THE NEED TO FRAGMENTIZE THE FSM

The fact that the FSM people have failed for the fourth time (!) to ratified the Dual Citizenship proposed amendment to the FSM Constitution confirms beyond doubt the futility of any hopes to ever amend this FSM Constitution to harmonize its provisions to the changing circumstances of time.

WE ARE DOOMED, as doomed as the helpless Jews in Hitler's concentration camps, with no hopes of ever getting any changes to their preordained fates! This FSM Constitution, with its 3/4 ratification requirement for any amendment, was intended from its drafting days never to be amended!! Our forefathers from the former Trust Territory have successfully herded us like cattles into this Constitutional framework that, regardless of all the injustices we would experience thereunder, would never be amended. It would be as damningly inflexible as the Purgatory in the Bible, or like the Eagles' "Hotel California" where (You Can Check in Anytime, But You Can't Never Leave...").

Think for a moment, if you will. Even with the scheduled expiration of the Compact's financial assistance in 2023, (six year from now), the under performances of both the Compact and FSM trust funds, the FSM's refusal to enter into any permanently binding framework to share the fishing license fees and corporate income tax of registered foreign companies, (both of which revenues sources have found the FSM with annual surplus revenues of $50 millions), the failure to the Tax Reform effort, the FSM ODA Policy that gives the National Government more rights to all overseas assistance six times above each of the state, all of these realities almost guaranteed that a continued existence in the FSM constitutional framework would leave most of the states (with possible exception of Pohnpei) as financially disastrous as being forced to continue going on the Titanic after learning your fate. if none of those things change before 2023, and in light of the "America First" policy or attitude of the US and the developed nations with their foreign financial assistance, then a continued existence within the present FSM constitutional framework would be tantamount to a financial as well as a political suicide for most of the four states!

And if the FSM Constitution has proven to be so difficult to amend to improve the states' and the citizens' lives, then the very logical and natural thing to do is to break apart as a nation, and then to come back together under a newly written constitution with all the equality and fairness and flexibilities that the modern world can promise each of our four states. Something similar to the European Union or even the British Commonwealth, where each member has a free reign over its sovereign domain within a federation of common interests. But to try to keep amending the present FSM Constitution with its impossible ratification threshold, would be like violating Einstein's famous definition of INSANITY often repeated by my good colleague, Johnny Meippen of the Chuuk State Political Status Commission: "to keep trying or doing the same thing and expecting different results is INSANE!!"

FRAGMENTATION FOR RE-CONSTITUTION is the only sane way of addressing our present FSM constitutional framework before we reach 2024. At the Leadership Conference in Kosrae this weekend, March 17-20, 2017, the best outome would be to adopt a Resolution, setting forth the steps for the FSM states to walk away from the current FSM Constitution, and then come back two years later to draft a new Constitution that addresses all of the shortcomings of this inflexible Constitution that only our former FSM President, my uncleand good friend, John Haglelgam, seems to love so fondly. Let's leave all doubts and academic debate aside, and let's draft our new constitution to supercede this existing one. We do not have time to waste anymore.

Comments

  • Taxi, why haven't each state's delegation in Congress amend the laws to circumvent the Appellate Court's ruling that fishing fees is not tax case? We need to have Title 12, Title 54 amended (whichever is needed) to change that outcome of fee versus taxes on fisheries position now as interpreted to meet the development needs of the states. The FSM's budget went from $50 million to $70 million overnight (last FY) and nothing significant went to the states. If these amendments can never happen due to an compromised Congress, then you as Chuuk's AG will be in Kosrae. Start drafting the fragmentation work for this hotel California that we were lied to by our so-called forefathers and blinded voted for by our populace. There are more people with ability for independent thoughts these days than the 70s.
  • Support and defend Chuuk"s separation movement, chuukese. Don't be so naive and blind to Chuuk's dilemma.
  • @Taxi-Womw, thank you for this thread. Very encouraging to my generation. We are here in the islands, patiently waiting for REAL change.

    All for the love of our beloved home and development!
  • Kinen convince me first as I am a fence sitter now. I used to oppose Chuuk's independence, but changing circumstances in world politics have taken its toll on me. Trump USA first policy speaks volume and am ready to tell him to sink to the bottom Marianas trench.

    Taxi's latest comments seem plausible, but pretty much difficult legally to set each state adrift and then reconstitute in view of the present currents of politics. Moreover, let us not quickly dismiss academics' perspective like Haglelgam as they are relevant in connecting the thoughts and practices. Am sitting on the fence now ready to be convinced by either side before I enter the fora for further discussion.
  • Yir, what do you love so much about the present set up of the federation that you want to hang on to for better or for worse? I'm sure you have noticed the negative effects exhibited at the federal level as well as the state levels. Ain't support any forward propel of our agendas.
  • Yes, Thanks Kinen.
  • This is by far the best idea that anyone has proposed so far in regards to the quagmire that exists between the States and the National Government.

