I highly doubt anything will come of this, but interesting to see a decentralist movement in one of the most left-wing states in the Union:
"The State of Vermont is about as swept up in Obamamania as a state can get. While Hillary Clinton won three of four primaries on March 4th, Obama carried Vermont by a twenty point margin. The spirit of O is so intense that Vermont’s Progressives ï¿½?? a social-democratic third party with enough seats in the legislature to put a thorn in the sides of state Democrats ï¿½?? have openly endorsed Obama; it is, there seems, no competition.
But against this vast consensus of centralizers and statists runs an unconventional countercurrent: secession.
At Riverwalk Records in Montpelier, there’s a rack of t-shirts that demand “U.S. Out of VT!”, and a secessionist convention held in the statehouse in 2005 drew a crowd of more than three hundred. The separatist cause boasts its own think tank (named optimistically the Second Vermont Republic), its own journal (The Vermont Commons), and, most recently, a candidate for Governor: one independence activist has taken the paradoxical plunge.
According to a poll conducted by the University of Vermont in 2007, 13 percent of Vermonters support secession from the United States, up from 8 percent in 2006. But secessionism is no passing fad. It’s just raising its profile, fitting neatly into Vermont’s long tradition of contrarianism and independence. Vermont, in its 1777 Constitution, was the first state to ban slavery, and it was at the forefront of the abolitionist movement. As Federal fugitive slave laws tightened in the 1840s and '50s, Vermont’s legislature passed a series of acts nullifying them. As a result, fugitive slaves worked openly on farms throughout the state, and not a single fugitive in the state was retaken in the decade after the Compromise of 1850. When the Republican Party was formed in 1854, Vermont immediately elected a Republican Governor, and the GOP held onto that office continuously until 1963. When the rest of the country eagerly embraced Roosevelt’s New Deal, Vermont voted down a proposed Green Mountain Parkway, refused to participate in Federal rural resettlement, and was one of only two states to vote for Alf Landon over Roosevelt in 1936.
Since the 1960s, the politics in Vermont have swung left, but have not become any more conventional. Vermont’s last Republican senator, Jim Jeffords, left the party to become an independent in 2001; upon Jeffords’ retirement, the self-identified socialist Congressman Bernie Sanders ran for, and won, his seat by a substantial margin in 2006. Vermont was the first state to pass a civil union law for gay couples. Several town meetings have passed resolutions commissioning their police departments to arrest President Bush and Vice President Cheney should either enter their jurisdiction.
The idea of secession was first floated in modern times by University of Vermont Professor Frank Bryan and former state legislator Bill Mares in Out! The Vermont Secession Book (1987), a tongue-in-cheek fantasy about the historic discovery of an imaginary treaty, signed by George Washington and Ethan Allen, that enshrined Vermont’s right to leave the Union. Four years later, Bryan and Vermont Supreme Court Justice John Dooley held a series of debates in honor of the bicentennial of Vermont’s adoption of the U.S. Constitution. At the close of the debates, all seven audiences voted on the matter, and all seven went for secession. And in 2003, retired Duke economics professor Thomas Naylor published The Vermont Manifesto, subsequently founding the Second Vermont Republic."