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Referendum not needed for BVI to get independence — Governance expert

Governance expert Dr Carlyle Corbin

Governance expert Dr Carlyle Corbin has expressed that a referendum is not needed in order for the BVI to move towards self-determination or independence.

Dr Corbin gave that indication while appearing as a guest on the Honestly Speaking radio show yesterday, March 29.

Dr Corbin is an international expert on governance who has been commissioned by the current government to conduct an independent self-governance assessment of the BVI.

“It’s not something that is required. I think that it is one of the means by which a determination can be made,“ Dr Corbin said.

He continued: “In the past, it has been that if a political party in a particular territory has independence or whatever change within the framework of the current arrangement, or in the platform of that party and they win the election then it would be assumed that that is the decision of the people to move in that direction.”

Dr Corbin explained, however, that the route of a referendum is something that seems to have gained favour in recent years.

He further suggested that it might be useful to have a hardened date for a referendum if it is preceded by an intensive public awareness exercise.

UN mandate hinges on UK support?

According to Dr Corbin, if the government and the people do decide to have a referendum, then the United Nations (UN) has a mandate to assist in achieving this.

He also expressed this mandate is conditioned by the support of the administering power. The United Kingdom (UK) is the BVI’s administering power.

When asked by host Claude Skelton Cline whether the UK has to agree to the BVI’s independence, Dr Corbin said this depends on an interpretation of the UN’s resolutions.

“There are things that they can do, because in other parts of the resolutions, and not just the one on the Virgin Islands, but there are others with respect to decolonisation where the United Nations has a very specific role to play and it does not necessarily require this kind of support,” he explained.

Dr Corbin further expressed that there was much flexibility, but said it was simply a matter of recognising that it exists and proceeding in that vein.

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36 Comments

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  1. Voter says:

    Good to hear so let’s get our freedom fast

    Like 4
    Dislike 97
    • Voter too says:

      Imagine these guys not having to answer to anyone!!! Can you imagine the state this place will be in? God Forbid!!!!!!!!!

      Like 88
      Dislike 3
      • wth says:

        We the people of the BVI say that a referendum is required. This country belongs to us. Not to the politicians.

        It sounds like this “expert” was brought in to find ways in which independence can be forced down our throats. Get him the h**l out of here.

        Like 35
        Dislike 1
  2. Lodger says:

    I listened to this mans speech. I did not understand a word. I think in a roundabout way he said nothing.

    Like 49
    Dislike 3
    • @ Lodger says:

      Some cannot listen to certain kinds/types and or unordinary music, as their ear and musical sensebilities are not developed sufficiently so to to create understanding.

      Likewise, while all minds and intellect are not created equal, many are simply made of plastic…

      To suggest the Dr. said nothing indicates a faculty system that is woefully limited.

      Now try earnig a degree, then a masters, and finally a doctorate. Perhaps then, one would have developed a greater appreciation and respect for a fully developed intellect.

      Like 5
      Dislike 42
      • @ @ Lodger says:

        Oh shut up!!!!

        Like 24
        Dislike 4
      • Lodger says:

        You dont know what my qualifications are. I am a writer and contributor who strives to keep up with things. I could understand his voice but not the content. You listing all his qualifications makes me even more suspicious that he has had a totally academic life, and probably had no experience of employment in the real world. His arguments, if such they are, would be hard to follow by the ordinary folks who would be voting in any referendum we may have in the future. Other bloggers seem to agree with me.

      • Stupes says:

        What foolishness is this. There are so many intelligent people without degrees much less masters and doctorates.

        Like 2
        Dislike 1
    • Busy Bee says:

      @Lodger – Yes, but he’s getting the big bucks for saying it.

      Like 11
  3. Slim Jim says:

    Excuse me???????

    I couldn’t care less what the so called “experts” from where-ever say… if the BVI is going to seek independence, it needs to be done with a clearly stated referendum where the voice and input of the people residing and invested here is sought, accepted and respected. Anything less is a bulldozer attempt to impose the view of the few upon the many.

    I find this article and the fact that input was sought in this direction to be an alarming bell-weather for the method that this or future governments may seek to take to achieve short-sighted aims of a politically-driven platform that won’t necessarily spell out for the people the pros, cons and necessary steps to be taken before, during and after the decision is made to “go solo”.

    While I am not going to say “never”, it does bother me that we have all of these politicians, consultants, “experts” and opinion-makers saying that its easy, or that we can just adopt the US currency, or that our economy will not be affected in any way… look at BREXIT: They made an emotional decision that they didn’t properly explain to the people, didn’t outline or honestly present the hurdles to be faced, didn’t prepare the people for the growing pains, and are still struggling to deal with. And that is the UK… they are much better connected, have wealthy and powerful alliances and trade partners, and their own currency, defense system, trade market and a vast pool of resources to pull from. They acted in haste and the regular people now are repenting the rushed moves.

