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Republicanism in Barbados is a political proposal for Barbados to transition from a parliamentary constitutional monarchy under a hereditary monarch (currently Elizabeth II) to a republic.
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean region of North America. It is 34 kilometres in length and up to 23 km (14 mi) in width, covering an area of 432 km2 (167 sq mi). It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 km (62 mi) east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, Barbados is east of the Windwards, part of the Lesser Antilles, roughly at 13°N of the equator. It is about 168 km (104 mi) east of both the countries of Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and 400 km (250 mi) north-east of Trinidad and Tobago. Barbados is outside the principal Atlantic hurricane belt. Its capital and largest city is Bridgetown.
A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the sovereign exercises authority in accordance with a written or unwritten constitution. Constitutional monarchy differs from absolute monarchy in that constitutional monarchs are bound to exercise their powers and authorities within the limits prescribed within an established legal framework. Constitutional monarchies range from countries such as Morocco, where the constitution grants substantial discretionary powers to the sovereign, to countries such as Japan and Sweden where the monarch retains no formal authorities.
Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms.
In 1979, a commission of inquiry known as the Cox Commission on the Constitution was constituted and under the auspices of looking at the republic issue. The Cox Commission came to the conclusion that Barbadians preferred to maintain the constitutional monarchy. The proposal to move to a republican status was therefore not pursued.The 1994 manifesto of the Barbados Labour Party dealt both with the republic issue, proposing a referendum. In line with this promise, on 29 October 1996 a Constitution Review Commission, chaired by Henry de Boulay Forde was appointed to review the Constitution of Barbados.
A republic is a form of government in which the country is considered a “public matter”, not the private concern or property of the rulers. The primary positions of power within a republic are not inherited, but are attained through democracy, oligarchy or autocracy. It is a form of government under which the head of state is not a hereditary monarch.
A manifesto is a published declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer, be it an individual, group, political party or government. A manifesto usually accepts a previously published opinion or public consensus or promotes a new idea with prescriptive notions for carrying out changes the author believes should be made. It often is political or artistic in nature, but may present an individual's life stance. Manifestos relating to religious belief are generally referred to as creeds.
The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) is the main party of government of Barbados which was established in 1938. Led by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, the BLP holds 29 of the 30 seats in the House of Assembly of Barbados after MP for St. Michael West, Joseph Artherly decided to become an Independent MP and became the Leader of the Opposition. It was elected to government on 25 May 2018 after 10 years in opposition, with Mottley becoming the country's first female Prime Minister.
The Commission elected Oliver Jackman, a former diplomat and a judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights as its Vice Chairman. The Commission was mandated to:
A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with one or more other states or international organizations. The main functions of diplomats are: representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state; initiation and facilitation of strategic agreements; treaties and conventions; promotion of information; trade and commerce; technology; and friendly relations. Seasoned diplomats of international repute are used in international organizations as well as multinational companies for their experience in management and negotiating skills. Diplomats are members of foreign services and diplomatic corps of various nations of the world.
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights is an autonomous judicial institution based in the city of San José, Costa Rica. Together with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, it makes up the human rights protection system of the Organization of American States (OAS), which serves to uphold and promote basic rights and freedoms in the Americas. The Court rules on whether a State has violated an individual's human rights, rather than if individuals are guilty of human rights violations.
The Commission held public hearings in Barbados and overseas.The Commission reported back on 15 December 1998, and submitted its report to the Governor-General of Barbados.
The Governor-General of Barbados is the representative of the Barbadian monarch. Under the government's Table of Precedence for Barbados, the Governor-General of Barbados is regarded as being the most important of all personnel of the Barbados government.
The Commission recommended that Barbados adopt a Parliamentary republic system. In 1999 the Barbados Labour Party's Manifesto proposed that the findings of the Commission and its recommendation that Barbados become a republic would receive the early attention of the Government.
A parliamentary republic is a republic that operates under a parliamentary system of government where the executive branch derives its legitimacy from and is accountable to the legislature. There are a number of variations of parliamentary republics. Most have a clear differentiation between the head of government and the head of state, with the head of government holding real power, much like constitutional monarchies. Some have combined the roles of head of state and head of government, much like presidential systems, but with a dependency upon parliamentary power.
A Referendum Bill was introduced in Parliament and had its first reading on 10 October 2000. With the dissolution of Parliament just prior to the elections in 2003, the Referendum Bill was not carried over.A referendum on the issue was proposed again in 2008, but was never held.
