EDITOR, The Tribune.
In response to the letter “Bahamas Republic” praising Barbados for becoming a republic I would say that it was done in the most undemocratic manner. PM Mia Mottley rushed through the process with indecent haste. There was no proper discussion and no referendum took place to determine whether the people wanted her republic. Leading citizens spoke out against a republic, including the world famous cricketer Sir Garry Sobers. However, Mottley refused to budge and her MPs were bulldozed into submission to vote for it. After opinion polls indicated opposition to a republic she stubbornly refused to let the people decide. Even the ceremony was held in private with guests from neighbouring countries. The public were not allowed probably because she feared demonstrations. This was hardly an exercise in democratic freedom.
Like Barbados The United Kingdom gave The Bahamas self government and later independence without any problem. We became independent like our neighbours Canada and Jamaica and others. We kept our system of Constitutional Monarchy which has worked well in this and other Commonwealth countries. We have our own Bahamian Governor-General. As a result of the stability and impartial courts in this system we have attracted international investment. Why would we want to change a system which works well?
Canada became independent in 1867 and has always maintained that system helping to make it a great country where people want to come and invest. In fact in 1982 the Monarchy was entrenched in the Canadian Constitution after agreement between the Federal and Provincial Governments there and it is now extremely difficult to abolish. Canadians are proud of their country. Let us in The Bahamas be proud of our history and heritage and our democratic foundations. Let us not turn ourselves into yet another failed third world republic.
January 13, 2022.