The general election is fast approaching, and because of this new normal it’s difficult to get a pulse of the people in regards to which political party has the edge leading up to November. The last major statement made by both parties was just before the pandemic in February. The PUP led a massive demonstration through the streets of Belize City, with a crowd of about 15,000 supporters. A few weeks before, the UDP also had a huge showing at the Civic Center with their leadership convention, but it was smeared with corruption and controversy. They had to do a do-over a few months later.
It appears that the PUP had the momentum, but have they lost ground since this coronavirus pandemic? It would be interesting to know the sentiment of the electorate as to the direction in which they are leaning in the anointing of a new government. Do the third parties have any chance this time around? This would be a good time to embrace debates with politicians from all parties since the traditional campaigning is being compromised.
It is believed that debates favor the Opposition and not the incumbent, but I would beg to differ. Debates would allow the incumbent not only to present their plan and vision for the future of the country, but most importantly to defend and stand on their record since being in government. Having debates also allows aspiring political leaders to present themselves to the people from a formal and intellectual standpoint. It could be considered as an interview for the top job in the country.
There should be no excuse at this point in our democracy for not embracing debates as part of the campaign mode during the election season. This is the perfect time to start, since we have to social distance. If you cannot make a proper presentation and give a good account of yourself, then you do not deserve to be in a leadership position in government. We have come a long way with fake and weak leadership. Belizeans should demand the best leadership available. Let the debates begin.