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Become Republic, says Inniss

Barbados should take the next logical step in de-linking from our former colonial masters and adopt a republican form of government on November 30 this year, the 50th anniversary of its independence.

Minister of Industry and St James South MP, Donville Inniss, offered this suggestion tonight while addressing the monthly meeting of his constituency branch in Wanstead, St James.

“This is my personal opinion. One of the best things we could do as a country, in this 49th year going towards the 50th year of independence, is for Barbados to become a republic by November 30, 2016.

“I know it could be a very divisive issue, but for me it is the next logical step in political independence. I hold the view that Barbados must become a Republic and we should do it sooner rather than later. They are those who would quarrel and say a statement like that would scare off the British tourists, but show me one tourist that comes to Barbados that asks themselves if we are a Republic or not. There are those who would say that it would scare off investment, but I have not in my 30 years in the public sector encountered any investor that has any interest in whether Barbados is a Republic or not,” Inniss stated.

He said that as Barbados gears up to celebrate its 50th anniversary, he was surprised there had not yet been any meaningful discussion about Barbados becoming a republic.

“The DLP [Democratic Labour Party] is the best political organisation to take Barbados to the next logical step in independence and become a republic. So I really hope that we could do it this year.”

Inniss argued that while all of the “hooray, excitement, slogans and memorabilia would create some excitement”, the question  Barbadians needed to look towards the future.

Taking a critical look at the DLP, Inniss insisted that there needed to be a greater level of enthusiasm in political matters within the party.

“I am a little concerned that sometimes before an election battle we are one big happy DLP family, [then] we win the government, we become cabinet ministers and then you get a gulf developing between the party in government and the party as a political organisation,” he explained.

“I hold steadfast to the view that one of the urgent matters that must be addressed is the rank and file party members to hold the feet of parliamentarians and candidates to the fire. Quite frankly, some of us do need to come down a peg or two and face a bit of reality in terms of what is happening around the country.”

The outspoken parliamentarian argued that some of the current crop of parliamentarians may have to indicate quickly to the party and constituencies if they are interested in running again in the next election or not.

He said: ” Every sitting member of parliament on our side, including the Prime Minister, must be subject to a thorough review by the party to see if they are fit and proper to be a candidate for the party going forward. If we do not have these kinds of frank conversations within our party , then we are going to find ourselves perhaps in a bit of trouble.” (NC)


54 Responses to Become Republic, says Inniss

  1. Ryan Bayne
    Ryan Bayne February 21, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Here we go again./

  2. MICHAEL LINDO February 21, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Is there any economics advantages in becoming a republic,or it merely a matter of pride?

    • Olutoye Walrond February 22, 2016 at 8:56 am

      Michael, when a man who feels he’s mature enough leaves his parents home and set up his own what are the economic advantages?

  3. MICHAEL LINDO February 21, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    Is there any advantage to being a republic,or is it merely a matter of pride?

  4. Alwin Ellis
    Alwin Ellis February 21, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    How about de-linking from the DLP government.Bunch of waste men and women.After 8 years in power they still can,t get the job do.Every thing that is not imporant to the poor and small man they are always trying to shove down our throats

  5. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole February 21, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    Mr Inniss personal opinions should not dictate the system of government for Barbados. Logic dictates that the people should be consulted in the matter of acquiring a Republican status. A Republican system is not in the best interest of our cash strapped island at this time. Why not take the money that has been allocated for this expense and pay tuition for our UWI students?

    Based on the lack of accomplishments, mis management, poor performance and scandals of the Democratic Labour Party, none of you are fit to represent Barbados ever again.

    • Ryan Bayne
      Ryan Bayne February 21, 2016 at 11:28 pm

      And they won’t be for a long time. Everything is going wrong in this nation because of Dems because as I browse through town, it has been so quiet and dormant in contrast to the lot of business we had from before.

    • Himmel Klar
      Himmel Klar February 22, 2016 at 12:48 am

      Both Parties should not be ruling the island not only the DLP. Both of them. It started with B and ended with D.

  6. Joel C. Payne
    Joel C. Payne February 21, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    **STUPPPPES** What wrong with them always want to go playing-up with the Queen all de time…
    Dems like they out of ideas again… *Turn record (or 8-Track in this case) to side A and hit “play”* David Thompson would call this warmed–over (stale) soup.
    They don’t have to worry about pledging any allegence to the Queen because nobody ain’ putting them back there again.

  7. Junior Moore
    Junior Moore February 21, 2016 at 11:58 pm

    stupseee…. when he wake up let me know

  8. Himmel Klar
    Himmel Klar February 22, 2016 at 12:47 am

    How about we get a new Government Ministers no more BLP or DLP. Barbados Citizens can go to so many countries around the world without a Visa. A Republican form of Government with the BLP and DLP with the same ole Arschloch Ministers is a No. So Minister Inniss go take a seat way way way way back there.

