Lights! Camera! Action! Calexit could be the American remake of Brexit
By Daniel J. McLaughlin
There are many sequels that can confound expectations: Jaws: The Revenge; Son of the Mask; the Bush family in the White House; and the fact that Michael Bay is still allowed to make more Tranformers movies.
It could be California dreamin' but there may be a follow-up to Brexit. Instead of shaking up Europe, it could rock the other side of the Atlantic. Coming soon to a political theatre near you: Calexit.
With the European Union losing a member in the next two years, the United States may not live up to its name as the state of California looks to secede.
Like many films in pre-production, the secession campaign has hit many stumbling blocks along the way to the director shouting, "Action!". The original cut of the film was screened to test audiences, but they were not impressed: a signature drive to call for immediate secession failed in April. However, they have returned from the cutting room floor and Secretary of State Alex Padilla's office have cleared the way for campaigners to collect the 582,000 plus signatures required to make it onto the 2018 ballot.
Instead of offering an immediate secession, as seen in a previous draft of the screenplay, the Yes for California campaign wants approval from voters to form a commission to examine the best strategies for an independent California, the Sacramento Bee reports. They will also be looking to delete parts of the state constitution that declares California as an inseparable part of the US. They have 180 days to collect the signatures to give the state more autonomy, and potentially separation from the other 49 states.
The move could cost the state at least $1.25 million a year, but as the sixth largest economy in the world they could afford both the costs and the autonomy. The Californian economy is more powerful than France and it has a population larger than Poland.
The initiative would not necessarily result in California exiting the country, unlike Britain leaving the EU, but it could allow the state to be a “fully functioning sovereign and autonomous nation” within the US.
Calexit is not a new idea - it follows many previous attempts to get the production off the ground. Since 1849, there have been more than 200 efforts to "split apart, pull away or otherwise reimagine the vast empire known as California", according to the Los Angeles Times. Not one has been a box office hit.
One of the biggest hurdles for a film to make it into production, let alone to be a success, is to get past the studio. For secession to be possible, California needs to get the permission of the other 49 states in the US. If that doesn't happen, it can gain independence through revolution, according to a Supreme Court ruling in the case of Texas v White.
Could the Californian campaign for independence be take two of Brexit, or will the director call "Cut!" on the campaigners?