I must admit that I was surprised at the size of the PUP’s victory in the last election. I wasn’t surprised that they won; they should’ve won, deserved to win, after the rampant and unrepentant corruption of the UDP! It wasn’t a victory, it was a mandate, and what that proved to me was that the voters aren’t red or blue, they’re practical. If I recall correctly, the same thing happened the last time there was a change of government. The electorate will put up with a lot, but when representatives think more about themselves than the people who sent them to parliament, when they become arrogant and myopic and indifferent to the needs of their constituents, this is what happens.
In 2008 the UDP ran against corruption, and rightly so, and they were very righteous in their indignation. They won big, and it didn’t take long for them to start betraying the people’s trust. “Woe is me! Shame and scandal in the family!” The very patient and forgiving electorate gave them 2, 3 chances to make good on their promises, to make life better for them and their children. To be able to earn a living wage, safe neighborhoods and affordable health care. Simple things that every citizen should expect, or at least strive for. Instead, they got mismanagement, corruption to a degree never seen before, police brutality from an ill-equipped, ill-trained police force. If you owned property, your property, you had to check at least every few months, to make sure it wasn’t stolen and given to cronies of the elected officials. I mean, seriously? And they don’t pay for their crimes after leaving office. Honor among thieves!
I always go back to George Price and Philip Goldson. The one thing they had in common was their humility, I’m sure there was some arrogance there, but tempered with a lot of humility. They showed that they cared — Mr. Price, by remembering each of his constituents’ names, and always trying to make sure that everyone shared in the bountiful gifts of the country. Mr.Goldson fought unflinchingly, for our sovereignty, always reminding us of the threat that Guatemala posed, and still does! Since then our leaders have lost touch with their people, and have shown arrogance over humility, greed over constituents’ welfare. Politicians have lost their way; they seek office not to do good for the people, but for themselves. I’m generalizing, of course. We have some who do care about those they represent, but corruption overshadows all that.
Mr. Briceño, a seasoned politician, cannot make insensitive statements like he did the other day, Belizeans have limitless talents! It is his duty to lift us up, not bring us down. He has been given a mandate, a huge, fat, pregnant mandate, to take this country in whatever direction he deems necessary, to right the ship of state.The people have a right to expect a better handling of the virus, better policing, better economic advantages! I realize that his government inherited a mess, and that it will take a while, to crawl out from under the debris, and debt, left by the last government, but things have to be different this time. Elected officials will have to be held accountable for their actions; the justice system will have to apply the law equally, regardless of one’s station in life! People want their kids to be well-fed, to have a good education, for a chance to move up, not move out. Get rid of antediluvian marijuana laws, legalize it, make some money off it, to improve the economy. Stop putting our kids in jail for nonsense, like smoking weed, and instead, give them a trade for them to survive on. To just be good guardians of the trust that the people have afforded them!
There is an opportunity here for positive change, to make the people proud of their government. Belize is not blue or red, as I mentioned before; the last 2 changes in government show that. People aren’t voting for parties; they are voting for what they believe is best for them. Please don’t disappoint them again!
“Oh yet we trust, that somehow good, will be the final goal of ill.” Tennyson
Belizean in diaspora