No, Colin. PR (Proportional Representation) will not work. Many countries in Europe have used it and abandoned its use. So have many cities in the United States. It will really not advance democracy in Belize.
What is our population? 400 thousand. Too few, too small to be further splintered by a proliferation of political parties. Our economic and financial resources are too sparse to be spooned out to a hundred wanabe prime ministers.
Belize is at the moment of a great awakening. We now realize what it took the great American people one hundred and thirty one years to learn. From 1776 to 1907 it was ruled by a legislature, half of which was appointed, for it was the legislature of each state that appointed two Senators. By an amendment the course of American history was changed when they decided to create an oversight agency that no politician could ignore. The amendment provided that every State would elect two Senators who would have together with his colleagues the power to impeach and remove even the President of the US.
The experience of the BTL fiasco should have convinced us that the Prime Minister of Belize is far too powerful for us to regard ourselves any more as a constitutional democracy. We are, more precisely speaking, an elected dictatorship. Whatever the PM wants, he gets. That has included even the most productive corporation in the country.
I believe that there is no doubt now in the mind of any Belizean that the state acquisition of BTL, in spite of all its faults, was the Belizean blunder and plunder of the century.
What was the worth of BTL when Government took it away from Lord Ashcroft? Two hundred million? A rough estimate of how much it has cost the Belizean taxpayer is more than half a billion dollars! Don’t be shocked if down the line there will be other charges with outrageous accumulated interest.
By what stretch of the imagination and charitable heart do we dare to suggest that the general population, the ordinary citizen, the Common Good has benefitted from this vulgar, incredible rape of a fabulous enterprise poised to benefit ordinary shareholders for decades into a prosperous future. With an elected Senate this monumental fraud would have been exposed as the great milking cow for relatives and friends that it has turned out to be.
What are the names of those who have represented the Government in the legal battles? What are the names of those who have managed the Cash Cow?
Colin, in its first national elections, in 1974, the UDP came within thirteen (13) votes of winning 9 seats in the House then made up of 18 Representatives; six won outright, Ken Tillett lost by 1 vote, his brother by 8, another candidate lost by 4 in the Pickstock Division. This happened in a little over a year of the formation of the UDP. Therefore, I scoff at the motion that the Government of the day is invincible. In my opinion it is very vulnerable.
The Belize electorate is very alert to what the main national issue is and what needs to be done.
People are aware that the Prime Minister has unchecked overwhelming, overbearing power-power that must be checked for the good of democracy and the good of the country.
The rank and file members of both major parties must become persuaded that they need to cooperate to bring about massive support for the creation of an elected senate, with the power to appoint all the oversight agencies and Supreme Court Judges, who completely subscribe to genuine Human Rights, according to the principles enunciated in the Preamble of the Belize Constitution.
There are still many souls alive who can testify that when the UDP made its debut in 1973 many scoffed and regarded its leaders as misguided dreamers. In 1984, eleven years later, the UDP formed its first government.
Don’t tell me anything about impossibility. With faith in Almighty God all is POSSIBLE.