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Thursday, September 24, 2020
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Power corrupts

Since Independence in 1981, Belize has been to the polls eight times. The United Democratic Party has had five opportunities to improve governance in very fundamental ways. It has failed to do so. In its “A new plan for a new day”, the manifesto for the 1974 Elections, the UDP made a most enlightened commitment to the nation on behalf of real freedom and democratic rule. It promised under the heading “Bill of Rights article (c)” ….”that to ensure that Parliament becomes the supreme legislative body in the land, it shall not be lawful for Cabinet to hold more than one third plus two of the seats in the country’s House of Representatives.”

They won the national elections in 1984— no implementation; in 1993, there was another victory, but no implementation, then three more triumphs at the polls 2008-2020, but no implementing of this most important good governance provision. Why have the leaders of the UDP forgotten an extremely important good governance measure? Have they not learned the lesson that every school child who studies history knows? POWER CORRUPTS; ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY!!!

As a nation seriously striving for a more meaningful democratic life, we have not yet objectively examined the effects of the rape of the three largest business enterprises: BTL, BEL, and BWS. For the sake of achieving an enlightened vision of the future, we must ignore the fact that chosen folks shared in the spoils and were enriched simply because they acquiesced and enjoyed! Please, let us not again descend into demonization.

The UDP won from 2008 to 2012 by that devilish strategy. May the Almighty spare us this time. Whoever wins in 2020, let it be those leaders who are determined to show a path that is truly lit by the values of our Belize Constitution.

Article (b) of the Preamble clearly enunciates the wisdom of “respect for the principles of social justice”. What can be more consonant with those if not the safeguarding of the legitimate power of the agents and officers of the common good, like the Judiciary, the Ombudsman, the Contractor General, the Integrity Commission, the Auditor General, the Elections Commission, the Chairman of the Services Commission… ?

How can the very intelligent voters of Belize continue to allow “the rat to mind the cheese?” I speak with no disrespect to the present holder of the Prime Minister’s position. All four of our Prime Ministers (2 PUP, 2 UDP) have ignored the greatest warning of political wisdom (power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely).

Proceeding into National Elections, the Belize electorate must require that there also be a referendum to ensure that a simple majority shall have the power to legislate the important issue of instituting an elected Senate. Consisting of 13 very senior citizens (70 and over), one of its main functions will be to vet every important appointment of the Executive (the Prime Minister and Cabinet), including the Chief Justice and all the GOOD GOVERNANCE officers.

Why such old senators? Does old age guarantee honesty and integrity? Not really, but it will be easier for the 200 nominators to make a discernment. If they are all pensioners, the temptation to hustle will be greatly reduced— hopefully, eradicated. However, in this mortal life there is only one certainty.

But Belize must do its utmost to guarantee its future into a more glorious democratic future. Why thirteen senators? Two (2) for each district, three (3) for Belize. Let us not allow ourselves to be bullied into believing that changing our Constitution will be difficult! We have done so over and over to accommodate ourselves to flagrant rejection and adjustment of our moral values, i.e., abortion, homosexuality, gender issues…etc.

Without getting into open war with countries, organizations, and institutions that promote the Liberal Agenda, we must start to gently, quietly, but effectively say: NO! NO! NO! Here we stand, we can do no other! Our Belize Constitution on paper is the greatest, best declaration of human civilization ever written.

But it is wasted unless we change words into meaningful actions. What’s the good of saying God is supreme, if every time we pass a law, Satan laughs and giggles: “Good going, my smart children; keep coming my way.”

One of our greatest, next challenge, is to arrange our economic affairs so as to fortify our practical independence. Our experience is showing to us that enterprises that promote recreation are useful, but we cannot allow our practical stability to depend too crucially on them. I was cheered up when I heard on the news on Monday that various countries may be interested in buying our cattle. With thousands of acres of potential pasture land, what are we waiting for? Instead of 30,000 head, let us start hearing of 3 million!

Let us wake up! Stop drinking crab soup!

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