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Old 10-06-2019, 06:01 PM
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Should the United States join the Commonwealth?


Iíve long had the idea that the United States should join the Commonwealth of Nations. Based on the eligibility criteria, thereís no reason why we canít. I think it would be a good way for our next Democratic administration to embrace internationalism and join together with other countries with a British colonial background. With the United Kingdom, it could serve as a goodwill gesture to help repair the Special Relationship from the damage done by the Trump presidency.

To be very clear, Iím not advocating the United States become a Commonwealth realm with the Queen as head of state. Rather, Iím suggesting we become a republic within the Commonwealth like India.

What do you all think? Is this a good idea or am I off my rocker?
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:57 PM
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Why is this even worth considering?
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:57 PM
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Why? What benefit other than having the same person on all our coins? I think there are easier ways to repair good will.
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:06 PM
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Why would we want to let you lot in?

An act of supplication and redemption (and not a particularly endearing or redeeming one) to be sure, but what’s in it for us?

Proximity is the enduring burden of our Canadian brethren, bless ‘em.
For the rest of us, thank Christ for the Atlantic and Pacific I say.
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:08 PM
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No. What real benefits would the US get? I see an annexation into the US more likely.
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:22 PM
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I'll have to ask the OP to explain his/her work. Pakistan and India were granted independence at the same time, and both were members of the Commonwealth. Pakistan later left the Commonwealth entirely, while India continues to be a member. Please discuss the advantages India currently enjoys over Pakistan by continuing to recognize the British monarch as head of state.
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:32 PM
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I think it would be fairly useless, but I agree that if the other members felt that it would be a nice goodwill gesture then there's no reason not to join, but they don't, and that's not a big deal.
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:39 PM
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I'll have to ask the OP to explain his/her work. Pakistan and India were granted independence at the same time, and both were members of the Commonwealth. Pakistan later left the Commonwealth entirely, while India continues to be a member. Please discuss the advantages India currently enjoys over Pakistan by continuing to recognize the British monarch as head of state.
Nitpick: Pakistan is a full member of the Commonwealth. They left in 1972 (over, IIRC, the admission of Bangladesh, which had seceded from Pakistan) but rejoined in 1989.

The only former members of the Commonweealth (other than countries that no longer exist) are Ireland, the Maldives and Zimbabwe, and two of those three have outstanding applications to rejoin.

Nevertheless, the basic question is a good one; what advantages are supposed to accrue from the US joining the Commonwealth?
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:42 PM
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What would we gain?
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:43 PM
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I'll have to ask the OP to explain his/her work...Please discuss the advantages India currently enjoys over Pakistan by continuing to recognize the British monarch as head of state.
Inquisitor, ask thyself.
The Indian Head of State is President Ram Nath Kovind, not QEII
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:08 PM
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Didn't we fight aware to get away from them? Why on earth would we want to go back?




(Yes, I know it's not QUITE the same thing)
  #12  
Old 10-06-2019, 08:12 PM
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Hell no. Absolutely, and unequivocally fuck no.
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:59 PM
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Inquisitor, ask thyself.
The Indian Head of State is President Ram Nath Kovind, not QEII
The OP stated India is "a republic within the Commonwealth." Do all members of the Commonwealth not recognize the Queen as head of state?

In any event, what is the benefit to the United states, or for that matter, to the other states in the Commonwealth. From what I can gather from this article in the Canadian Encyclopedia, the Commonwealth acts something like the United Nations, with some international sporting events added in.
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Old 10-06-2019, 09:30 PM
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We've done this thread in the past, and no one has yet managed to articulate a reason why it would be a good idea.
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Old 10-06-2019, 09:35 PM
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The OP is correct.

The Commonwealth is a bit more complicated beast than you seem to think.
They all recognise QEII as UK Head of State.
They don’t all recognise QEII as their Head of State.
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Old 10-06-2019, 09:42 PM
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The OP stated India is "a republic within the Commonwealth." Do all members of the Commonwealth not recognize the Queen as head of state?
No. There are 53 member states of the Commonwealth. The British queen is head of state in I think 16 of them (including the UK itself, obviously); the rest have their own heads of state, whether monarchs or (mostly) presidents.

