Sun | Oct 25, 2020

Look into revamping the Senate, too

Published:Friday | September 25, 2020 | 12:07 AM


I am happy for the revival of open public discussion on the question of discontinuing the Queen as head of state in Jamaica.

Frankly, I think this is a logical transition, even though I’m yet to understand what practical benefits are likely to accrue to us in making such a move, but I have no objection.

However, what surprises me is the silence in relation to the Senate in its current configuration as a non-elected chamber of our Parliament.

This, too, is part of the colonial relic, evolving from an oligarchic mindset of the distant past, that the ordinary people are incapable of governing themselves through their elected representatives and, therefore, have to be supervised by unelected aristocratic ‘Lords’ sitting in an ‘Upper House’ of Parliament. It is an appendage of the monarchy which, from my perspective, has more far-reaching consequences for self-governance than a purely symbolic Queen.

If we must have a Senate as a review chamber, I believe it should be comprised of elected representatives of the people for the purpose.