is that we can't free the state if we don't fit in with the locals.
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Zxcv

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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2003, 11:53:56 am »

Jason, I don't buy your comment about invasion. Why would that be so?

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Show me a risk- free guarantee that we are absolutely, 100%-positively going to have success creating a true 'free-state' ...

Guys, I didn't mean this to be a discussion of the advantages of a 2-state project. I meant it to be a discussion of a risk-free way to do a 2-state project, since risk is essentially the only argument against it. After we decide if my risk-free recipe (or some variation thereof) is viable, then we can start talking about advantages! (Yes, I realize I started the advantages discussion - shame on me!  :P )

Please go up and read my strategy again, and comment on it. Suggest improvements to it.

Jason, on your 2-project comment, it's all well and good if we choose Wyoming. But what if we choose Idaho or New Hampshire? Besides, I'm not so sure Wyoming is the default choice. It seems to be the dominant choice here among us, but what about the FSP population? I'm wondering if the distribution of residences within the FSP population would indicate a Wyoming choice? There are a lot more people living in the east than the west, so it's likely there are more eastern FSPers as well.

(BTW, here's yet another strong argument for Wyoming - it enables a subsequent Free Eastern State Project! Hmmm, too bad we eliminated strategic voting.   ;)  )
« Last Edit: January 11, 2003, 12:00:41 pm by Zxcv »
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Zxcv

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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2003, 12:15:32 pm »

Here's another 2-state strategy to chew on (call it strategy B, with the above one strategy A) that might eliminate some of the problems with strategy A.

Add two "hyperstates" to our current 10-state list, Wyoming/Delaware and Wyoming/Vermont. Meld the statistics as best can be done in the spreadsheet, and so forth.

Now, if we end up choosing an ordinary state, we proceed as planned. If we end up choosing a hyperstate, we proceed only if we attain that risk-free population threshold (say 30,000 FSPers) by a certain date, otherwise we proceed with Wyoming only.

This way, western proponents can start confidently moving to Wyoming, and eastern proponents can get off their duffs and recruit like crazy!   :)
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RgnadKzin

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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2003, 12:58:35 pm »

I will have to agree that if in fact there is a two-state project the Wyoming/Delaware option is the best.

warm urbanites who hate the west can go to Delaware
cool independent minded folks who hate big cities can go to Wyoming.

I will also offer that despite Jason's trepidation, I believe that this proposition will actually attract more potential free staters, as those who shudder at the prospect of being forced either east/west, urban/rural will find their fear substantially mitigated.

It would be interesting to see how many people have "blocked out" either one or the other of these types of prospective states. For example, we could see how many people have already expressed a preference for Delaware or New Hampshire who have blocked out Wyoming and/or the Dakotas. A similar analysis of folks who prefer Wyoming or one of the Dakotas to the eastern states mentioned would be similarly enlightening.

It might give us an indication as to what type of "resistance" we are getting to the one state or nothing philosophy.

Given the current growth trends with regard to population and that of Emergency Rule because of the Forever War, I believe it is imperative to achieve critical mass as soon as possible.

Of course, there is also the prospect that once we have two free states, that they could be merged into a single state:

--cite--
Article IV; Section 3, Clause 1.

New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.
--end--

So the legislatures of Delaware and Wyoming vote to be a single free state, CONgress agrees, and then we can build the subterranean tube linking the two.
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varrin

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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2003, 03:01:54 pm »

Y'all,

I've not really been in favor of a 2 state approach.  However, after reading this thread, the arguments seem compelling.  I, too, agree that WY/DE would be the better combination.  DE is a far better compromise state than VT for weather, and urbanization factors over WY.

Here's a couple of factors not yet mentioned:  1 big state gives us (assuming we're successful) 2 U.S. Senators, roughly 2 house members and 1 governor.  1 small state gives us 2 U.S. Senators, 1 house member and 1 governor.  The WY/DE combo gives us 4 U.S. Senators (wheeee), 2 house members (I didn't look, DE only has 1, right?), and 2 governors.  That significantly increases our impact in Washington.  And all the WY folks can always make a quick getaway to DE when the heat is on in DC ;-)

Seriously, I still like ID best for a single state, but I really think DE/WY woule be even better and draw WAY more people than ID or any other single state would.

As to *how* to move to that strategy, I'm torn.  I understand Jason's objections to changing things to a two state idea, but it might be better to do that within the FSP or somehow associated with the FSP than to just say "start your own".  Would there be any good way to blend our ideas here to come up with an acceptable solution?