  9. O'Neil February 22, 2016 at 1:02 am

    Heather Cole. Please tell us the cost to the people of Barbados in becoming a Republic. I know that for you this Government has not done one thing right and that we are a bunch of illiterates. So forget us for the time being and pretend that your Party is in office – what would it cost?

  10. Robert Holloway
    Robert Holloway February 22, 2016 at 1:13 am

    Wonder why the other 52 countries of the Commonwealth who were part of the colonial masters still are part of , they are unique and diverse and independent. A few are republics but rejoined the Commonwealth

    • Olutoye Walrond February 22, 2016 at 8:53 am

      Robert, what does becoming a republic have to do with being in the Commonwealth?
      And , by the way, the majority of Commonwealth countries are republics; not a few.

    • Olutoye Walrond
      Olutoye Walrond February 22, 2016 at 9:10 am

      Robert, what does becoming a republic have to do with being in the Commonwealth?
      And , by the way, the overwhelming majority of Commonwealth countries are republics; not a few.

    • Robert Holloway
      Robert Holloway February 22, 2016 at 11:44 am

      Yes 32, are republics with the Queen recognized as the Head. I just wonder what is different. “The symbol of this free association is Queen Elizabeth II who is the Head of the Commonwealth. The Queen is also the monarch of 16 members of the Commonwealth, known as Commonwealth realms. The other members of the Commonwealth have different persons as head of state: 32 members are republics and five members are monarchies with a different monarch.”

    • Olutoye Walrond
      Olutoye Walrond February 22, 2016 at 5:10 pm

      Robert Holloway sorry, I read you wrong. This Commonwealth thing is hugely over-estimated. It is no where near as important as so many people believe it is. At best it’s a colonial club. I suspect the British were looking for a way to retain the supremacy of their monarch over its former colonies and came up with it.

      As you said, look who’s the head in an association of equals. If we’re all equal how come your head of state is the the central figure in the grouping.

    • Robert Holloway
      Robert Holloway February 22, 2016 at 6:00 pm

      Olutoye Walrond Probably still / to recognize the heritage of laws and institutions which to my mind is better than the USA and some presidental for life countries. Considering the UN and Group of -7 -32 would not invite one to its roundtable then at least we have a common discussion point which seems to work much like the a similar one exists for countries who speak French and locally we have the Caribbean one. Australia voted down the Repulic and Canada comes on go on the GG and now wants to either reform the Senate or remove it but thankfully our consitution says you need the votes of the local goverment and its people. More importanty , what are the pros and cons so all understand. Time wil telll.. thanks

  11. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce February 22, 2016 at 3:50 am

    Next logical step is fuh wunna to step down!

  12. Tony Webster February 22, 2016 at 4:08 am

    I support Republic of Buhbaydus. This will instantly solve all our problems: economic, fiscal, societal, (how-to-raise kids, crime, illiteracy; army-of-occupation etc. Just like the Cahill Plasma-thing…it will not cost Bajan taxpayers one red Martian cent either; God will pay for it all. At a stroke, we will get rid of our Sovereign-debt rating…cause all that get lef’ behind…becausin’…we is a NEW country… YAAAAAAAY!!

    It will also distract from the simple fact that after two terms, this government has not demonstrated the ability to grasp nettles, and to chart a viable future for the next generation. Wunna cant even mek up your mind if to demolish, re-furbish, or build a new QEH.

    The President, whomsoever, will also rule, not just for 15 terms, or until he dies (like Uncle Bob over there in Zim), but even AFTER he dies.
    PS: Shame on you Sir Donville, I thought much better of you.

  13. Sheldine Dyall
    Sheldine Dyall February 22, 2016 at 5:27 am

    No, your government need to step down , people are suffering.

  14. Paul Gill
    Paul Gill February 22, 2016 at 5:51 am

    I have no problem with becoming a republic but let the people have their say. As this is or supposed to be a democratic society, call a referendum to let the public decide our future. Have TV programs, town hall meetings radio shows etc explaining what becoming a republic means and the what differences it would have, so that when we vote everyone will know what future we want beyond out 50th year on Independence.

    • Chad Thomas
      Chad Thomas February 22, 2016 at 8:46 am


    • Guto Owen
      Guto Owen February 22, 2016 at 10:31 am

      I would love the opportunity for Britain (where I am) to become a true Republic democracy! You right tho the people of Barbados should be able to vote on this

  15. seagul February 22, 2016 at 6:25 am

    With Credit-Suisse now holding our strings may be we should strive to be a direct true democracy–that is it takes place in the framework of a multi-party -federal parliamentary democratic republic, whereby the Federal Council of Barbados is the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the government and the federal administration and is not concentrated in any one person. Federal legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of the Federal Assembly. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. For any change in the constitution, a referendum is mandatory.

