This week the two popular mass parties once again went at it again in countrywide municipal elections, with fringe participation by the third parties. The big question, is just who exactly won, and my answer will be the people and the nation of Belize. Any party that enjoys a large margin of victory in any elections and in representative seats both at the local and representative level can be a danger to itself, to the nation and to democracy. A weak opposition is never good and let’s be frank, up until March 6, 2018, the People’s United Party was just that. Prior to this week’s Municipal Election, the United Democratic Party enjoyed unbridled muscle, which the People’s United Party has also enjoyed at one time in their era. Through their combined history, both have fallen out of favour with the electorate, and the election this week might just prove that that is currently taking place with the UDP. Democracy is about balance, compromises, negotiations and force. Force, not in the sense as Chairman Mao put it, which is ‘out the barrel of a gun’, but force in the sense that at times you need to stand your ground. The election proved that with limited resources people power still reigns and that no amount of vote-buying can appease a disgruntled and upset population.
While I have not had an opportunity to crunch the numbers, Belize City came as a total shocker to me because this is where some of the mightiest UDP Ministers reign supreme as virtual demigods: Dean, Patrick, Elrington, Boots, Finnegan and a throve of other minions. While I never want to see any government in Belize fail, this loss in ground support can only serve as an immediate wake-up call that people are upset. This can serve as a learning experience for this government and with the remaining time they have left in office, they can do an absolute 360. If the way the UDP have been managing the affairs of this nation continues for the rest of their term, and I am hoping that it will not be the case, then we will need titanium paddles to get out of that creek. I will never shy away from the fact that both parties are guilty for the state of the nation. Any rational Belizean who disagrees with that would probably need to get their head examined. What we need moving forward is leadership that is looking ahead and stops the replacement of one set of millionaires for another. There is only so much money that can be plundered, and at some point the money will finish. Then what? In any battle of the elephants the only thing that gets trampled is the grass, and the same applies to the masses in any nation.
Belize needs a revamping of the way we do business and definitely the way we govern ourselves. I am a strong advocate for term limits in any public office in Belize — village councilor, village chairman, town councilor, mayor, representative, senator and most certainly prime minister. If you cannot accomplish any task in 2 to 3 terms then maybe the problem is not the system, but you. We need to give young, energetic, mature and creative minds a chance. The world is constantly evolving and so should the ideas of government, especially in Third World countries where it is a matter of survival to keep abreast with an ever-changing world. Gone are the days of status quo in management, business, and most importantly governance. The UDP have become a victim of their own success at the polls and failed to meet the expectation of a desperate population that had so much hope on them when it put them in office in a national landslide. The erosion of their power as a result of this election should be a lesson to all future administrations. Only the people of Belize can change Belize.
It’s all about the people!!!!
Neri O. Briceno