    We should seriously consider this as an option.
  • It's my understanding that the FSM Constitution's design and structure does allow for the role of the national government to be "decentralized" to accommodate the needs of the 4 states. But in the end, it is up to the National leadership: if they want the Federation to remain viable, they should take actions to support the development of the the States by providing more funding and a lot of leeway when it comes to the management of the Federation. The FSM Constitution does allow this approach.

    Right now, as noted in these posts, it seems the national leadership is doing just the opposite; they want more control to be exercised by the National Government; more funding for personal projects; etc. They want more centralization instead of decentralization. It is no wonder that many people as show in this post are beginning to question the value of this particular form of federation in the development agenda for the states. It's not too late for the FSM to go back to its original roots--in looking to decentralize the structure as possible. If "decentralization" is not take up seriously by the national leadership, then, it will be a matter of time before the talk of "fragmentation" take roots. Just some thoughts on this nice and rainy Friday afternoon in Kolonia.
  • I am wondering if Micsem friends can help with this question that I've been trying to find some answers. Why is it so hard for our FSM Congress to draw up some kind of statutes that will make the National Government share the fishing fees and corporate tax revenue with the States? After all, our Leadership continues to talk about unity and the wording of our National Anthem says it all. We will never reach that promise land if the Unity talk is just that, talk. Let's walk that talk a bit and request to our Congress to authorize the sharing of these funds. If that don't happen, then CHANGE it is, that we - the people - have to force through the election process. What says you, my friends!
  • I would tend to agree with Marc on this idea that our Const does provide direction for each govt enttity within the intended framework of the federation.

    To Primes point, what are the constitutional impediments to say... modifty fishing revenue shares among National and the 4 states?
  • Saka et al.: I have been saying for many years that the Appellate Court's interpretation of whether money collected from fishing is shareable or not due to whether it is a fee or tax is the problem. Chuuk v. Secretary of Finance, 9 FSM R. 424 (App. 2000). As one who respects the courts, I must say that for 17 years the ball had been in the hands of the Congress. Congress needs to amend the laws (the way Tile 12, Tile 54 or other titles in the code are written) and actually change the language from "fee" to "tax" so that money could be shared. Even when the money is earned, Congress, as holder of the pwehs (sorry purse) needs to be in sharing mood. Instead, the National Government had become rich, bloated and centralized to the point that even the second president does not recognize the government that he was the head of some 30 years later. If we do not do this liberalization of our most viable resource, Republic of Chuuk will be followed the Union of Socialist States of Pohnpei and then by People's Republic of Yap and then by the People's Democratic Republic of Kosrae (or whatever the locals want to call me in under their respective philosophical purview. I like Draconian State of Chuuk or Solonist Republic of Pohnpei).

    You all need to read Chuuk v. Secretary of Finance, 9 FSM R. 424 (App. 2000) and you will see why the four states are not getting sufficient money and how the FSM National Government got rich overnight. I really think that these unfair sharing schemes will only hasten fragmentation. Nothing is holding us together other than nostalgia or fear of the unknown. Our differences is again emphasized by our outlook on dual citizenship. Kosrae's 86% plus shows progressive, Pohnpei's and Chuuk's 72% and 68% show moderate views while Yap's 52% shows conservatism. We were never meant to be together as a government. Somebody from other worlds came and told us that we could. Those people have been wrong (creating Israel in 1946 and the Pandora's Box that ensued to this very day, debacles in just about every country created in the Middle East, etc.). I would not be surprised that as the AG for Chuuk, Taxi, who is in Kosrae right now, would not be handing in a framework plan for the fragmentation. He more than hinted that on the creation of this thread.

    If statutory changes cannot fix the problem, the the ultimate change on the sharing of the money from fishing would need need to come perhaps by a Constitutional Amendment but Congress should have proposed the language, pass it and should have sent it to the voters during the past four to five national elections since the 2000 decision.

