Politicians Not People Decide on Barbados Republic
Australian Republicans are making much out of the announcement in Barbados that it will be a republic in 2021. This is even though Barbados is in a totally different situation to Australia as there will be no referendum of the people, as I understand it, with the decision made by the (almost) one-party parliament in which the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) holds 29 of the 30 seats servicing a population of under 300,000.
The move towards a republic is therefore not something emanating from the people, as must happen in Australia, but one pushed by the Barbados Labour Party in an obvious attempt to entrench their political control over the island.
Let me say at the outset that there is nothing wrong in the people of a nation opting to change its constitutional system if that is what they want. However, there is everything wrong in a political elite forcing a republic onto an unsuspecting or unwilling population. Only a fair, open and honest referendum will be able to judge the will of the people.
As the Queen has always said in such matters, it is up to the people to decide. Unfortunately, as in so many of those countries which have become republics and in which the people have lost much of their freedom, it was the politicians who forced constitutional change upon them. Unlike in Australia where, fortunately, it is only the Australian people, and not politicians, who must decide upon our constitutional future.
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