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“Voting” for Wagner a third time

Features“Voting” for Wagner a third time

by Colin Hyde

Before these municipal elections get too heated, let me declare my vote and get back into my corner. Ordinarily, no village council chairman, city/town council mayor, or prime minister would get my vote three times. We would have to be shaat-a talent fu troo for me to throw my vote that way. My 2-votes- and-out system doesn’t apply for councilors and area reps, because they are but aspirants fighting for the crown.

No, ordinarily I’m not with third terms for leaders. If Barrow wasn’t so consumed with a third term, he wouldn’t have gone and locked up in a room in Miami and rushed a bad deal for BTL. But these past few years have not been usual. Anyone who says otherwise is living off accumulated fat, has one of the few businesses that did better because of the pandemic, or they are, sorry, not in love with honesty.

In this story on Yahoo, by Dylan Croll, “Restaurant owners say price hikes, labor costs and other woes made for a rough 2023”, the gentleman’s not speaking about Belize, but some of the problems restaurateurs in the US have been facing since the pandemic are not so different from ours. One of them in particular, inflation, has hit outdoor eateries in Belize very hard too. Navigating through Covid, the pandemic and its aftermath, has not been a stroll.

No, these past few years haven’t been ordinary times. The fact that the UDP had out-PUPeed the PUP in the way they ran things, had corralled every public asset and put it to work to secure their government during Wagner’s first term is not an excuse we’ll grant Wagner. But Covid, don’t ever ignore or forget the impact of Covid. Bernard faced down Covid in his first term and he faced down Covid in his second term.

I noticed Bernard long before he entered politics. He was big in community service, especially in organizing our youth in sports. I don’t have any questions for anyone who “uses” community service as a platform for a personal goal – don’t look gift horses in the mouth – but I have the red carpet for those who do it just for love.

Now, I said the UDP had really out-PUPeed the PUP in their manipulation of our system. The PUP played dohti; the UDP was dohti rotten stink. One of Bernard’s in-laws is a big PUP, and from time to time another of his in-laws has reasons for wanting a sitting government to go. Because of how the UDP had manipulated the system, the in-laws needed the perfect candidate to run against the UDP in the critical 2018 Belize City Council elections. I think they had to lean heavy on Bernard to get him.

Belize City will decide in March. From my vantage point, from the outside – I’m not eligible to vote in City/Town Council elections – I think Bernard has been great. Because of Covid, which he had to battle for three years, from 2020 to 2022, a third term could be his first like the ones enjoyed by his predecessors.

Hmm, I see the UDP running a campaign ad in which the PM says he had to bail out the Belize City Council with $100,000. I expect that from time to time central governments throw some chum to municipal governments, just as central governments in Belize always look to Taiwan when they hit tough spots. That challenge by a young man in his party, I guess that might be the impatience of youth who are DNA politicians. I can’t comment further on those matters, because I don’t know the innards of these parties.

Whoa, I can see why party animals on both sides of the PUDP would closely watch Bernard. I told you already that there is room for only one saint in the PUP, and the name is Price. And the UDP has become a Barrow show.

Okay, before I dip my finger in the ink, yes, I’m an in-law of Bernard too. But if anyone thinks any relative or friend of mine gets my vote to run the people’s business because of that connection, well, they haven’t been reading me these past 20 years. Only if you sink to the depths and cherry-pick you could pin that “bias tail” on this donkey.

An absolutely frivolous attempt to recall

The PUP should go to the House and make sense of this recall law that was one of three reforms introduced by the UDP in their 13 years. The UDP became krukid, but they have never been schupid. The law clearly was aimed at giving space to constituents who believe their representative was treasonous or daam corrupt. This recall based on an accusation of NEGLECT, I say please don’t waste the GG’s time.

So, Mr. Martinez has presented sufficient signatures. Some people tell me he was a good representative. I haven’t looked at his record, but if this recall is indicative of his level of thinking, in line with this same frivolous spirit, a recall should have been brought against him for not being area rep material. But, of course we know this gentleman is messing around. Some source said his timing is brilliant, to coincide with the municipal elections, so we don’t have to expend too much money setting up the process. So then, we can’t talk about the cost. But we can talk about making us a joke internationally. We wouldn’t want Jamaica to know that these are the kinds of games we play here. They would say ‘that’s why that country, our poor Caribbean brother, da shish on the world stage in football’.

The petition is nonsense, and it is dangerous to our democracy. It’s not that the people who signed the petition are frivolous or badminded. They mightn’t have considered the potential damage to our governance. Leaders shouldn’t always make popular decisions. A political leader should always make the right decision, and if it happens to be popular, bully. There’s no chicken or egg question here. The right thing trumps the popular thing every day of the week.

A representative isn’t elected for a day or a week or a month. In our system they get up to 5 years. Politicians who experienced 20% popularity midterm have won elections with 60% of the votes at the end of their term. At the end of the term, the people vote. Look, I don’t need to belabor this.

I don’t know who all want Usher out. If his own party wants him off the scene, the best they can do is challenge him when we are coming up on a next general election. The government must go to the House and put some polish on this law. The 20% of Belizeans who are die-hard UDP will howl, but the 20% die-hard PUPs and the 60% in the middle will say ‘good work’ if the government called a House Meeting and passed an amendment to rubbish that petition. I say, o-w-t, out wid that!

Is Delroy being paid by both sides?

These days you can’t turn on Channel 5 or Channel 7 without running into a political ad mouthed and sometimes conceived by Brother Delroy Cuthkelvin. We know the brother was under contract to Lord Ashcroft, because Channel 7 proprietor J Vasquez said he saw the checks; and the UDP is his home party, the breast he drank from for 13 whopping years. But Delroy featuring on PUP ads, wi haffu aks, da weh dis?

I bet the Channel 5 and Channel 7 proprietors must be experiencing jealousy, with Delroy having more of a presence on their media than they themselves do. What is it about this man? Doesn’t the PUP have their very own Vaughan Gill to run their propaganda? Faiya, this Delroy C, his party is out in the cold, but he is experiencing no lean. He must be like dehn local laaya, those bogaz who feed from two sides.

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