Australia shows why we need a Referendum over Barbados Republic

Australia RepublicBarbados Republic

“A proposed law: To alter the Constitution to establish the Commonwealth of Australia as a republic with the Queen and Governor-General being replaced by a President appointed by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Commonwealth Parliament.”

submitted by The Beach Doctor

Back in the mid 1990s there was a huge movement in Australia to dump Queen Elizabeth and become a republic with a President as head of state.

Aussies and the world saw a republic as a done deal for the Centenary of Australian Federation in 2001 – the same as Barbados Prime Minister Stuart’s plan to celebrate 50 years of Bajan nationhood by establishing a republic.

And who wouldn’t blame the Aussies for wanting to dump the Crown? The country was established first as a penal colony, slavery really, with all the usual brutality and racial and class divisions.

But many Australians didn’t want to leave the decision to their Parliament as had been proposed “based upon the jubilant mood of the time”. Australians insisted on a referendum, and in the end the people said ‘No’ and voted to retain the Queen as Head of State.

The divisions in the population looked like this, says Wikipedia… (Australian 1999 Referendum)  

  • Traditional monarchists who held their beliefs largely on principled and/or sentimental attachment to the monarchy, in part based on traditional associations with the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth of Nations and a personal identification with Elizabeth II and her family. Many were older or from rural rather than urban areas.
  • Pragmatic monarchists who maintained that, whatever the argued weaknesses of the current system, it also had many strengths; following the motto of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. The view of this group was that constitutional monarchy provides the basis for stable democratic government, with the Governor-General (the monarch’s nominal representative) acting as an impartial, non-political “umpire” of the political process. Many distrusted the Australian political classes and believed the provision of executive powers to a local politician would result in an undesirably partisan head of state, instability, dictatorship, or a possible repeat of the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis.
  • Minimal change republicans who aimed to remove the monarchy, but otherwise maintain the current system as unchanged as possible, thus creating a parliamentary republic. Within this group, there were a small group of supporters of the ultra-minimalist McGarvie Model, but generally the favoured model of these groups was appointment by a two-thirds majority of a joint sitting of Parliament.
  • Progressive republicans who wanted a popularly elected head of state.
  • Radical republicans, who saw the minimal change option as purely cosmetic, and desired comprehensive revision to the current Westminster-based system and possibly the implementation of a presidential or semi-presidential system. This was easily the smallest major group, but prominent in the debate.
  • Tactical voters, who took a long-term view and voted against their inclinations to avoid more radical changes in the future. Many traditional and pragmatic monarchists perceived a weight of inevitability and voted “yes” to the minimalist republic in order to avoid a more radical republic. Many sentimental republicans voted “no” in the hope of a more radical or populist proposal winning a future referendum.
  • The uncommitted. As in all elections a certain proportion of the electorate remain unattached to either side. Uncommitted ‘swinging voters’ can be a decisive force in shaping election and referendum results, especially in countries where voting is compulsory.

For me it’s all about trust, or the lack of…

I’d vote “NO” in a referendum and I want to keep the Queen as our head of state. Why?

Because I just don’t trust the politicians and the elites to do the right thing. Better the devil we know.

Besides… if we get rid ‘o Liz… what we gonna do wid all a dem “Sirs” ???

16 Comments

Filed under Barbados, History, Politics

16 responses to “Australia shows why we need a Referendum over Barbados Republic

  1. Party Animal

    @ Beach Doctor…..Nice article…so you don’t trust Politicians too ? I would vote NO too. Some of them “Sirs” ain’t had no right, but money talks, I thinking of buying one too.
    Like you, I hope we do have a referendum, however the way things going I think the Politicians will take things in hand, the other scary thing that bothers me we be a Coup coming on stream by those who would have opposed becoming a Republic, maybe the opposition or Military Coup that has happened in almost all Republics

  2. SB

    If you have a coup guess who will be out to take over what’s left of your democratic law, the ‘religion’ (some say ‘cult’) that wants world domination. They did it in the Maldives and immediately killed the tourist industry with draconian rules about what tourists could or could not do; to say nothing of the locals suddenly finding themselves not ruled by democratic law but by sharia law (hands chopped off, be-headings, women and children abused, etc., etc.). Then look at Trinidad, luckily they failed there (mostly). Now look at Barbados, wealthy property developers want to build an Islamic ghetto, Christians to be well-excluded. What’s next – sharia law for you too? You guys better believe that QE2 is the best thing you can have. Vote her out and your tourist industry will collapse too; just like in the Maldives.

