Splitting up or making a stronger whole

In the wake of the successful Brexit vote I knew someone would resurrect this old idea.

Certainly the idea of the state of Delmarva (or as I would call it, the state of Chesapeake) has been around for generations. It’s only natural given the geographic isolation both the Chesapeake and Delaware bays provide, but reality’s heavy thud divided this sandbar somewhat unevenly into one full state and parts of two others. The full state is one of the smallest in the country by both population and geography while the states split by Chesapeake Bay have practically all of their population across the Bay – less than 10% of Maryland residents and barely 1/2% of Virginia residents live on this side.

Yet if there were a referendum on the subject, we would have a plethora of possible choices, with perhaps the top three being: one new state for the entire peninsula with a brand new slate of laws, the merger of the Eastern Shore portions of Maryland and Virginia into a greater state of Delaware, or remaining as we are. Perhaps Wilmington and New Castle County of Delaware may feel better with a more urban state like New Jersey. But then what happens to institutions like the University of Delaware, which is in New Castle County?

Obviously the politician in me likes the idea of a greater Delaware that would become a “purple” state where Republicans have a good shot of taking control. Since New Castle County boasts a population of 556,779 (according to the latest estimate) out of a state that has 945,934 (based on that same data) it’s always going to run the state of Delaware. (If you think Maryland is bad, remember no jurisdiction has more than 15% of its population. New Castle County is over half of Delaware’s.) Adding the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia would basically negate the Democratic-leaning population of New Castle with a broad area nearly equal in population but definitely more conservative-leaning.

Yet even if we can’t be part of Delaware, there are a number of things that can be done to bring us closer. My favorite (and this has been tried before) is to eliminate the sales tax from Eastern Shore counties in Maryland. (The same could be done in Virginia, although being separated by about 40 miles of Maryland makes the “Del” and “Va” a less likely pair of rivals.) Creating a business zone based on Delaware laws as applicable for the Eastern Shore could be of assistance as well.

But while this idea has plenty of benefits, it probably won’t happen in my lifetime because political power is more important than the people, It’s still a shock to me that the people of Great Britain were allowed such a referendum in the first place – obviously the liberal EU assumed everyone loved them. I expected a result more like the bid to split California up into six states, which failed to qualify for this year’s ballot. The last state to be split up was when the Union-leaning western part of Virginia seceded from the Confederate state of Virginia in 1863 – Virginia was eventually readmitted but not reunited with its former territory, which is now West Virginia. To create a new state or expand Delaware it would take the approval of all parties involved and that’s not going to happen because they need our money – and when it comes to politics we know they follow the golden rule: he who has the gold, rules.

It is nice to dream, though.

Comments

2 Responses to “Splitting up or making a stronger whole”

  1. Tayon on July 3rd, 2016 11:55 am

    I was just thinking about this a couple of days ago about no sales tax on the eastern shore or just the lower shore from dorchester and south because unemployment is higher on lower shore then mid or upper shore due to there geographic locations of those counties to the major job centers. Doing that what allow for more competition in both economies that are similar with delaware. Like look at dover and salisbury major cities on the peninsula and same economies with major retail but as you know people come to salisbury more due to geographic location of the city. I like both ideas of no sales tax but I think the no sales tax on the lower eastern shore would be more beneficial in job growth. The others parts of the shore are more becoming suburbs of Washington baltimore metro. But I think that with no sales tax on lower shore would really help salisbury area to become a majority hub on the shore. Probably even the area up north near the christiana mall in delaware will benefits from no sales tax. Hey I’m an 16 year old and really involved in politic news but it would be nice to have no sales tax on the lower shore. Sorry for restating things.

  2. Michael on July 3rd, 2016 1:54 pm

    No apology needed – very perceptive and well-thought out.

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