Following the death of the Queen, the Commonwealth realms are considering abolishing the monarchy. Here’s What They Said – National IG News

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The passing of Queen Elizabeth II has sparked renewed focus on the future of the Commonwealth, with some experts predicting more regions – particularly in the Caribbean – would rush to sever their ties with the monarchy.

Although the Commonwealth of Nations has 56 members, only the United Kingdom and 14 other nations share the British monarch as their head of state, including Canada. That number has been declining since the organization was first formed in 1926, and experts say it will continue to do so no matter who sits on the throne.

“I think[the Queen’s death]may simplify the discussion, but that doesn’t change the fact that it has been an ongoing process of nations becoming more independent over time,” said Professor of History at Western University in London. Professor Francine McKenzie said. , Ont.

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Still others say that the ascension of King Charles III has kindled a new fire for pro-republican movements in countries where the history of colonialism and slavery under British rule is still deeply felt.

In the Caribbean, apathy and even hostility towards the monarchy was evident when Prince William and Princess Catherine embarked on a much-criticized royal tour in honor of the Queen’s platinum jubilee in March.

The protests greeted him at every stop as residents demanded an apology for the role of the Crown in slavery and colonialism. William did not meet those demands, although he expressed “sadness” for that history during the visit.

The visit came after Barbados became the most recent Commonwealth realm to officially become a republic at a ceremony held last November, which was attended by Charles himself.

“I think the domino effect will begin,” said Philip Murphy, professor of British and Commonwealth history at the University of London.

“Many Caribbean states … have talked about becoming republics in the past.”

At a summit of Commonwealth leaders in Rwanda last June, Charles acknowledged that outcome, telling members that it was for each country to decide whether to keep or remove the monarchy as its head of state, while promising the royal family will not interfere.

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Mackenzie says that member states that choose to break ties with the monarchy can still benefit from the remainder of the Commonwealth, which has repeatedly committed to financially aiding smaller countries.

For now, the transition to republicanism is a symbolic step that allows nations to further consolidate their independence on the world stage.

Here’s what each Commonwealth realm has to say about its future with the Crown, and whether the Queen’s death has changed anything.

Among the regions of the Caribbean, Jamaica has been the most vocal about its intentions to abolish the monarchy and become a republic.

During William and Kate’s visit, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness told the couple in front of reporters “we are moving forward” and that Jamaica wants to be “a free, developed, prosperous country”.

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Click to play video: 'William and Kate's visit to Jamaica backfires amid royal backlash'

William and Kate’s visit to Jamaica backfires amid royal backlash

William and Kate’s visit to Jamaica backfires amid royal backlash – March 24, 2022

Despite reports earlier this year that Jamaica would be ready to officially sever its ties with the monarchy by August – at the time of the country’s 60th anniversary of independence from the British Empire – officials said this summer that there was a considerable Will take more time

Marlene Malahoo Forte, the head of the country’s newly created legal and constitutional affairs ministry, told parliament in June that the process was likely to be completed by 2025, before the country’s next scheduled election. However, he confirmed that work was officially underway, which would culminate in a vote in parliament and a referendum.

Public sentiment seems to support such a move. A poll in August found that 56 percent of Jamaicans want the monarchy as head of state to be removed.

Elsewhere, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne told ITV News at the September 10 accession to King Charles that his government would hold a referendum on becoming a republic within the next three years.

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But other countries have been more vague, and have not set an official deadline for the transition or a public vote.

Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davies said a day after the Queen’s death that a referendum to remove the monarchy as head of state is “always” on the table, reaffirming that it “will be up to our people to decide”. “

Belize’s government, which was the first stop on William and Kate’s tour of the Caribbean, created a new People’s Constitutional Commission in late March, just days after the couple left.

The office has begun consultations with citizens across the country on a planned “colonization process” that would consider whether Belize should become a republic. Government officials have said the consultation is expected to take about a year and will likely end in a referendum.

In July, St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves proposed a referendum to keep the monarchy as head of state, which requires bipartisan support in parliament before citizens can vote. In the last referendum on the issue in 2009, only 43 percent of voters supported becoming a republic.

Click to play video: 'Queen Elizabeth's death: can King Charles III keep the monarchy alive?'

Death of Queen Elizabeth: Can King Charles III Keep the Monarchy Alive?

Death of Queen Elizabeth: Can King Charles III Keep the Monarchy Alive?

Australia, New Zealand and Oceania

There appears to be little need for Oceania countries to separate themselves from monarchies – although the seeds for such a move are beginning to be sown.

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Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, appointed the country’s first “Assistant Minister for the Republic” shortly after his election in May, tasked Matt Thistlethwaite to study changes to the country’s constitution and the possibility of a referendum on becoming a republic. .

That referendum is not expected until a second term for the Albanian government, if it wins one.

After the death of the queen, Albanese said it was “not the time” to consider replacing the country’s head of state.

Similarly, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters last week that she had no intention of bringing about change under her government, although she said the country would become a republic “in my lifetime”.

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The prospects for smaller countries in the region are mixed.

Tuvalu, the smallest region, launched a constitutional review this summer to consider whether to abolish the monarchy. Politicians argued during a debate that the queen represented “a colonial hangover” whose effect on the small collection of islands was “non-existent”.

Papua New Guinea, however, is resolute. During Princess Anne’s visit to the country for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in April, the country’s National Program Minister Justin Tkachenko said the government was “embracing” its relationship with the monarchy, unlike Caribbean countries.

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Although public support for the monarchy has waned over the years, Canada is unlikely to pursue republicanism anytime soon.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Global News last weekend that the complex process of removing the monarchy as head of state is likely to be a “nonstart” amid pressing issues such as inflation and the search for reconciliation.

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To abolish the monarchy would require a feat of political maneuvering rarely seen throughout the years, requiring unanimous consent between the House of Commons, the Senate, and all provincial legislatures.

Last week, an Ipsos poll held exclusively for Global News just days after the Queen’s death suggested that nearly 60 percent of Canadians want a referendum on the future of the monarchy.

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This is an increase from last year, when sentiment was more than half of the respondents.

At the same time, that survey suggested that there is almost equal support among those in favor of maintaining or ending ties to the monarchy.

— With files from Eric Sorensen, Amanda Connolly and Reuters

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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