The Caribbean is the Most Democratic Place in the World

Here are the Reasons Why

Liberal Democracy – The Only Political regime in last 30 years

Did you know that the Caribbean is one of the most democratic developing regions in the world? 

 

The Caribbean has the reputation of being the most democratic region in the developing 
world. According to Paul Sutton 2007 study, “nearly all the states can be defined as liberal democratic, and in the Commonwealth Caribbean, most of the countries have known no other type of political regime in the last 30 years”.

 

Sutton further surmises  that recent studies that have evaluated the durability and effectiveness of democracy in the Commonwealth Caribbean, as measured by political rights, civil liberties, competitive elections, responsible government and the like, have reached positive conclusions.

Caribbean Democracy

Sustained Liberal Democracy

Leading Caribbean political scientist, Trevor Munroe also confirms that no other region in the Third World has experienced such an aggregation of leadership of varying style, attitude, behaviour, personality, but with the common feature of sustaining liberal democracy (Democracy & Democratization: Global & Caribbean Perspectives, Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of the West indies, 1997).

Democracy is Resilient

Despite the myriad challenges that face these small, open, dependent island democracies, liberal democracy continues to prevail.  Consider that the fates of many of the Islands’ exports – from sugar (Antigua, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, Str. Kitts & Nevis, Suriname), cotton, cocoa (Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Trinidad, Tobago), coffee, bauxite (Jamaica, Trinidad), Oil (Guyana, Trinidad), Natural Gas (Trinidad) – have been dismal, at best.  ). In addition, the region has been battered by many devastating hurricanes (Hurricane Ivan in Grenada, 2004; Hurricanes David and Maria; Dominica 1979 and 2017; Hurricane Flora 1963, Tobago; Hurricane Gilbert, Jamaica 1988).  The islands continue to be battered by global recessions, Terrorist threats, drugs, Wars, and now Corona! Corona has brought the global tourism industry in the islands to a virtual stand-still. 

The resilience of liberal democracy in the Caribbean has been nothing short of amazing.

gpZTSwrxgT

Democracy cannot be taken for granted

At the same time, one cannot take democracy for granted.  Like many other democracies, there are real challenges. Fake news, low voter turnout, the growing power of ‘special interests’ (both legitimate big businesses as well as illegal drug cartels and arms dealers), inequitable income distribution and the need for what Trevor Munroe calls the building  of “social capital’ and the need for bridge-building and power-sharing (whether ethnic, race, colour, religion, linguistic, class, ability, ‘tribal political’ or regional) continue to threaten democratic countries and institutions.

 

On the whole, the Commonwealth Caribbean has been one of the most resilient and robust democracies in the world. 

 

The Caribbean continues to be an amazing place to live, work, and play.

Name of Country

Political System

Independence

Years of Democracy

Challenges

Jamaica

Liberal Democracy

1962

(59 years)

59 years

Attempted Coup 1980

Trinidad & Tobago

Liberal Democracy

1962

(59 years)

59 years

Attempted Coup in 1990

Guyana

Guyana

Democracy

1966

(55 years)

55 years

 

Barbados

Liberal Democracy

1966

(55 years)

55 years

 

Bahamas

The Bahamas

Liberal Democracy

1973

(48 years)

48 years

 

Grenada

Grenada

Liberal Democracy

1974

(48 years)

44 years

Fall of the New Jewel Movement Bishop 1983

Suriname

Suriname

Liberal Democracy

1975

(46 years)

46 years

 

Dominica

Dominica

Liberal Democracy

1978

(43 years)

43 years

 

St. LuciaSt. Lucia

Liberal Democracy

1979

(42 years)

42 years

 

St. Vincent & the grenadinesSt. Vincent & the Grenadines

Liberal Democracy

1979

(42 years)

42 years

 

Belize

Liberal Democracy

1981

(40 years)

40 years

 

Antigua and Barbuda

Liberal Democracy

1981

(40 years)

40 years

 

ST. KITTS AND NEVISSt. Kitts & Nevis

Liberal Democracy

1983

(38 years)

38 years

 

As can be seen from the table, ALL commonwealth islands have had liberal democratic political systems since their independence from British Crown from the 1960s. 

 

Grenada had four years of a socialist regime led my Maurice Bishop New Jewel Movement that was in power from March 1979 to October 1983. In Trinidad and Tobago, there was a short-lived coup attempt that lasted 5 days from July 27 to August 1, 1990.  For the remainder of the Caribbean, democracy reigned supreme.

 

The Caribbean continues to be an amazing place to live, work, and play.

Author:

Dr. Auliana Poon

auliana poon

Dr. Auliana Poon is the founder and Managing Director of Leve Global and Exceptional Caribbean.

 

Auliana loves the Caribbean and believes in its people. Her personal mission is to change the world; to transform our societies. And this is precisely why she has spearheaded Exceptional Caribbean – a continuing mission to elevate tourism, trade and lives.

Share your thoughts with us. Leave a comment below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Views: 328