(Abbreviated as AIP) A not-all-that-large (yet pretty well-known) political party/movement/cause unique to Alaska. The Alaskan Independence Party exists for a specific purpose - its members feel that Alaska should be given a vote on wheather to withdraw from the United States and become an independent nation. Sentiments of this cause are drawn from a variety of things - that Alaska is isolated and therefore naturally cut off from the lower 48 (contiguous states); also, that Alaska is being taken advantage of by the US government/other states, and could potentially make much better use of its resources were it on its own. Finally, the Alaskan Independents tend to be the sort of folks who are upset about the federal government "prying into their private lives."

Like many other secessionist movements (those in Texas and Hawaii for instance), the AIP's cause is based on an alleged past injustice. When Alaska was only a territory of the US but was making movements toward statehood, the party says, its voters were supposed to have been given the choice between four different options: Alaska could remain a territory, it could become a state, it could become a commonwealth of the US (having the status of Puerto Rico), OR it could withdraw entirely and become an independent nation. On the actual ballot, however, voters were only given two choices: Alaska could either become a state or remain a territory. Because of this, the party claims that Alaskan voters were never given their full range of political-status options when they voted to become a state of the US.

In this, it should be clarified that the AIP is not strictly a secessionist movement - some members think Alaska should be a state, territory, or commonwealth. But the party's fundamental concern is to support Alaska's right to vote on this issue.

Fortunately, the AIP and its members tend to behave in a more respectable and non-violent manner than some of their Quebecois and Texan counterparts. However, the movement naturally does have a pretty high percentage of stereotypical trapper-snowmobiler-redneck types who live by themselves in cabins and collect guns of various sorts. And, unfortunately, the attitude of these folks is probably the same attitude that Alaska would have if it were independent. With people like Gov. Frank Murkowski becoming the leaders (and no federal government to moderate them), Alaska would soon become nothing more than an isolated colony of rednecks with an abundance of rifles and heavy machinery. Although the US government does tend to be foolish and incompetent; and although Alaska doesn't always fit very well into the rest of the United States, the Alaskan Independents do not seem to have very good ideas for dealing with the situation.

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