A referendum on Barbados becoming a republic was planned to be held in Barbados by August 2008, near to the time of the parliamentary elections.However, it was reported on December 2, 2007, that the vote was to be held at a later date instead.
According to the Referendum Act 2005,the question to be asked is:
Do you agree with the recommendation of the Constitution Review Commission that Barbados should become a Parliamentary republic with the head of State of Barbados being a President who is a citizen of Barbados?
The Government of Barbados announced its intention to hold a referendum on the republic issue in February 2005.It introduced a Referendum Bill that month. The Bill was passed into law in October 2005. The Act did not set a date for the referendum, but instead specified that the "Referendum Day" could be proclaimed by the Governor-General, being no more than 90 days and no less than 60 days from the date of proclamation. The Act itself could not amend Barbados' constitution, because under section 49.1 a majority of two-thirds of Parliament is required to make any amendments.
Mia Mottley, who was Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados, said: "we feel that it is the right thing to do to have a Barbadian head of state. We accept that there was a concern that the Government alone should not make that decision in this day and age and we are therefore committed to expressing our views to the public and having them pass judgement on it."
On 22 March 2015, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart announced that Barbados will move towards a republican form of government "in the very near future". Stuart told a meeting of his Democratic Labour Party: "We cannot pat ourselves on the shoulder at having gone into independence; having de-colonised our politics; we cannot pat ourselves on the shoulders at having decolonized our jurisprudence by delinking from the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and explain to anybody why we continue to have a monarchical system. Therefore, the Right Excellent Errol Barrow decolonized the politics; Owen Arthur decolonized the jurisprudence and Freundel Stuart is going to complete the process."
The general secretary of the Democratic Labour Party, George Pilgrim, confirmed the move and said that it is expected to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Barbadian independence in 2016. According to Pilgrim, the change will be implemented through a bill that will be presented to the Parliament of Barbados.
According to the country's Constitution, a two-thirds majority in Parliament is needed to authorize the change. The Democratic Labour Party has a two-thirds majority in the Senate of Barbados but not in the House of Assembly where it would need the support of the opposition Barbados Labour Party to approve the transition. Mia Mottley, now the Leader of the Opposition, has not commented on the Prime Minister's proposal.However, the Barbados Labour Party has advocated the adoption of a republican system in the past when it was in power.
In the event that Barbados becomes a republic, it will retain its membership of the Commonwealth of Nations.
The Government of Barbados (GoB), is symbolically headed by the monarch, Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State. She is represented in the country by the Governor-General, currently Dame Sandra Mason, G.C.M.G., K.A.
Republicanism in Australia is a movement to change Australia's system of government from a constitutional monarchy to a republic. Republicanism was first espoused in Australia before Federation in 1901. After a period of decline after Federation, the movement again became prominent at the end of the 20th century after successive legal and socio-cultural changes loosened Australia's ties with the United Kingdom.
The politics of Barbados function within a framework of constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary government with strong democratic traditions; constitutional safeguards for nationals of Barbados include: freedom of speech, press, worship, movement, and association.
Republicanism in the United Kingdom is the political movement that seeks to replace the United Kingdom's monarchy with a republic. For those who want a non-hereditary head of state, the method by which one should be chosen is not agreed upon, with some favouring an elected president, some an appointed head of state with little power. Others support something akin to the Swiss model, with a directorate functioning as a collective head of state.
Owen Seymour Arthur, PC is a Barbadian politician who was Prime Minister of Barbados from 6 September 1994 to 20 January 1999; 20 January 1999 to 21 May 2003; and from 21 May 2003 to 15 January 2008. To date, he was the longest serving Barbadian Prime Minister. He was Leader of the Opposition in Barbados from 1 August 1993 to 6 September 1994; and from 23 October 2010 to 21 February 2013.
The Prime Minister of Barbados is the head of government of Barbados. The Prime Minister is appointed by Elizabeth II, Queen of Barbados under the terms of the 1966 Constitution. As the nominal holder of executive authority, the Governor-General holds responsibility for conducting parliamentary elections and for proclaiming one of the candidates as Prime Minister.
