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HomeNewsRegional NewsJamaicans urged to get on voters' list for country's first referendum in...

Jamaicans urged to get on voters’ list for country’s first referendum in more than 60 years


by Alecia Smith (Jamaica Observer) The ghost of the 1961 referendum on Jamaica’s continued membership in the Federation of the West Indies — which went against the then governing People’s National Party (PNP), and shortly after saw the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) gaining State power to lead the island into independence — has continued to haunt successive administrations over the years, leaving them wary to return to the people for any such poll.

But Jamaicans should get a chance to vote in another referendum in the not too distant future to determine if the country cuts ties with the British monarchy to become a republic, and Dr Nadeen Spence, a member of the Constitutional Reform Committee (CRC) guiding the process, does not believe that Jamaicans have so far grasped the significance of this vote.

Spence, who is the civil society representative on the 15-member committee tasked with providing expert guidance and oversight for the country’s constitutional reform, told this week’s Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange that it appears not many people have recognised the power this democratic tool affords them.

“The referendum is an ultimate participation in a democracy where every citizen, as long as they are registered, can go and vote on an issue,” said Spence.

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