Perspective 1: Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) attendees pose for a group picture at their recently held Meeting

Gordon House

In this our look on Parliament we examine the countries forming the grouping calling itself the Commonwealth and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). a body created out of such a grouping.

The Commonwealth consists of some 180 parliaments and spread over various regions. The Commonwealth is headed by HM Queen Elizabeth of Britain.

The CPA as any other member Associations does elect an executive body.

The grouping consists of former colonies and territories of the British Empire and this is the 105th year of its existence as an Association. There has been at least an exception to this criteria/convention so to speak.

There is a journal that is published periodically. The parliamentary association has divided the various groupings which is further divided into Regions.

Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth games is an event that is well known worldwide. Members include Canada and Australia, India and Islands in the Caribbean who retain the Queen as head of State all of whom are members of the Commonwealth.

Rwanda is now the 54th member of the Commonwealth although they were never members of the Commonwealth and were never former British colonies or dependents. Rwanda applied for membership and the CPA deliberated and voted to admit them.

Jamaica who signalled an intention through the Throne Speech delivered by Her Majesty the Queen’s representative in Jamaica, Sir Patrick Allen, Governor General as Head of State that Jamaica plans are a foot to eventually do away with the Queen as Head of State. This action will not bar Jamaica from retaining membership in the CPA. … and continuing its Commonwealth membership.

Trinidad & Tobago is now a Republic having abolished the Queen as head of State but is still a member of the CPA and the Commonwealth.

In part 2, we will examine in more detail membership eligibility.

Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Senior International Correspondent & Photojournalist for Vision Newspaper Canada.

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