  16. jrsmith February 22, 2016 at 6:47 am

    We all must look, at the Republics near and far, poverty, corruption, severe crime , as to match with ISIS/ISIL, then our lot , of try this ,try that , politicians, we are going into the 51st year of independence, ?????????????????????? (ARE WE READY) and wanting to be a Republic, we don’t even have water in our taps, ,a bunch of people, who is way in over their heads, people bajans vote for as politicians securing they jobs, whether the fail or not..


  17. Nicholas Mackie
    Nicholas Mackie February 22, 2016 at 8:59 am

    The problem with republics is that if the President thinks he is the PM like how some Chairmen think they are CEO then there is a conflict … If president remains a figure head like GG with limited powers then republic is no problem … Having a monarch as head of state is not democratic and therefore does not reflect or assure the will of the people! I must say USA politics does make me wary of republicans and the republican system

    • Olutoye Walrond
      Olutoye Walrond February 22, 2016 at 9:07 am

      Why would there be a conflict between the President and the Prime Minister if the constitution spells out the role of each office?
      The U.S constitution is just one of hundreds of republican constitutions. That is not the model for the whole world.

      • J. Payne February 22, 2016 at 2:14 pm

        The SAME reason Owen and Mia fought for leadership, EGO.

    • Nicholas Mackie
      Nicholas Mackie February 22, 2016 at 9:10 am

      It would have to be very clear

    • Nicholas Mackie
      Nicholas Mackie February 22, 2016 at 9:13 am

      Not sure why Jamaicans are so reluctant to go republic – they have been an independent monarchy much longer than us

  18. Miguel Carlos Jose Humphrey
    Miguel Carlos Jose Humphrey February 22, 2016 at 9:21 am

    How and Why did it get to that status and hasn’t moved anywhere since ?? Becoming a Republic will make Barbadians rich again ??

  19. Sue Donym February 22, 2016 at 10:46 am

    One must marvel at what mind manipulators have been able to do.

    Slavery was wrong, but it was a massive fight to get the enslaved to try to free themselves or help others who wanted to be free.
    Colonisation brought another set of unethical, inhumane practices, yet the very disadvantaged refuse to make even a symbolic move away from the colonisers – for fear of offending Massa? For fear of gaining self respect?

    Didn’t we just celebrate Barrow and the “satellites of none” speech?

  20. Elliott February 22, 2016 at 10:54 am

    As long as it does not turn out to be like a Banana Republic, otherwise we should stick with the devil we know.

  21. John Da Silva
    John Da Silva February 22, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    There seem to so many other more pressing issues for politicians to deal with than this.

  22. J. Payne February 22, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Actually no Trinidad and Tobago has a “figurehead” President and MANY MANY MANY times the President and Prime Minister is at loggerheads and then they have to read the part in the Constitution about how to break the impasse. That’s why I say when you put a President you have to spell out in each and every case what they can do and what they cannot do. A President isn’t impacted by “precedent” of or for a Governor-General because a President isn’t a line of succession for a Governors-General. A President is a brand new post with no constraint until precedential norms become determined, or the Constitution or other legislation defines constrains in exact terms going forward. Presidents in the Commonwealth of Dominica have LONG had clashes in Parliament there and the President/PM in Guyana have long had clashes too when rules didn’t expressly spell out duties or constraints for either the PM or President. Polls in Jamaica have found that many in Jamaica feel their country would be better off if they were still governed by the British. Both political parties in Jamaica have taken the Jamaican people for a ride over and over and over again.

  23. Bobo February 22, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    People of Barbados– if F Stuart want to create an legacy for himself what ever happen to the hoe and sickle–Period.

    People of Barbados –”Republic”–pure and simple ignorance for our little rock.

  24. Eddy Murray
    Eddy Murray February 22, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    This is what I have to say about this comment, by the mp

  25. J. Payne February 22, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    But Barbados is becoming a satellite of CARICOM and CCJ.

  26. Deva-Alexandra DeBeauvois
    Deva-Alexandra DeBeauvois February 22, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Communism coming. ….

  27. Curtis Greenidge
    Curtis Greenidge February 22, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    And the BENIFITS are?

  28. jrsmith February 22, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    @ ,J ,Payne,hail, hail, on the button, but our government ,if they would take time to read , the todays forum, they would learn so much , that they would attain a degree in logic. And creative ability,, , get they fingers out, get themselves into gear, then we the people would have to beg them to slow down.. but they are so way in over they heads, everything becomes a brain teaser..