V-

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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2003, 03:04:49 pm »

Speaking of ideas, I just had one more that might be worth mentioning.

Maybe instead of simply changing the list of states or adding an 'official' plan, we could consider this:  A vote for WY is a vote for WY *or* a WY/DE combo.  That way the people who are anti-WY but pro-DE (ya know, all those eastern, big city, warm weather folks ;-) could ensure that WY gets picked to facilitate for a 2-state strategy...

Thoughs?

V-

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Zxcv

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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2003, 04:00:39 pm »

Quote
Maybe instead of simply changing the list of states or adding an 'official' plan, we could consider this:  A vote for WY is a vote for WY *or* a WY/DE combo.  

Varrin, I guess I don't see the advantage over adding the two "hyperstates" to the list. Also I'm a little confused about it. It eliminates the WY-only scenario. Or are you including my notion of a 30,000 (or whatever) threshold to select between WY and WY/DE? But that leaves out WY/VT...

Quote
If we consider different thresholds, then the threshold for NH, ID, or ME should be just as high as the threshold for VT&WY.

Well, that does make some sense, but I was hoping to throw a sop to Jason by conceding a higher threshold for the hyperstates only.  ;)  Besides, we can always use a good recruitment incentive...

I'm still not sure I'm a 2-state proponent, but I'm starting to feel like one. As long as the risks can be dealt with.

Quote
Since the FSP move, according to the FAQ, does not begin until it reaches 20,000 members, but the vote for the specific state happens at the 5,000 threshold, how about this amendment to Zxcv's idea. The vote at 5,000 is limited to states under 800,000 (2000 Census).  IF/when the FSP reaches 10,000 then it has another vote which includes the rest of the states because, with the extra 5,000 members, it can afford either a bigger state or a combo of two small ones. There is thus an incentive for the losing side in the first vote to round up more members to have one of their favorites win in the second round or, at least, have one of them as part of a combo choice (which hopefully garners even more members because of reasons stated above).

This sounds a bit like my strategy A, except you are thinking of a much smaller threshold than I am, and you are allowing any state or hyperstate in the second round rather than a simple runoff.

I actually feel like I prefer my strategy B, because I don't want to hold people off on moving. If I were single I would have my car packed and ready to move the instant the results at the 5000 threshold came in.  :)  The earlier people start moving, the better. The other thing is, I don't think it's healthy to keep the uncertainty for so long. We need to focus on one state or possibly an additional one, as soon as we can do it. I think this will actually increase the recruitment potential, as people like to think in concrete terms, not abstractions.

Actually, the real reason I prefer my plan B (Plan B from Outer Space?) to yours is because of the "not invented here" syndrome.  ;) But I'd go along with your suggestion if more people liked it. Or maybe I'd just go back to being a single-stater!

One more comment about "invasion". You are more likely to feel invaded if the people coming in are unlike you. Easterners going into a western state, or vice versa, would be more likely perceived this way.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2003, 04:07:30 pm by Zxcv »
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TedApelt

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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2003, 06:54:28 pm »

I would like to say something regarding "invasion":

My goal is nothing less than the elimination of tyranny in all 50 states.  If the FSP is not going in that direction, I am not interested in it.  Count me out.

OTOH, If we are going to do more states after the first one, I don't see anything wrong with doing two at once, as long as it will work.  And, from what I've seen of this east-west slugfest, I think it will work better than any single state ever would.

We need ACTIVISTS to make this work - bright, smiling, happy people that are excited about what they are doing, and will never give up.  We don't need people who feel dragged into an enviroment that they don't want to be in.

With two states, everyone will feel that they are in a place they can live in.
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varrin

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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2003, 10:53:04 pm »

Joe:

I like your thinking regarding combined state populations fitting under the Idaho limit.  I'm guessing that, though Idaho would be popular, the 2 state strategy would be even more popular.  Hence, we shouldn't have much trouble meeting the 20k (or more) criteria if we choose that route.

As for your matchups, the 2000 census numbers show ND/DE higher than ID but still under the 1.5M cap (1.4something).  I'm not sure there'd be any compelling interest in the SD matchups (much like I haven't seen much interest in any AK matchups).  

So it seems to me that we'd want to consider: WY/VT, WY/DE, ND/VT and ND/DE as the two-state matchups.  They all fit under the current population cap, would still provide huge activist saturation compared to any current location in the US, and would increase the potential for recruiting over any single state.

