In the three weeks since voters elected Barack Obama to a second term as U.S. president, a number of Americans have circulated petitions to begin seceding from the union. The efforts are specific to individual states and vary in their success at gaining adherents; a quick tally of petitions on the White House petition website, which gives running totals, suggests 500,000 signatures have been submitted so far, with other estimates reaching 700,000. Whatever the exact number, it’s less than a percent of the U.S. population of 312 million.
Demonstrators march during a protest on a day of mobilisation against austerity measures by workers in southern Europe on November 14, 2012 in Rome. (AFP Photo / Filippo Monteforte)