Letters — 06 September 2013 — by Paul Rodriguez

Dear Editor:

Janus in his article of 1st September, 2013, again recommended an ELECTED Senate as the cure for our ills of corruption in government and public administration. He is eminently qualified to give our nation sound advice on this matter, having lived his whole adult life dedicated to public service. Even after his retirement, he served as Speaker of the House and Chairman of the Public Service Commission. It is a great pity that his successors as Speaker have not sought his advice

Like Janus, I am convinced that an elected Senate is, possibly, the only agency capable of reducing corruption in government. An elected Senate would have security of tenure which no other oversight body has ever had in Belize- it would be removable only by the people. All the others: Ombudsman, Auditor General, Contractor General, Integrity Commission, may be removed by the persons who appoint them.

Amendment No. 17 of 1913 changed the US Senate from an appointed to an elected body. It took the American people 137 years to realize that an appointed Senate was not the most effective arrangement to control corruption. 32 years after Independence, Belize is in the same spot. Appointed bodies cannot control the corruption of democratically elected entities with dictatorial powers.

If and when we amend the Constitution to give effect to an elected Senate, we should then also sharpen the separation of powers by establishing a one-term President (Prime Minister) serving for four years, a Legislature whose only assignment would be to make laws, and a Judiciary, which would also be subject to impeachment by the Senate.

If and when the people of Belize would give effect to the above changes, it would be very enlightened if we would encourage the concept of creating a National Development Plan, a return to Permanent Secretaries of the Public Service, and only ONE election every four years to choose ALL (emphasis all) elected officials, from local to national. I need not remind readers that elections are very expensive.

(Signed) Paul Rodriguez

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