I think in order to make it work, we'd need to come up with a way of ensuring the activist split wasn't too lopsided.  In other words, if it was 90% WY and 10% DE, it'd be better to simply choose WY (officially anyway) and be done with it.  Somehow we'd need to know roughly how many people were interested in which state.

Hence, the voting should probably not change.  Each person vote for the best state.  But then somehow facilitate the possibility of, given the right criteria, encouraging the WY voters to go to WY and the DE voters to go to DE.  Even if only 10,000 or 15,000 go to each place, (20k-30k total), if those people are active, I suspect there will be a great deal of success.

I haven't considered the details of how Condorcet's method works, but maybe announcing the pairwise winners of contests *without* each of the 'pair' states (i.e. once without DE, once without WY, etc.) would reveal how the preferences fall for a two-state combo.

That's all my little brain can handle for now...

V-

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Robert H.

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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2003, 04:19:19 am »

There's an air of cooperation between east and west/urban (suburban) and rural factions on this thread that is really quite refreshing...almost scary in fact!   ;D

Here's a few additional thoughts:

In regard to being seen as an "invasion..."

I mentioned that issue because our current strategy would have 20,000 political activists descending upon a single state over a period of five years, moving in by several hundred or so at a time in somewhat coordinated efforts.  I feel strongly that our acceptance by the locals, wherever we go, will hinge on our ability to blend in with them and befriend them, and we might do a better of job of this if we moved in with smaller groups, or with smaller groups over a longer period of time.  Those moving in first could establish themselves in communities and open the door for others to follow, socially, financially, and logistically.  This would also help to open up some of the smaller states where jobs and housing prospects have been called into question.

Moving 20,000 over five years is currently necessary because we need to make sure that everyone is on board in the event that we choose a large state, otherwise we fall back to a smaller state.  This leaves less time for frontrunners to prepare the way, and less time for our total numbers to be absorbed into the population in a less threatening way.  Remember here that we're not just 20,000 new neighbors for these folks, we're 20,000 political activists who are moving in with the intention of eventually changing things to our way of liking if at all possible.  And as skeptical as most people are of all things political, the fewer of us there are initially, and the longer we take to settle in, the less threatening we would probably seem.

I often try to place myself into the shoes of our potential neighbors by thinking of this in terms of how I would feel if a political group of some kind was targeting my state or locality.  If fewer of them initially showed up, and if they began fitting in and making contributions to the community, I would probably feel less threatened by them (depending on what their ultimate goals were of course).

I also try to think of this in terms of how I would spin it if I were a media or opposition member.  Would it be easier to make a threat out of 20,000 people coming to my state asap, or 5,000 voting to garner 15,000 more to join them over two states by an undetermined time?

As for how to go about a two-state plan...

Jason suggests having those who lose the state vote form their own project to tackle a different state.  That could be done, but it seems to me that it would leave the "first FSP" hanging in limbo, as it does not currently assume the existence of another project competing with it for members.  It might also make the second project look like a "sour grapes" movement.

Why not facilitate the matter by adopting the approach that has been suggested by others here and adding dual state options to the ballot?  Joe's recommendations regarding WY/VT, WY/DE, and ND/VT, ND/DE, seem to have garnered some support.  The ballot could potentially read:

"If voting for one of the dual state choices, please indicate which of the two states you intend to move to..."  That would then give us the % split information that has been mentioned in previous posts.  If, say, only 10% of those who voted for the dual state option voted for WY, those people could then decide to throw their weight behind VT or DE, or go independent.  Of course, their % would also be combined with those who voted for WY itself apart from the dual state option.

The FSP could then approach the matter from a standpoint of:  "We will recruit members for both states only if the lesser of the two receives at least X% of the vote, otherwise we go with the majority and those who still wish to go with State X will be on their own."

This would allow the name recognition and ideological identity that is the FSP to recruit for both state choices without a stigma that the organization underwent a secession or, a worse PR word, a "fracture."  We could spin this quite positively since it would be the FSP actually instigating it instead of the media reporting on it as "fallout," or what-have-you.  Either way, we'd be facilitating the current division in our ranks under an actual plan instead of allowing the chips to fall where they may.

Obviously it would require a change in the participation guidelines, but it would stand a good chance of increasing our membership, it would give us a more solid basis to assume that members would actually make the move and then stay there, and it would resolve the single most divisive issue among us.  Besides, if the FSP finds itself having to compete with a splinter group, then it would almost have to alter its participation guidelines anyway to accommodate the new scenario and how it could affect membership and the overall timing of the plan.

Just thinking out loud here...
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