Poll finds majority of Antiguans in favour of replacing Privy Council

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The majority of people in Antigua and Barbuda favour replacing the London-based Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Appeal, according to an opinion poll released here on Tuesday.

The poll, conducted by the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Research Services Inc (CADRES) found that 62 per cent of the 800 people polled during the period October 12-14, said they supported a move to the Trinidad-based CCJ as the island’s final court.

Antigua and Barbuda will vote in a referendum on November 6.

CADRES said that the opinion poll was devoted to an exploration of the referendum issue and sought to understand how Antiguans felt about the CCJ in principle and also how they planned to vote on November 6 .

“In addition, questions as to major reasons why people supported and opposed the CCJ were explored in an effort to provide some amount of context on this issue,” the pollster said, adding that the methodology used was similar to that of previous CADRES polls in Antigua and Barbuda.

It said the face to face survey exercise was conducted by interviewers who administered a short, standardised questionnaire to approximately 800 respondents that were randomly selected from all constituencies across Antigua.

According to CADRES, the majority of those polled (62 per cent) said they “Supported the move to the CCJ” either now or in the future, while 17 per cent said they “did not support the move to the CCJ” and 22 per cent preferred “not to say” how they felt about this issue.

“Thereafter respondents were presented with a list of possible reasons why they would vote “For” or “Against” the CCJ and asked to indicate which single reason appealed to them most. Among those who supported the CCJ, the most compelling reason was the suggestion that the CCJ was “cheaper to access” while” those who opposed the CCJ thought that it would be “more open to political influence”.

CADRES said that responses to the central question of how persons intend to vote at this time if restricted to those committed to vote either “For” or “Against” demonstrate that the required threshold of 66.6 per cent has narrowly been achieved at this time.

However, CADRES would caution that this outcome could be affected either by any variation in the margin of error of the poll (+/- 5%) or if the participation of the Barbudan voters (two per cent) shifts the pendulum away from the “Yes” vote”.

CADRES acknowledged that the views of Barbudans were not canvased on this occasion, but noted that a 2016 poll did cover the island still recovering from the ravages of Hurricane Irma.

“Comparatively, we note a marginal improvement in the level of support for the CCJ, a plus two per cent compared to a marginal reduction in the level of opposition, a minus two per cent, which can easily be explained by the exclusion of Barbuda on this occasion which was purely on account of our client’s timeline for completion”.

In October 2016 CADRES indicated that it felt the referendum would “narrowly achieve the margin necessary for the measure to pass” and at this time “we are similarly persuaded, but caution that the margin here is “razor thin”.

CADRES said it also explored the reasons for support and opposition more exhaustively and noted that the primary characteristic that separated those “For” from those “Against” is their political affiliation with supporters of the ruling Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) being more inclined to support the CCJ, while supporters of the United Progressive Party (UPP) are less inclined.

“This relationship was noted in 2016 an is no less pronounced on this occasion, notwithstanding efforts to de-politicise the vote. There were; however other reasons for support and opposition gleaned on this occasion and we believe that this information will be a useful basis for dialogue in the final weeks leading up to November 6, 2018,” CADRES said.

The CCJ was established by regional governments on 2001 to replace the Privy Council as the Caribbean final court. But while most of the regional countries are members of the court’s Original Jurisdiction, only Barbados, Dominica, Belize and Guyana are signatories to the Appellate Jurisdiction of the CCJ that also serves as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaraas that governs the regional integration movement.

Apart from Antigua and Barbuda, voters will also be casting ballots in a referendum on November 6 on the CCJ issue.

18 COMMENTS

  1. Lets get it over the finish line my people. We can do it. We can make history. We can change our future just like our forefathers did. We are the generation that is called upon to ensure our children and grand children, great grand children and future generation can access justice for ALL. Do not let your people and country down. Vote YES to the CCJ. The Caribbean Court of Justice. Not the English Court of Justice. We done with that. Massa Days has gone. Cut the ties for good. We done with that. Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. Proud to be an Antiguan and Barbudan. And Proud to belong to the Caribbean Nation. One Caribbean. One People.

    • Any proud and Afrocentric Black Antiguan if they look into their heart and understand what is at stake will vote without a doubt YES to CCJ unless they have a self-esteem problem and still suffer from mental slavery. Uncle Tom descendants.

  2. The what poll is this the gay guy from bulbados well they did not ask and i am voting NO….i also did a poll and they will get 43%member this number +/- ratio acumelative number relative to the reason of the fifth power % =people asked in 7 different communities sample size 500 persons do the maths

  3. What poll they talking about? Are they sure that this poll wasn’t voted by mostly non-nationals not much Antiguans & Barbuduans?

    • Forward ever backwards never. We’re moving on. CCJ for the people of the Caribbean especially the poor and the black Afro-Caribbean.
      Arl you stuck in mental slavery. Free your mind and your ass will follow.

    • I asked my marijuana plant yesterday how should i vote on November 6 and she said say NO because they been telling kids to say NO to me for years

  4. A majority is NOT required to move to the CCJ. What is required is 2/3. You can get 62% but that is still NOT 2/3. Do the math. Let this “poll” be even more motivation to vote NO TO THE CCJ!

    • If u vote for alp then what does that make u a smartie pants people vote for what they want u cant hold gripe and be so ignorant,if u hate some one because they have an opinion then u probably not an antiguan….i am voting no because a lady had a land issue her lawyer that was dealing with her case now turn magistrate did not want to push hard on her case because he said u know i cant push to hard because we went to school and that is one of our problems,and don’t believe one bit that is not going to happen.

      • Dunce statement again..What does voting for the ALP has to do with a court of APPEAL? It cements my opinion even more. Anyone who isn’t aware that a political Party and the CCJ are not separate and apart,then how else can i describe that person but dunce? Some of us are so Naive and Ignorant that we cannot seem to separate anything whatsoever from politics,sometimes even in Death we find some stupid comment to use to involve Politics I say it as i see it.It obviously comes from a lack of knowledge and Ignorance.. If the referendum does not go in favor of the CCJ,it will not have one negative or positive effect on the sitting government. It has nothing to do with politics.I am really sick and tired of reading nonsense on Social Media,males us all look Dunce.And for your Information,i am Born Antiguan,another one of the stupid comments i am tired reading on Social Media.

  5. LMAO at this weak-ass poll. They were smart not to poll Barbuda. LOL!! Barbuda alone will put a dent in that so-called 62%

    Note the timing of the release of this so-called poll. Perhaps “they” figure that people will say “well since they already have the majority, I might as well vote yes”

    Natta ting tarl go so. I will be voting HELL NO!! to the politically-influenced CCJ on referendum day.

  6. Massa days are still very much here…. just member we have a prime minister and a governor general simply means we have a queen over us which is from England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 reason why am saying no to CCJ because to many lawyers are politicians an politicians are lawyers. End of story

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