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Old 10-08-2019, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
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.
Well, it's not a "treaty arrangement". The Commonwealth is not established or governed by any treaty, and its members owe no legal obligations to one another.

There is a thing called the "Commonwealth Charter" which was adopted in 2011 - a statement of principles that Commonwealth members aim to uphold. But it's not a treaty; it creates no legal obligations; it doesn't get signed and ratified by Commonwealth member states. It's a policy statement, at most.

So, constitutionally, so far as I can see, there would be no requirement for Senate ratification of US membership of the Commonwealth. There is no treaty to ratify.

Which is not to say that a US decision to participate in the Commonwealth shouldn't be endorsed by Congress. I can see compelling political reasons why it should not proceed without some kind of congressional approval. But legally, constitutionally, etc, I don't see that it's required (beyond the obvious requirement that any expenditure of money in the implementation of policies consquent upon Commonwealth membership would require approval through the usual budgetary processes - which would enable the House of Reps to curtail or totally stymie the US's Commonwealth membership if a majority opposed it).
  #52  
Old 10-08-2019, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
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:
Why? (Not being snarky; just curious. )
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  #53  
Old 10-09-2019, 01:58 AM
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And it might even require an amendment to the Constitution:

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No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.
How is that of any relevance? No-one in the US would get any payment or title out of it, any more than any other member does.
  #54  
Old 10-09-2019, 02:48 AM
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The Commonwealth seems to be similar in structure to the G87 and G20, neither of which were formed by treaty, and which the USA is a member of simply by the whims of each given president who chooses to attend G7/G20 summits. Edit: And APEC.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 10-09-2019 at 02:52 AM.
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:27 AM
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The Commonwealth seems to be similar in structure to the G87 and G20, neither of which were formed by treaty, and which the USA is a member of simply by the whims of each given president who chooses to attend G7/G20 summits. Edit: And APEC.

Quite so. The biennial Heads of Government meeting is a bit of a jamboree very much like any other informal groupings, leading to various declarations on assorted issues, only with less hoop-la round the margins, in a variety of settings, depending on who's hosting. Who knows, a US representative might find themselves in the back row of a group photo in Dhaka or Lagos.

Otherwise, most activities are just the Secretariat helping different specialist organisations to get experts together to do assorted good works.

Last edited by PatrickLondon; 10-09-2019 at 11:28 AM.
  #56  
Old 10-09-2019, 06:54 PM
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I admit that I feel a little left out, being that we ARE a former British colony, but I can live with that.
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:09 PM
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I admit that I feel a little left out, being that we ARE a former British colony, but I can live with that.
You are not as alone as you might think. Other former British territories, colonies, protectorates, mandates etc that are not (and, often, never have been) in the Commonwealth include Egypt, Iraq, Sudan, Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Myanmar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and of course Ireland.
  #58  
Old 10-09-2019, 09:42 PM
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No. You would not be allowed in.
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