Elections in Barbados is the process of conducting general elections or by-elections and formulating election results in Barbados. An election is a process in which a vote is held to democratically elect national candidates to an office. In the case of Barbados, it is the mechanism by which the electors choose members to fill elective offices in the House of Assembly. Elections are held on Election Day. These general elections do not have fixed dates, but must be called within five years of the opening of parliament following the last election. A former minister of the DLP, Warwick Franklin summed up the general elections process in Barbados as saying it is really just, "30 by-elections on the same day."
The Australian republic referendum held on 6 November 1999 was a two-question referendum to amend the Constitution of Australia. The first question asked whether Australia should become a republic with a President appointed by Parliament following a bi-partisan appointment model which had been approved by a half-elected, half-appointed Constitutional Convention held in Canberra in February 1998. The second question, generally deemed to be far less important politically, asked whether Australia should alter the Constitution to insert a preamble. For some years opinion polls had suggested that a majority of the electorate favoured a republic. Nonetheless, the republic referendum was defeated due to division among republicans on the method proposed for selection of the president and dissident republicans subsequently supporting the no campaign.
New Zealand Republic Inc. is an organisation formed in 1994 whose object is to support the creation of a New Zealand republic.
Republicanism in New Zealand is a political position that holds that New Zealand's system of government should be changed from a constitutional monarchy to a republic.
The Parliament of Barbados is the national legislature of Barbados. It is accorded legislative supremacy by Chapter V of the Constitution of Barbados. The Parliament is bicameral in composition and is formally made up of: Elizabeth II, Queen of Barbados, an appointed Senate, and an elected House of Assembly. Both houses sit in separate chambers in the Parliament Buildings, in the national capital Bridgetown in Saint Michael.
The House of Assembly is the lower house of the bicameral Parliament of Barbados. It has 30 Members of Parliament (MPs), MPs are directly elected in single member constituencies using the simple-majority system for a term of five years. The House of Assembly sits roughly 40–45 days a year.
The Monarchy of Barbados is the core of the country's Westminster style parliamentary democracy, being the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the government. The current Barbadian monarch and head of state, since 6 February 1952, is Queen Elizabeth II. As the sovereign, she is the personal embodiment of the Barbadian Crown. Although the person of the sovereign is equally shared with 15 other independent countries within the Commonwealth of Nations, each country's monarchy is separate and legally distinct. As a result, the current monarch is officially titled Queen of Barbados and, in this capacity, she, her husband, and other members of the Royal Family undertake public and private functions domestically and abroad as representatives of the Barbadian state. However, the Queen is the only member of the Royal Family with any constitutional role. The Queen lives predominantly in the United Kingdom and, while several powers are the sovereign's alone, most of the royal governmental and ceremonial duties in Barbados are carried out by the Queen's representative, the governor-general.
David John Howard Thompson QC was the Prime Minister of Barbados from 15 January 2008 until his death from pancreatic cancer on 23 October 2010.
Mia Amor Mottley, QC, MP is a Barbadian politician and attorney who is the current Prime Minister of Barbados and leader of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP). Mottley is the eighth person to hold the position of Prime Minister in Barbados and first woman to hold either position.
General elections were held in Barbados on 21 February 2013. They were the first post-independence elections where the election date was announced five years after the last general election. The result was a victory for the ruling Democratic Labour Party, which won 16 of the 30 seats in the House of Assembly.
The 1993 Brazilian constitutional referendum was held on April 21, 1993 to determine the form of government of the country. After the re-democratization of Brazil, an article in the new Constitution determined the holding of a referendum for voters to decide if the country should have a republican or a monarchical form of Government, and if the system of Government should be that of a presidential Executive or that of parliamentary government.
Freundel Jerome Stuart, PC, QC, MP is a Barbadian politician who is the former Prime Minister of Barbados and Leader of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) from 23 October 2010 to 21 February 2013; and from 21 February 2013 to 25 May 2018. He succeeded David Thompson, who died in office on 23 October 2010 from pancreatic cancer.
The 1998 Australian Constitutional Convention was a Constitutional Convention which gathered at Old Parliament House, Canberra from 2 to 3 February 1998. It was called by the Howard Government to discuss whether Australia should become a republic. The convention concluded with "in principle support" for an Australian republic and proposed a model involving appointment of the head of state by Parliament. The model was put to a referendum in November 1999 and rejected by the Australian electorate.
Republicanism in Jamaica is a position which advocates that Jamaica's system of government be changed from a constitutional monarchy to a republic. Both major political parties – the Jamaica Labour Party and the People's National Party – subscribe to the position, and the current Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, has announced that transitioning to a republic will be a priority of his government.