    So, lets stop pulling the wool over the peoples eyes and playing on their emotions. I may be sick and tired of “mammy and daddy telling me what to do”, what time to be home and how I should live my life, but until I can take proper care of myself and foot my own bills, I should humble myself, stay at home, live under their rules (having respectful dialogue when a conflict arises), work on my financial and living conditions and prepare for the day that I can sustain myself AND a family. That’s responsibility on an individual level and we should adopt no less as a country.

    And we as BVIslanders need to pay careful attention to what is going on in our country. The servants have become the masters. The people are powerless and the representatives dictate the direction. They give us pennies every 4 years and steal millions daily. For a country that has been so blessed with a vibrant economy, a high per-capita, and resources to be envied, we have been terribly mismanaged over the years by successive governments. Forget the “party” talk and evaluate the person… ask them hard questions, seek direct and transparent answers, and hold them accountable. This is 1947, this is 2022… we can easily do fact-checking, due diligence, “play the tape” and verify what we are being told. Don’t just rely on the hand-picked “expert” opinions.

    Amateurs built the ark while the “experts” said a flood was impossible… so seek God’s guidance in these matters and lets not “lean on [our] own understanding”. This is not just about us but our children and their children.

    I’m done.
    Don’t get me started again.

    Like 103
    Dislike 3
    • @slim jim says:

      There is nothing slim about you Jim. Reveal yourself. Anyone who writes this intelligently speaks loud and know know the fundamentals of bringing the people into your confidence. Slim Jim don’t need to know you. You have my vote. Let us all start a slim Jim political party.

      Like 34
    • TruDat! says:

      This process requires at least TWO votes.
      The first is for the people to say if they want to go down this path. IF they vote to do so the second vote is to agree that they STILL want to go down that path once all of the terms and conditions are negotiated, agreed to, and properly explained to the people.
      Don’t get stuck in a Brexit S**T show where everyone voted for one thing and was then force-fed something completely different. Make sure you have read the tin and you know what’s going to be inside before you take the lid off.

      Like 10
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  4. Resident says:

    I didn’t hear the program; but based on the article taking the approach of independence with no referendum first would be politically irresponsible and illegitimate, even if it was constitutionally legal. This is because the electorate is not at all representative of the people who reside in the BVI and pay taxes. Long term residents would have their constitutional frame work altered without any ability to vote on the issue. That cannot be correct. If independence is such a good idea; why not have a referendum? It should not be pushed through by the Government alone, when the current electorate is so unrepresentative of the population.

    Like 42
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  5. strupes says:

    ayo got time to listen to claude and company?

    Like 15
  6. Forget not says:

    Don’t forget, there are hundreds of so-called experts out there, heck I’m one! And for the right amount of money, and doing a little selective shopping, one can easily find an expert to support whatever position or policy you want to take.

    Look at the seemingly smart people that continue to support every utterance by Don the Con in the states. Black is white, the sky is green, up is down, no means yes… Just tell me what you want me to say as an expert and wire my fee.

    Like 18
    Dislike 1
  7. YEAH RITE says:

    CSC is trying everything in the book, it’s called PSYCHOLOGY, he and the so-called expert need a good BULLPISSLE
    👍

    Like 11
    Dislike 1
  8. my question says:

    why the US Virgin Islands isn’t seeking to break away from the US mainland?? we are very close neighbors and I have not read in any news article that they are even thinking about breaking away. those US Virgin Islands had slave plantation to. we can’t manage effectively and efficiently the people’s money when we still under the British imagine getting independence. then is when you would see robbery without guns. I am amazed to see a tiny dot like the bvi talking about independence. do you bright head full of crap guys see any Caribbean Island that independence doing better than the bvi??? please someone answer this please. is over 100 different nationalities we have here. every independent country in the eastern Caribbean have people living in the bvi. Is it more power some of us looking for?? or to see the bvi is independent just on paper. Independent on paper is was happen to all the Caribbean Islands that say they get independence. the people of the bvi would still feel the same and live the same. the government of the day is who going to continue pushing up their chest and try to push it up even higher. independence is not for the ordinary man and women. it’s for the people in Government to do as they please. come on people we need to ask the question .what would independence do for the ordinary man??

    Like 20
    Dislike 1
    • PHD in Sociology says:

      There are many independent Caribbean countries that are actually doing about the same and some even better than the BVI in many categories, don’t get it twisted.