  29. Michael Goddard February 22, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    What I find concerning is the superficial treatment that accompanies talk of becoming a republic. What are the structural changes we would make to our constitution? How would we elect a President and for what term? Do we change the voting terms for MP’s? Would we vote for a Senate? How would that be structured and what basis for nominations? Would we want to keep a first past the post method that favours a two party state or introduce a proportional system that allows minority and diverse voices? We must reflect on the things that are working well but also the things that are NOT working well and how a republican form should try to address those. For example – changes were made around independence that have impacted our political development. I specifically point to the abolition of the vestry system and removal of the mayor of Bridgetown. We have no good training ground for political aspirants to learn the ropes and for the public to try them out before jumping straight to the national stage. To me this is where the debate should be – sadly its too often trivialized by calling for “removal of the Queen as head of state” or simply we are “mature and its a natural next step to independence”. The reality is much more complex. We must live under whatever form of government we select and should do so with deep reflection and a clear vision to ensure it provides the best structure to allows all Barbadians and our nation in general to prosper. A final and most important aspect is the form for the debate, how would we go about holding such a constitutional referendum so as to include all political factions (Parties, Private Sector, Unions, NGO’s etc) as well as feedback from individuals.

    • Olutoye Walrond February 22, 2016 at 7:42 pm

      So true. It seems like every full moon someone gets the idea to mention the word republic. The last time this was done, it was the Prime Minister himself, who gave the nation the impression that this was a goal of his government to mark the 50th. anniversary of independence. Lo and behold when the news hit the international arena we heard that the PM was only speaking in his personal capacity.

      If they are really serious about this thing the need to go to parliament with a resolution to set up a commission of inquiry to hear the views of citizens on the way forward.

      Truth i: I doubt any of them has the political maturity and sense of national identity to completely sever this last apron string with Westminster. It’s a mental thing.

    • J. Payne February 24, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      HERE! HERE! We’re not there yet. We have many other areas of government that are lacking and need creativity to address. Why break the Office of the Monarchy ‘just because’ of a whim and lead us down the path of haphazardly putting a system in place that could make us ungovernable or even worse a constitutional crisis. Just last year Guyana had to invite the Commonwealth to come and try to pick through the Guyana Constitution to help them out of a political deadlock. You have to take time and develop these things right.

  30. Tony Webster February 22, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    So many cats…so many pigeons…fluttering all about. That’s the whole point…to CAUSE FLUTTERATIONS…and smoke…so we are distratced from the burning fiscal fires.

    Wake up and smell the smoke , folks!

  31. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole February 22, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Please read posts by Deflon dated February 22 at 1:30 am in the attached Article and my response.

  32. BaJan boy February 22, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    Quite a large number of readers having been braying since The main donkey brayed…they simply need to vacate office and leave the country where it is and that is way worst than when they came to office. All they do is talk…..

  33. Cecil P February 22, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    seagul you know what I kinda like that one not bad .but are sure they want find away to screw it up .just asking

  34. Sunshine Sunny Shine February 23, 2016 at 7:10 am

    Indeed, we will manage a republic well. We have a track record of ‘excellence’ and leaders who understand the meaning of transparent.

  35. A.Woodroffe February 23, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    I believe the chat about a different form of Government should be set aside for now and reconsideration be given to a Caribbean Federal State similar to the Canadian model of Confederation. This model provides for benefits such as economies of scale, enhanced management of our Caribbean space and the strengthening of our voice in global affairs.
    Only after this is attained should we restart the conversation this time, about a Caribbean republic within the Commonwealth.
    The alternative where each of our tiny islands individually adopt the Republican style of Government serves to strengthen the already built (mental) fortress which resulted from Independence inevitable as that may have been and further exacerbates the xenophobia that exists amongst us.
    Think on these things and may God bless our Caribbean Region!

    • J. Payne February 24, 2016 at 1:05 pm

      I would dare the Caribbean to go further Canada has a trade imbalance with the United States and if Canada does we def. will have one. Given all the banks in the Caribbean are Canadian owned I would venture to say CARICOM and Canada should team up and develop a Canada+CARICOM Single Market and Economy. That’s an even larger economy of scale, and means that CARICOM could depend on Canada to be CARICOM’s voice in the global arena esp. at G-8 or higher levels. Canada would be a good ally for example to help hammer out a conclusion to the United States-Antigua & Barbuda WTO gaming dispute.

  36. J. Payne February 24, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Canada has a health industry that is similar to CARICOM’s nationalized health care and if Canada + CARICOM negotiated and brokered deals together to buy their prescription drugs in bulk they could probably extract a better rate as a bloc than as individual countries. Plus all those West Indians that went to Canada can fly back home and still be in the shared CARICOM–Canada economic space and we can reverse some of the brain drain by building an even bigger economy of scale.


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