There is a reason vote-buying is illegal in every democracy — because it usurps democracy and encourages the rule of the well-resourced – – the rich or the 1-percent.
Politicians in the developing world find ways to bribe voters without having any problems with the law. The main difference between political patronage of the developed world and that of the developing world is that the developed world caters to large groups, such as elderly, women, disadvantaged groups, etc., while developing world politicians cater to the individual.
Developed world politicians offer health care, welfare, day care, while Third World politicians offer short-term employment, materials for houses and direct individual bribes.
The policies incentive contributes to the greater good and has a far greater effect to improve the well-being of a particular portion of the electorate, while in countries like Belize, the voting incentives are cosmetic and cater to instant gratification.
To be crude, it is the difference between courting a lady by giving her a meal, or offering her to help build a more prosperous future.
If Belize is to become a developed country, Belize must get rid of nickel-and-dime political patronage such as vote-buying and move towards far-reaching social engineering. The people will benefit more and Belize will be more prosperous.
If the people are more prosperous, the politicians will be more prosperous and be more respected on the global stage. The people who support them will be less capricious and more principled. Politicians will be less malleable to the developed world’s personal agenda because their supporters are empowered and strong.
Politicians get their power from the people who support them. If the people who support them have more power, they (the politicians) become more powerful. It is a chicken-and-egg situation. The question is, will Belize’s politicians become advanced, or will they remain the epitome of stereotypical corrupt Third World politicians?
Will they continue to suppress the people?
Brian Ellis Plummer