      Barbados and Trinidad has been listed as first world countries by the World Bank. Antigua and Barbuda,Bahamas, St. Kitts and Nevis, St.Martin all have good to great GDP with comparative or competitive cost of living to the BVI. So even though the salaries might be lower in some of those countries, the purchasing power is still roughly the same as to what you will find in the BVI.

      To add, many of those countries offer free tertiary education with higher study than the BVI, better health care, more professionals, more and better access to services and products, better entertainment and recreation and many instances of better infrastructure.

      Like 4
      Dislike 1
      • rall says:

        And the look at the mess they have made! Bahamas Government owned by Chinese, Barbados under World Bank because they are bankrupt, Antigua probably better due to tourism, St Kitts not doing that well. What tourism does BVI have? I wonder what the cruise tourists think they see all the scrap cars and boats? Its not for normal tourists only those who go on the boats. When all the big business leave, which they will if independence happens – who is going to pay the bills? This Government cant cope now with education, the roads, NHI which will be bankrupt soon, and the corruption will be even worse.

  9. Patriotic bvi says:

    amen to that.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Okay, where did they dig up this guy. So a party elected for only a four year term who did not make independence a part of thei platform upon running, can decide on their own. Get this idiot from outta here!

    Like 16
  11. LOL says:

    If we are going along this route any party at the upcoming election must let us know if their manifesto includes independence and a time scale. It would also be good if they intend to hold a referendum to include that in the manifesto. The conservatives in the UK got elected on promising to hold a referendum on Europe, then it went wrong resulting in Brexit but at least the people knew they were being promised a referendum

  12. Claude is getting too much air time says:

    He has his green card so he could run back to america after thing goes bad…..DONT MIND HE!

    Like 10
  13. Hell No says:

    When is the Vote? I need to mark my NO to this. Independence is a big NO at this time without us the people wanting it by majority and we set the steps out clearly and transparently.

  14. Sam studdard says:

    Okay, where did they dig up this guy. So a party elected for only a four year term who did not make independence a part of thei platform upon running, can decide on their own. Get this idiot from outta here!

  15. Jah Know says:

    We want to know why is it the politicians and ppl like CSC, crying for independence but the ppl of the territory not asking for it? Why do they want it more than us?

  16. PT09 says:

    Dr Carlyle Corbin, Take the money and run we really don’t care what you have to say, we know the people we are dealing with you think that because you are a so called international expert on governance you can guide us but you don’t know what you are dealing with, No referendum that’s asking for a lot of trouble we won’t stand by and let independence happen without a referendum.

  17. Phoenix says:

    Just FYI, we’d all sue for an injunction and win. A move like that with no attempts made toward governing transparency or accountability would be just another example of how poor our governance is.

  18. E. Leonard says:

    Undoubtedly, Dr. Carlyle Corbin is a recognized and respected government expert whose expertise is sought across the globe. Respect his views on government structure. Nevertheless, though a referendum may not be a definite requirement in pursuing independence, the VI is a parliamentary/representative democracy, so a majority of people should decide what political status the territory should have. This is part and parcel of the democratic process. The current governing dependency model as promoted by Dr. Corbin is already riddled with many democratic deficits, so we should not be exacerbating the situation.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  19. Hdvd says:

    Anytime this place gone independent I get the the heck outta here.

  20. Tongue Fu says:

    “In the past, it has been that if a political party in a particular territory has independence or whatever change within the framework of the current arrangement, or in the platform of that party and they win the election then it would be assumed that that is the decision of the people to move in that direction.”

    This is the part that got me. Is that not a referendum in itself? If a party runs on a platform of pro-independence then is that not indirectly a referendum as the people would decide whether or not to vote for them based on their pro-independence platform? As far as I know VIP never ran on that so they should not be looking at independence at all. If they are to look for one then take it to the polls and campaign on it or have a referendum. The majority of the people must be for independence for it to be pursued and to be successful.

    There are no provisions for a referendum on independence in the constitution but it’s crucial that the people have a say in their own self determination as they stand to benefit or suffer from such a move.

  21. rall says:

    Virgin Islands already turning into the new Jamaica with the murders – unsolved. If the Government goes for independence then all the big business will pull out and go to Anguilla and our country will become like Jamaica and down the well. Its ok for the Government ministers who have other passports they can leave and it will become a worse place to live. The UK will demand their passports back.

  22. Captain Flint says:

    Does anyone think that the expats – who earn the money for the Government and pay the rip off prices in the shops- will stay if this country goes independent? Its not safe now with people getting murder and shot going to Bobby’s on a Sunday – if no Governor then God Help the Virgin Islanders!

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