  3. Tourism Impacted?

    Voting Queen Elizabeth out would be a damned unfriendly thing to do. As a Brit I might look at Barbados differently.

  4. FearPlay

    Who in their right mind would want to follow this set to become a Republic? Not I for sure nor anyone that I know. I’d rather follow the devil to hell than this lot to Heaven.

  5. Anonymous

    In my opinion, I think that the country of Barbados has more important issues at this time!

  6. Barbados Underground Injunction say what?

    Court Injunction against Barbados Underground but they won’t publish it on BU.

    at donaldbest.ca blog

    Best is also asking the judge to make the defendants, including police and lawyers, account for their past reckless distribution to the public of Identity Information and other private and confidential information. The Notice of Motion claims that some defendants maliciously placed this private information into the public domain through Euclid Herbert’s ‘Barbados Underground‘ website and by other means of distribution.”

  7. Barbados Underground Injunction say what?

    download the barbados underground euclid herbert injunction at http://tinyurl.com/qj4oo2b

  8. My family won’t be voting for any Republic. When one look at T & T and Guyana why would we want to change, Lizzy hash’t done us any harm, we are always talking about getting the British Tourists, and get them to spend their pounds, these politicians need to remove the screw from their heads. It seem all they want is to drive the screw deep into Barbados where we can’t get out, and have to keep going to the same people all the time with our begging bowls.

  9. WSD

    Charles will make a not bad King, nevermind the press bad mouthing.

    William will be better.

    I’ll vote to retain the Monarchy. We deserve a referendum.

  10. Party Animal

    Reading the above, makes one wonder if our Politicians ever engage brain before putting mouth in gear.
    Makes you wonder if they sit down and think of the consequences of what they say, is this what we the Tax payers get for paying their Salaries.
    If our Politicians take this matter in hand, we be sure to become the next Banana Republic. Does IMF lend money to Banana Republics ?

  11. Analyzer

    This so called wanna be Republic can’t even pick up yuh garbage. Pay taxes, vat, solid waste tax. Our collection days are Monday and Thursday, if they come, when they come, it is not when they are supposed to. If this country can’t even figure out how to pick up garbage, how do they expect to run a country without any outside help. Barbados going in the dump too!

  12. Analyzer

    Oh yeah and the private companies that pick up garbage properly, this repukic government wants to charge them a tipping fee tax on top of everything. Why are Bajans letting this government getting away with robbery?

  13. Analyzer

    Re puke it government. I just feel sick!

  14. As an Australian, I would feel rather sad if Barbados became a republic without consulting the people. From here in the Great Southern Land, Republicans really are the noisy minority, who are yet to post a convincing argument (some even pop conspiracy theories, claiming the referendum was rigged!) If Barbados chooses to become a Republic as a result of a Referendum, the world will accept the will of the people. However, I cannot with right mind see how any political elite of a democratic nation can make such a big change without consulting the people. Of course that’s coming from the Australian perspective, yet it is something that boggles my mind

  15. Malcolm

    I guess the real debate will begin if and when our Government decides to hold a referendum, but that does not mean we have to wait until then.

    So how would becoming a Republic effect the ordinary day-to-day living of our citizens? Will there be a better refuse collection service, a better public transport system, better health care, better schooling for our children, etc. etc.?!!!

  16. Analyzer

    Now the haulers will not pick up the QEH’s garbage. This is getting serious! This government is uncaring and idiotic. They are already slipping money to people for their votes. I saw one do it. This is where some of your money is going tax payers. You are paying for politicians that will pay their YARD FOWLS to vote them back in so they can steal more money from you.