Albray Butterfield Jr., who served for a short, turbulent term as the deputy leader of the Progressive National Party (PNP) has written an open letter to the voters of Cheshire Hall/Richmond Hill election district. This district will conduct a by-election on March 22 to pick either Oral Selver of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) or Amanda Misick of the PNP, whose seat was vacated by the court in declaring the previous election in that district void.
While Butterfield does not express his political preferences, he goes on at length to chide the voters for not waiting in long lines to vote when the general election was held. Saying that anyone who chooses not to vote will be rendered a “second class citizen”, Butterfield suggests that those who do not vote could be “at the mercy of misguided political leaders”.
Butterfield has always openly supported the PNP; however, when he was selected as deputy party leader by then PNP leader Clayton Greene, the party contested his selection and he had to resign. It is not known why he is not popular within his party of choice.
However, after the 2008-2009 Commission of Inquiry was appointed, ultimately resulting in the imposition of direct rule by Britain, Butterfield claimed he was the principal cause of this because he had written to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London accusing the Michael Misick and/or Galmo Williams governments with malfeasance in office.
That did not nevertheless deter him from continuing to support the PNP.
The latest Butterfield letter frames the choices as one that will select a party that will continue the current status of the TCI as one of the 14 British overseas territories or, by choosing the other party, begin the process that could take the TCI to independence.
He does not indicate if he would prefer the TCI to become an independent Commonwealth nation, retaining the Queen as head of state, or move towards republic status.
According to Premier Rufus Ewing in public statements on his return from Haiti, eventually all former British colonies, including the 14 overseas territories, need to become republics, as Jamaica is currently contemplating.
Butterfield is the heir apparent to the large consortium of companies known as Butterfield Gold.