The British queen is also the "Head of the Commonwealth"; as such she symbolises the free association between the member states of the Commonwealth, but the position gives her no role in any of the member states.
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Old 10-06-2019, 09:43 PM
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The OP stated India is "a republic within the Commonwealth." Do all members of the Commonwealth not recognize the Queen as head of state?.
Nope. Up until India, the monarch was the head of state for all members. India wanted to remain in the Commonwealth but did not want the monarch as their head of state. ( The Indians had opted for a republican parliaentary system.)

The agreement that was reached was that all members recognised George VI as " head of the Commonwealth", but members could be republics. King George had no constitutional functions under the Indian constitution, unlike countries like Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

That agreement enabled the modern Commonwealth, most of whose members are republics, not monarchies.
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Last edited by Northern Piper; 10-06-2019 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:47 AM
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The Commonwealth is an informal talking-shop that also provides a framework for various sorts of collaborative good works in (mostly) education, research, environmental matters and social and economic development. These can be multilateral or bilateral co-operations.

It provides a forum giving a rather louder voice to small states that in other institutions struggle to make themselves heard, and its membership overlaps with a number of regional international groupings, which can be useful for spreading ideas informally.

https://thecommonwealth.org/our-work

Hard to see how either party would benefit, especially if your Congress started setting all sorts of conditions on how the Commonwealth organisations do their work.

Last edited by PatrickLondon; 10-07-2019 at 02:49 AM.
  #19  
Old 10-07-2019, 03:06 AM
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Why? What benefit other than having the same person on all our coins? I think there are easier ways to repair good will.
There seems to be an awful lot of confusion about what the Commonwealth is.

It's an informal club. Nothing more, nothing less, useful for trade talks and diplomacy. We get an 'Olympic Games Light' every four years. It means countries other than the G7 get together every so often for a chat.

The Queen does not appear on coins, she is not Head of State for each country, she's merely the Party Hostess, chosen as such by the individual Members of Commonwealth. She rules over no one, the Brits don't get special privileges. The fact that members are former British colonies is just a convenient qualification for membership. Every club likes its members to have something in common, a shared set of values (even if some members sometimes flout those values).
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Old 10-07-2019, 03:15 AM
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There seems to be an awful lot of confusion about what the Commonwealth is.

It's an informal club. Nothing more, nothing less, useful for trade talks and diplomacy . . .
Nitpick: the Commonwealth has no role or function in relation to trade talks. It's not a trading bloc of any kind and never was. Membership does not involve or imply any special trading terms with other Commonwealth countries.
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Old 10-07-2019, 04:11 AM
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Admitting a huge, really huge, failing democracy that is one of the least free counties on the face of the earth based on incarceration rates, that is vehemently opposed to human basics such as health care for all and protection from being shot to death, and that wages trade war on Canada on the trumped up grounds that Canada is a security risk? Not just no, hell no! That would be the equivalent of letting a large mad bull loose in a small china shop.
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Old 10-07-2019, 04:21 AM
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Almost a third of humanity lives in the Commonwealth, but no country dominates the Commonwealth. The USA is in the habit of trying to dominate everything it touches. That would not be healthy for the Commonwealth.
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Old 10-07-2019, 04:42 AM
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Hold on, hold on.
How strong is the U.S. Cricket team? I think we should start with the basics before considering further.
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Old 10-07-2019, 04:44 AM
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Do all members of the Commonwealth not recognize the Queen as head of state?
As others have pointed out, no. Curiously, there are members of the Commonwealth who have never had any colonial/administrative or constitutional connection with the Crown or another Commonwealth member. Of course that's the rare exception, but the door is not sealed shut against new members who do not have any connection.
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:08 AM
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Nitpick: the Commonwealth has no role or function in relation to trade talks. It's not a trading bloc of any kind and never was. Membership does not involve or imply any special trading terms with other Commonwealth countries.
I know, but it's a relationship builder, useful for things such as trade talks.
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:15 AM
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No way in hell I'm calling elevators "lifts", regardless of the penalties.
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:41 AM
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The rebellious child nation returns. It may be good for us in a sense, to make peace with our past and to embrace our heritage. Our nation still holds on to anger from it's beginnings, and it is present in it's population, we are a nation of angry people and are still hurting from our origins. Reconnecting with respect but with sovereignty intact would be a healing moment for our great nation and open the doors to a brighter future for us. Going it alone is never a great idea.
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:41 AM
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No way in hell I'm calling elevators "lifts", regardless of the penalties.
A lot of folks throughout the Commonwealth speak English as a second language. Beyond English, Hindi is the native language spoken by more Commonwealth people than any other native language. Out of curiosity, I typed elevator into Google Translate. In Hindi it returned लिफ्ट which it pronounced as . . . lift.
https://translate.google.ca/?hl=en&t...&text=elevator
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Old 10-07-2019, 07:33 AM
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No way in hell I'm calling elevators "lifts", regardless of the penalties.
Call them what you like, there are all sorts of linguistic variants across the Commonwealth. In Australia, they call flip-flops thongs (that's the only time I've seen Germaine Greer look confused, when everyone else thought she was talking about her underwear ).

