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Does anyone remember?


LEE FARNUM-BADLEY

Does anyone remember?

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On Sunday, December 13, Barbados marked 64 years since her first general elections under universal suffrage were held. Universal suffrage is the right of every adult citizen to select a government to represent them for a constitutionally defined period.

Before this date, this right was open only to the wealthier classes, who were considered to be informed enough to make wise political choices. After the working-class rebellion of 1937, the British set up a commission under Lord Moyne to investigate the factors leading to the unrest seen not only in Barbados but across the entire Caribbean.

Lord Moyne concluded that the best solution to achieve a return to a normal and peaceful colonial development cooperation would be to allow Barbadian workers firstly to have trade union representation; then after a few years, the right to vote; and eventually, quite logically, our national Independence.

While women enjoyed the same right to vote, and were fully qualified to run for public office, they have historically not offered themselves as candidates for election as frequently as men. Edna Ermyntrude Bourne was the first of her gender to be elected to the House of Assembly. She represented the parish of St Andrew in the 1960s.

LEE FARNUM-BADLEY

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