Fri | Jan 18, 2019

PNP must gamble on referendum

Published:Wednesday | January 28, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Orville Taylor's piece in The Sunday's Gleaner (CCJ again?', January 25, 2015) was a lesson in objectivity. However, he, like other commentators that I have read, failed to point out that the real reason for the deadlock is all political: a return to the pre-West Indies Federation days.

It is clear that the Jamaica Labour Party wants a referendum, hoping the people will vote against the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). The People's National Party is strongly supporting Jamaica's becoming a member of the CCJ, and losing the referendum would force the Government to call a general election. It would be recalled that in 1961, Bustamante forced Manley to call a referendum, which the Manley Government lost. A general election was called and the JLP, led by Bustamante, won. There ended the West Indies Federation.


matter of justice


However, as far as I am concerned, the matter of justice is of fundamental importance to the Jamaican, as well as Caribbean, people as to warrant a referendum. It is a chance that the PNP will have to take.

Nobody forced Manley to call a referendum on federation. In fact, many people, including me, felt that it was not necessary to have a referendum, but he was a slave to democratic principles.

No one can force the prime minister to call a general election if the Government were to lose the referendum vote.

What I would like to see is a political debate on the merits and demerits of having the CCJ. Leave politics out of the issue.