Retire the monarchy!Wednesday, March 25, 2015
It was reported in the news recently that the Barbados prime minister has announced plans to remove The Queen as head of state and transform Barbados into a republic by November 2016 as the country celebrates its 50th anniversary of Independence.
Barbados will, however, remain a member of the Commonwealth. The reasons are very similar to those expressed by Portia Simpson Miller back in 2012, when she also announced plans for Jamaica to replace The Queen with a ceremonial President. Years later, we haven't heard a word from Simpson Miller about the transition, and understandably there might be other priorities.
However, if little Barbados is able to do this, in the time frame given, this would really show up Jamaica.
We can't seem to get things done, we don't set goals, timelines, objectives, and move forward to achieve them.
The announcement by Barbados was surprising, considering the very strong ties which exist with Britain. Barbados already has one of the highest GDP per capita in the Caribbean and its population is generally well educated. However, the younger population, we understand, has little or no connection to the monarchy and see no advantage remaining a part of a dominion. It is also 2015, and the way forward for a progressive country is to sever these colonial links.
With all due respect, it is time for Jamaica to retire the monarchy as well. I believe the legal costs would be recouped by huge savings over the long term by not having a foreign head of state and a boost to our national self-esteem. King's House, for instance, has a history, but this massive piece of prime property also has potential to be transformed into something else, the property must be quite costly to maintain. I strongly believe Jamaica would be much better off with its own president, and both political parties already agree on this. Dominica and Trinidad and Tobago severed ties with the monarchy years ago, and it looks as if very soon Barbados will too. Let us not be the last to act.