Jamaica's new PM vows to ditch royal rule

Jamaica's new Prime Minister — who won by a landslide — has vowed to turn the island into a republic, eliminating the Queen as the head of state. This may seem pretty pro-forma, but in the past few years, Canada's royal representative, the Governor General, has allowed the Prime Minister to suspend parliament for highly politicized reasons, at one point leaving Canada without government in the midst of the financial crisis. The Commonwealth bargain is meant to be that the Queen's rep acts as a non-political, sober oversight of last resort. But in Canada, the GG let the Prime Minister shut down Parliament to avoid a no-confidence vote and to shut down an embarrassing Parliamentary inquiry about Canada's complicity in the indefinite detention, torture and murder of Afghani war prisoners. Against this backdrop, it seems to me that getting rid of royal "governance" can only be a good thing.

"I love the Queen; she is a beautiful lady," Simpson Miller said, before declaring to the audience in Jamaican patois: "But I think time come."

Simpson Miller said she could replace the privy council in London with the Trinidad-based Caribbean court of justice as Jamaica's highest court of appeal. She said this would "end judicial surveillance from London."

She vowed her government would "ease the burdens and the pressues of increasing poverty, joblessness and deteriorating standards of living" while also pursuing a tight fiscal policy and forging strong partnerships with the private sector and international partners such as the International Monetary Fund.

Jamaica will become a republic, new prime minister vows