When Boris Johnson won the election in the United Kingdom, it made me think of the need for Belize to elect its prime minister directly. I expected him to win, because the narrative he told was optimistic and urgent.
The election showed me how the Westminster system encourages people to vote for party, more than the best-suited candidate. The leader of government in this system is chosen by the party, not the people, in general. It is no wonder that prime ministers in this system make decisions that are best for the party.
The prime minister in the Westminster system can decide who becomes a minister of government —not the people. Remember, he was elected as an area representative, but the support of the majority of area representatives made him prime minister.
The most powerful person in government was not chosen by the people, but by his political party. Does this mean he answers to his party, and not the people?
As long as he serves his area and not the nation, he can remain prime minister, since he was elected by a small portion of the populace.
There are other changes, like an elected senate, that can enhance Belize’s democracy, but I believe that gradual change will be wise. Let’s start by the people electing the prime minister leader of the country, not his political party.
Brian Ellis Plummer