    The crazy fact is Congress and those making up the FSM Executive and Judiciary (except for Judge Benson) are form the four states. How can one become so blind to the grass-root problems once they ascend to Congress or the President's Throne? The Bench on the court? Are foreign law clerks and lawyers (writing decisions for the courts and writing law for Congress) really ruling us by proxy? No one is pissed?
  • Lol..i had to do that laugh brother microspring first cuz ur unintended choice of indigenous vocab is awesomely well understood. And thank you for always directing our attention to the legalities of such issue.
    Clearly, if Chuuk delegation, along with Yap and Kosrae want to amend said laws as u alluded to, things can change...FSM national govt has to do more to help spur positive gains at the state levels.
  • Oh, iwe sispue ngeni ekkoch popun pwata ese pass ewe dual citizenship:
    1. Ese naf awewen ekkewe ika esukun won ei anapanapen ekkesiwin an kich chon FSM mi tongeni chon FSM me pwan Chon US non ew chok fansoun;
    2. Ren an epue manaman ekiekin chon FSM, enman epue och an FSM Congress epue aimano ew Uttutun Angunu non ew fansoun ika pwinin Maram mi sokkono seni fansoun uttutun monun ach we FSM Congress. (a.) pun Chon Chuuk remin ekimongei uttutun aramas pue ir mei katon projects me moni, me mwen ewe proposed amendment.
    Ina mine sisap fangata, pun kich mei kuna pue mei watte ochun ika murilon ei anapanapen ekkesiwin me non nouch we Chulap noun ach we Muunap (FSM), nge e chokukun ngawan. Nge mi och kich meinisin sipue weweiti. Sisap give up hope tori epue pass. i

    Kinisou..
  • Met ose mo weweiti me non ewe proposed amendment, nge a fen fan 4 eniwekin porous won? I think, esap netipei Asan pue epue ina. There must be some hidden agenda behind the issue that needs to come out.
  • If so then by behalf of the Ralik Chain or western chain of the Marshalls we would gladly accept the islands of pinglep and Mwokilooa as part of Marshall islands and half of kosrae because by history they were conquered by Marshallese namely by jiba and lebon kabua? If it wasn't for the germans these islands would be part of the Ralik chain. So can we have them back.
  • microspring2014 asks: "How can one become so blind to the grass-roots problems once they ascend to the Congress or the President's Throne?" It's a great question. I don't think we can find a good answer because the politicians, once they ascend, become different people. Many abandon their promises as they become part of the system. So I think all the promises that have been made in the past; and those to be made in the future by aspiring politicians should be viewed with a good dose skepticism.

    So I think one of the possible strategies forward is to develop an approach or "lobbying drive" that will come from the State level--based on the interests of the State.

    I would suggest that if it has not been done yet, that the Governors' association agree to a strategy as follows (as an example of what is possible):

    Organize a "study committee" consisting of the governors, lt. governors and state AG's. They will draft a legislation that will address the needs of the States; and will lobby their respective politicians to adopt it in the FSM Congress. And those Congressmen who don't approve it will be not be supported at the next election.

    The proposed bill will, for a start, focus on the division of the fishing revenue. Not much but at least share some with the states. Make the fishing fee sharing bill go for a small percentage first; and then, if the Study Committee can get good support, other bills that will authorize more funding share for the states will be proposed later.

    State AG's are smart and articulate and do understand legislative process just as well as the FSM Senators. So it'll be possible for them to draft the Bill that will not be offensive to the FSM Senators; that will make them look good in the eyes of their constituents back home.

    The lobbying project might be named as "Decentralize so we don't have to fragmentize"; or something like that. I think if it's written with the positive and constructive ways to promote the various steps and actions to decentralize and share services and funding from the national government to the states, it might be a good step. I think this is within the purpose of how the FSM should operate as envisioned by the forefathers. Just some thoughts. It's a nice Sunday morning here in Kolonia.
  • edited March 19
    Microspring, yes the definitions of fee and tax is the cause of all the problems between the states and national governments. The case swayed in favor of the national since one of the founding fathers of the FSM was the sitting judge who made sure the national government is well protected. Maybe you and Marc should look at reopening a new legal vision to re-test the two definitions as to whether they are opposite, or whether they are inter-related on certain legal principles. I noticed that Fred Ram was on the plaintiff's side, and did not convince the sitting judge by any measure. What happened?

    Did the substance of the case changed by the judicial rule cited by the judge? To me , it should not have affect the substance. The case should have been used as an opportunity to bring together the parties to constructively shared the financial pot. Rather, national interest took the upper hand. That is what happened when we have judges who learned on the job, and not exposed to the constructive legal philosophies learned in law school based on the idea of utilitarianism, for example. Now we are in a big mess. Kick the legal wall down guys and try again!
  • @Reaper,

    where did you even get your information about Marshall island invading all micronesia? the rest of the micronesian island do not even know what Ralik or Ratak chain you guys are talking about, only Marshallese. give me fact about Marshallese invading all micronesia and ill believe your words. if not, don't spread gossip.
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