ARGUING THAT the passage of a motion to rename the Throne Speech would be of "significant psychological and symbolic value", North East St Elizabeth Member of Parliament (MP) Raymond Pryce on Tuesday told fellow legislators that it would help complete another aspect of the country's independence at no economic cost.
Pryce had last year given notice of the motion to have the Throne Speech renamed the People's Speech. He was seeking to have it debated and passed before the start of this parliamentary year, but the debate only commenced on Tuesday.
In opening the debate, Pryce said symbolism is important to a nation. He said the motion merely seeks to replace the British emblem with the primacy of the Jamaican people.
"It calls for nothing else. No one needs to be nervous or concerned as to what it could mean for their own largesse or their own positions," Pryce said.
He added: "It simply asks for us to do what our founding fathers of the Independence movement would have expected to have been achieved by now - to put the people of Jamaica at the beginning, the basis and the end of what we do in Parliament."
West Kingston MP Desmond McKenzie was not impressed. "Who writes the speech and gives it to the governor general? It's the Government," he shouted as he poured scorn on the motion.
The Throne Speech is delivered at the start of each legislative year by the governor general. The speech contains the plans and programmes of the Government for the ensuing year.
Pryce said, as a democrat, only people selected by the people to represent their interest should have dominion over them.
"I reject and continue to resist the retention of any tradition that would suggest that anyone other than our own has the responsibility for our development," Pryce said.
He added: "I think that, at this time of our maturation, it is important that we do away with any traditions or symbols that could cause any one of our number, as citizens of this country, to depend on or believe in a foreign national of any status to guide the path of our development."