Of course, as the newest member, the US representative would only get to lay their Remembrance Day wreath at the Cenotaph in the final group of later-membership countries, alongside Mozambique and Rwanda.
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Old 10-07-2019, 07:35 AM
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In Australia, they call flip-flops thongs (that's the only time I've seen Germaine Greer look confused, when everyone else thought she was talking about her underwear ).
In America, that was an occasional variant but lost out to flip-flips some time in the 90s.
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Old 10-07-2019, 08:06 AM
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The OP is correct.

The Commonwealth is a bit more complicated beast than you seem to think.
They all recognise QEII as UK Head of State.
Well, that's true of almost every country in the world.
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Old 10-07-2019, 08:49 AM
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The Commonwealth is a talking shop for the non-American English-speaking nations. American membership would overwhelm the voices of the smaller nations.
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:09 AM
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It''s just one voice, though. You don't get to send everyone in your country to the meetings.

Being a member of the Commonwealth really doesn't amount to anything.
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  #34  
Old 10-07-2019, 10:39 AM
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Being a member of the Commonwealth really doesn't amount to anything.
I'm sure it could arrange technical assistance with developing useful new policies on a range of social topics, if you wanted the other members to help with that sort of thing.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:31 AM
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The only thing a country gets out of belonging to the Commonwealth is the ability to participate in the Commonwealth Games every four years. And I don't think we should enter into an agreement that's going to require us to learn the rules of cricket.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:42 AM
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Please discuss the advantages India currently enjoys over Pakistan by continuing to recognize the British monarch as head of state.
Besides the corrections given by others, I'll add that a state cannot both be a republic (whose essential definition is "not a monarchy") and also recognize a monarch as head of state.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:01 PM
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I thought that members of Commonwealth nations had immigration benefits; that is that it is easier for members of Commonwealth states to emigrate to another Commonwealth state. If that is correct, then put me down as a "yes" on this notion. Sign us up!
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Old 10-07-2019, 03:00 PM
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I thought that members of Commonwealth nations had immigration benefits; that is that it is easier for members of Commonwealth states to emigrate to another Commonwealth state. If that is correct, then put me down as a "yes" on this notion. Sign us up!
Nope. There are some reciprocal "working holiday" arrangements for young people, but every country makes its own rules, and I don't think any do any special favours for other Commonwealth countries in the general run of immigration applications.
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Old 10-07-2019, 03:37 PM
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Nope. There are some reciprocal "working holiday" arrangements for young people, but every country makes its own rules, and I don't think any do any special favours for other Commonwealth countries in the general run of immigration applications.
Commonwealth citizens living in the UK have some rights that American or EU citizens* of similar status don't have eg can stand as an MP, can vote in general elections.

