Autonomy and Independence Platform
As California becomes an increasingly distinct and complex entity, Californians have grown unable to rely on the United States federal government to effectively secure our well-being. We suffer hardships while our revenue is used to fund projects throughout the United States and push for its interests—military, economic, and geopolitical—around the world. The constitutionally defined structure of the federal government ensures that in terms of both electoral and representative power, our voices in California are effectively silenced. We must turn our attention from power struggles nearly 3,000 miles away to developing solutions that work for us. No one will look out for the interests and security of California unless we do so for ourselves.
The California National Party (CNP) will work for policies that strengthen California while simultaneously laying the groundwork for ever-greater autonomy, self-determination, and ultimately independence, with recognition by the United Nations, the United States, and other actors in the international community. This will require the consent and cooperation of the United States. California must prepare to enter good faith negotiations with the federal government to produce a mutually agreed-upon path for the peaceful separation of our respective nations.
The present reality is that California is part of the United States. Until California can begin working with the federal government for full independence, the CNP supports California’s right to make decisions within our own borders that best serve the needs of our people, and we will work with all other Californians to secure these rights by:
- Defending our laws that represent the interests and desires of the majority of Californians, including regulation of the legal cannabis industry, maintaining our decades-long history of stricter automobile emission standards, as well as offering public services and legal protection to all Californians regardless of United States immigration status.
- Beginning the transfer of low-level federal responsibilities to California, such as the post office and the administration of rail and bus transportation, which could be efficiently combined within our borders to be a comprehensive postal and public transportation network, facilitating intra-California commerce and travel.
- Negotiating a change to California’s federal tax status so that all individual and corporate taxes would be collected by the California Franchise Tax Board, which then transfers payments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). As greater responsibilities are undertaken by the California government, deductions would be made from California’s federal tax payment, resulting in both increased obligations and revenue in California with reduced spending and income for the federal government.
- Where possible, California will engage in negotiations and agreements on matters of economic and environmental importance directly with international actors as befits our status as one of the world’s largest economies.
- Working with other interested parties, especially the Pacific and Rocky Mountain states, to enact a federal policy of “right of first refusal” for the transfer or sale of federal land within state boundaries. This law would prevent the federal government from selling land or extraction rights within our borders without first offering it for sale to California.
- The CNP ultimately demands the transfer of all land in California from the federal government, as stated in our Environment plank.
- California must not facilitate the shielding of war criminals, including corporate, government, and military officials, on behalf of the United States or anyone else. Upon independence, California will join the International Criminal Court.
- As an immigrant nation, California will work with international partners to the extent possible, especially neighboring nations, to develop an approach to mitigate the global challenges caused by millions of displaced people.
Return of Federal Lands
The CNP calls for the transfer of all federal lands to California and its First Nations to be used to meet our water, energy, and recreational needs.
At present, the federal government controls 45% of California territory. Although much of this is forests and parklands, it also includes many of our dams, canals, and reservoirs, as well as geographic areas necessary for renewable energy production. This is a uniquely western problem in that the federal government owns nearly half the land of the 11 contiguous western states, whereas east of the Rocky Mountains only 4% of the land is federally held. The CNP seeks to coordinate with neighboring states to secure sovereignty over our own respective territories.
Such lands would subsequently be administered at the city, county, First Nation, or California level depending on a number of factors, including historic use, projected infrastructure needs, environmental concerns, and existing contracts and treaties. Any conflicting land claims would be resolved through the California court system, with the California Supreme Court having the final say in all land disputes.
Even before independence, California is greatly in need of a new constitution. The present one, first ratified in 1879, is now one of the longest and most convoluted in the world. A modern, organized constitution that clearly defines and protects the rights of Californians while establishing specific powers for the government would benefit all Californians.
- Delegations for the convention will be sent from each county as well as Californian First Nations with the goal of creating the legal framework and delineation of powers to form a new, effective California government.
- The CNP supports enshrining in this constitution electoral and institutional systems that better represent Californians, as stated in the Legislative and Electoral Reform plank.
- This document will become the supreme law of California if and when it is approved by a referendum passed by a 60% majority.
- Until such time as a new constitutional convention is called, the CNP will work to remove Art. III, Sec. 1 of the California Constitution, which states that “California is an inseparable part of the United States of America, and the United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land.” This clause is replicated in no other state constitution.
- Upon independence, we call for a convention to develop a constitution necessary for an independent republic.
