Election season in Belize has started. Although my philosophy is antagonistic to most politicians, I engage in dialogue. I prefer substance over form. Soon, political manifestos will be issued. Although they are supposed to declare the programs, positions and new ideas of the issuer, they are historically empty promises to a desperate populace. They only highlight the programs, but not the costs or drawbacks.
The government gets money via taxation, mainly from citizens. Whatever program a government offers, will be paid for by taxpayers. They usually take from Tom and give to Ted.
The wealthy usually have corporations, trusts and foundations to legally deflect taxes.
Government officials usually live extravagantly, compared to regular citizens, yet they claim that their salary is not enough.
In the Westminster system which Belize employs, there is no effective mechanism to hold a government to honesty and fairness, because law enforcement is under the control of the political directorate.
The Integrity Commission is toothless and meant to give the appearance of transparency and accountability without negative consequences to the political elite. As Fredrick Douglas, an American social reformer, said, ”Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will”.
When election comes, remember that power corrupts, so don’t expect elected representatives to do the right thing, if the citizenry is not going to force them. They will sell you dreams. Politics is an endeavor where politicians have many masters, but only truly serve one, and obviously, it’s not the needy, who remain needy, and through generations, families remain poor.
The empirical and historical evidence suggest that politicians keep the people accepting the status quo by providing short-term relief.
Only the people can save the people.
Brian E. Plummer