* Ireland is an exception - Irish citizens are essentially treated the same as UK citizens in the UK
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Old 10-07-2019, 03:43 PM
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I don't want the Americans in the Commonwealth. They'll just mess the place up.
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:53 AM
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Commonwealth citizens living in the UK have some rights that American or EU citizens* of similar status don't have eg can stand as an MP, can vote in general elections.

* Ireland is an exception - Irish citizens are essentially treated the same as UK citizens in the UK
That's true, but Commonwealth citizens still have first to jump the immigration hurdles in the UK, ever since the implied "free movement" of the old "British subject" status was done away with in the 60s (and every other Commonwealth country is free to set what rules it wishes).

Extra nitpick: EU citizens can't stand or vote in general elections, only in local government and European Parliament elections.
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:00 AM
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The US joining the Commonwealth
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Old 10-08-2019, 05:05 AM
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Besides the corrections given by others, I'll add that a state cannot both be a republic (whose essential definition is "not a monarchy") and also recognize a monarch as head of state.
Ireland had a pretty good try between 1936 and 1949:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_o..._(1936_to_1949)

In 1949 Ireland finally became an official republic, and left the Commonwealth as a result. They could've rejoined later but chose not to.

As for the US joining, it would benefit some Americans living abroad, and US athletes would probably enjoy the chance to participate in the Commonwealth Games. But I don't think it would be a good idea to allow in a member whose GDP is significantly bigger than all the rest put together. When India's economy starts catching up to the US both sides might like to reconsider.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:59 AM
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Leaving aside my understandable (as an American) confusion for a moment, I still don't know what benefits either the U.S. or the Commonwealth would see from the U.S. joining.

And on top of that, we'd STILL have Donald Trump as our Chief of State.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:21 AM
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... I think it would be a good way for our next Democratic administration to embrace internationalism and join together with other countries with a British colonial background. ...
I agree with the other posters that don't see any obvious benefit to doing so, but aside from that, I have a question about the mechanics of it, if we looked past the lack of will to do so and assume we wanted to. Is this as simple as President Kamala saying "Hey, Commonwealth, we want in"? Wouldn't this sort of thing have to be ratified by 2/3 of the Senate? And it might even require an amendment to the Constitution:

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Old 10-08-2019, 11:50 AM
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Wouldn't this sort of thing have to be ratified by 2/3 of the Senate? And it might even require an amendment to the Constitution:
In my opinion, 'yes' on Senate ratification and 'no' on an Amendment.

I would see this as the equivalent of the United States joining the UN or NATO or the OAS. It's a treaty arrangement so it would require Senate ratification.

I don't see any requirement for joining the Commonwealth that would be a fundamental change in how our government worked. Many Commonwealth nations have the British monarch as their head of state but it's not mandatory. So our Constitution wouldn't need to be amended.

I suppose some people might argue that the Commonwealth is even less formal than I've described and is just a group of nations that meet to discuss issues they hold in common; the equivalent of the G7. And as such, no official entry procedure is required. But I disagree.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:59 AM
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With all due respect, you're off your rocker.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:00 PM
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Little Nemo, thanks for laying out your perspective.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:44 PM
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I agree with the other posters that don't see any obvious benefit to doing so, but aside from that, I have a question about the mechanics of it, if we looked past the lack of will to do so and assume we wanted to. Is this as simple as President Kamala saying "Hey, Commonwealth, we want in"? Wouldn't this sort of thing have to be ratified by 2/3 of the Senate? And it might even require an amendment to the Constitution:
It might be just that simple. The Commonwealth doesn't have a governing treaty as such, since it was originally formed by Act of Parliament, and like the UK it has an unwritten charter/constitution. So there's not really an agreement for the Senate to ratify.

Commonwealth members agree to abide by the Harare and Singapore declarations, which lay out principles that the U.S. is already bound to abide by either under the Constitution or existing treaties: international peace, the rule of law, individual liberty, equal rights, democratic governance, opposing racial prejudice, global economic cooperation, free trade and eradication of disease.

Granted, we often pay some of those lip service only, but they are still officially U.S.-supported principles.
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:32 PM
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With all due respect, you're off your rocker.
Was that directed at me? If so, I'd like some more details about what you disagree with so I can respond.
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