Jan 25, 2013 Letters
The Falklands is in the midst of a political campaign to decide its political future – continued association with Britain as a dependent territory or full independence. The British government has decided to allow the people in the Falkland territories, located in the Southern hemisphere, to vote in a referendum – yes or no on the issue of independence.
The vote is a response to political pressure from the UNASUR (of which Guyana is a member) countries and the UN for England to address the status of the disputed territories. Argentina claims the territories and fought a war with Britain over them. The islands have been under British control since 1833 and there are reports that they are energy rich.
Argentina has ratcheted its claim over the territories in recent years and has called for negotiations over them. It is felt that a vote on what the population desires via a referendum would settle the matter with Argentina.
The referendum will be free and fair and free from fear unlike the one that was conducted in 1980 in Guyana by the PNC dictatorship to replace the 1966 British imposed constitution. The political forces in Guyana (AFC, APNU, PNC and PPP) should follow the British example and give our people the vote on whether they want to continue to be governed by the Burnham constitution of 1980 or return to the independence constitution which was abrogated without approval from voters.
Or better yet, a referendum will allow Guyanese to decide whether they want to remain independent or return under the control of England as a colony. Most Guyanese feel Guyana would be better off as an appendage to England or Canada or America and as such would not want to take chance with a vote that would put the politicians out of work.
The older folks say they were far better off under British rule than during the last 46 years and they long for the return of “the White man”.
In looking at photos being posted of gatherings discussing the vote and the waving of British flags, it is very clear which way the people will vote. I would be very surprised if less than 90 per cent vote against independence. Throughout the world, in recent years, when given the vote to break from the imperial country, the people of dependency territories vote to continue the status quo. They don’t want freedom.
The Dutch recently allowed people of their islands in the Caribbean to vote on their status. They all rejected full independence. The same was done by the French in the Caribbean and French Polynesia and they said “nay”.
Anguilla, Cayman, Turks, Caicos, Bermuda, Virgin Islands, etc. are all against independence. Barbados, Grenada, St. Vincent, Jamaica, St. Lucia, etc. don’t want to jettison the Queen as their Head of State. Worse, they don’t want to break from the Privy Council, except for Barbados. If Barbados had held a vote on breaking with the PC, it would have been rejected by over 90 per cent of the population.
In NACTA polls I conducted year after year, over 90 per cent said they want to return to British rule or become a state or territory of America or Canada. Over 90 per cent of Guyanese prefer the Privy Council over the CCJ.
The Falklands referendum is being held towards the end of the summer on March 10 and March 11 which is the opposite of the climate in the Northern Hemisphere. As a press statement notes, “The result will demonstrate in a clear, democratic and incontestable way how the people of the Falkland Islands wish to live their lives”.
The same would be true if the politicians of the AFC, APNU, PNC and PPP allow a vote for Guyanese to decide their future. In the event that Falklanders reject UK rule, a second referendum on possible alternatives would be organized. But there won’t be a need for a follow up referendum. And if a vote is held in Guyana, almost every Guyanese would want to return to British rule.
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