Monday, November 05, 2018


Voters in New Caledonia went to the polls yesterday in an independence referendum, and voted 56-44 to remain a colony of France. Which is what happens when you ship in colonists for generations and make the indigenous inhabitants a minority in their own country. At the same time, it is a much narrower result than anyone was expecting, meaning there is hope for a reversal. The Noumea Accord allows for future referenda, and the pro-independence parties are now likely to push for one. But no matter which way the territory votes, the situation where colonists enjoy a first-world lifestyle while the indigneous people are left in poverty can not continue. If France wants New Caledonia to stay, it needs to deliver to all its people.