California is unique and its people are historically, culturally, and politically distinct. This growing sense of identity and nationhood has been developing for centuries. However, it will only be with complete independence that our government will be able to ensure the recognition of full civil rights to all those who make California their home.
- Before independence, California will enact a residency program open to anyone who has resided in California for five years continuously and intends to remain, regardless of federal immigration status, as stated in our Immigration plank. Native-born Californians and U.S. citizens will be encouraged to register for residency as well in an effort to produce a unified, legally recognized California identity.
- Californians who otherwise meet residency requirements but are serving outside California in the Armed Forces of the United States will retain the right to apply for residency and ultimately citizenship.
- Upon independence, all persons born in California, as well as legally recognized California residents, will be eligible for California citizenship should they desire it. No person shall ever be forced to accept the Californian citizenship to which they are entitled.
- California will work with the federal government on behalf of both those who wish to renounce their U.S. citizenship, as well as those who wish to retain dual citizenship with the United States if possible.
- Negotiation with the United States will be necessary to ensure freedom of movement for residents of border communities who rely on cross-border commerce.
- After independence, new arrivals to California who intend to remain indefinitely may apply for residency after two years and citizenship after five years of residency.
Military and National Service
The military needs of an independent California Republic can best be served through a highly organized national militia with a core professional army, emphasizing military participation by the citizenry. This model will save billions of dollars per year, build a sense of national pride and identity, and ensure our defense.
- All California nationals will be expected to perform two years of national service upon reaching the age of eighteen unless exempted or deferred for medical, physical, or educational reasons. This may be completed through service in our armed forces or through working with public agencies or community-oriented programs.
- College students may defer their national service until graduation, when they will be expected to perform the required two years. Similarly, those with a medical deferment will be periodically reevaluated on a case by case basis.
- Members who select military service will remain in the California reserve service until the age of forty or upon being granted a legal deferment. Reservists will be expected to report for two weeks of paid training every year. Those who wish to become reservists later in life may do so after completion of two years of national military service.
- California will maintain a small standing military of naval, air, and ground forces, consisting of those seeking a professional career in military service. This cadre of experienced soldiers will form the core of California’s national military in the event of large-scale mobilization.
- The CNP supports maintaining friendly relations with the United States based on the principles of cooperation and supporting the goals of economic growth and common defense.
- California will allow a reasonable transition of military base control from the United States, as well as be open to negotiating agreements and leases for continued uses of these bases.
- Recognizing the economic importance of the military in many regions of California, emphasis will be placed on repurposing closed United States military installations to serve the California military.
The ultimate goal of the CNP is the peaceful, democratic, and negotiated separation of California and the United States. As California grows in domestic complexity and international influence, it is increasingly crucial that Californians recognize the need to develop the tools necessary to confront the problems facing our nation, as well as to become full, responsible partners in the international community.
- To achieve a stable and lasting independence clearly requires the consent of Californians in all the different economic, geographic, and political regions of our home. We support referenda presented to the people of California in favor of independence and will seek the support of not just a simple, but a clear and substantive majority of voters throughout all areas of California.
- Upon the public approval of such a referendum, the CNP will demand that our federal representatives for California in Washington, D.C. begin negotiations for a smooth and peaceful transition to independence. If they fail to do so, we will seek to replace them with representatives who will.
- The CNP asserts that the right for states to petition for independence “through consent of the States” is already recognized in constitutional law through the ruling Texas v. White (1869) and therefore does not require a constitutional amendment. Viewing statehood as a legislative act, we argue that it can be undone in the same manner, through the majority approval of both houses of the legislature of the United States and presidential consent.
- During this period of negotiation for independence, the CNP supports a change of status within the federal system away from full statehood toward modified commonwealth status, while developing phased and progressive steps of growing autonomy toward independence, as was done with the United States’ former colonial possessions of Cuba and the Philippines.
- If the federal government of the United States refuses to negotiate with California regarding independence, in opposition to the stated preference of our citizens through a vote, the CNP will support efforts for California to work with the United Nations to be recognized as part of the Compact of Free Association with the United States. This international agreement, which has existed for decades with several sovereign states in the Pacific, obligates the United States “to promote the development of the people of the Trust Territory toward self-government or independence as appropriate to the particular circumstances of the Trust Territory and its peoples and the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned.”
- Until such a referendum supporting independence is passed by the people of California, the CNP will continually work to inform and educate all Californians as to both the benefits and necessity of independence in order to create effective solutions for our people.