Please allow me a space in your newspaper so that I can write to the people of Belize about what to consider when making the important decision of choosing candidates for any elections.
To the people of Belize: One of the fundamental rights of all Belizeans is the right to vote. What this means, is that absolutely no one can stop us from casting our vote or force us to vote for a particular candidate. When we reach our eighteenth birthday, the laws of Belize grant us the right to choose our leaders. Along with this right comes the responsibility to register to become a voter, and when the day comes, to cast our vote.
I am still not old enough to vote, but I am familiar with the crowd of red and blue shirts that fill the streets of Belmopan on election day. Passing by the Belmopan Comprehensive School, I often wonder what goes on in people’s heads as I see people entering and exiting the compound. I wonder if they realize that on this day they have all the power—the power to show the candidates that if they are not serious and do not show that they have your backs then you will not be on their side … the power to make a good decision that will benefit not only you, but Belmopan and the whole country, and that will later affect even your children and grandchildren many years after.
The most important thing to remember when voting is that voting gives you the opportunity to have a say in what you want for the future of Belize, so it is important to vote for the right reasons. You should do your research, learn about, and question each candidate’s plans for Belize, and then decide on the individuals who have your same thinking to address the issues that concern you, as well as the people of Belize. You should also analyze what the parties have done in the past when in power; have they improved the country? Did they just destroy Belize even more? Are they telling you the truth or are they deceiving you? Choose the people who you strongly believe you can count on and who show that they really care for the people to bring a positive change for Belize.
As a resident of Belmopan, you should consider someone who is serious about developing our little city, not only with better roads or nicer parks, but a good library that both kids and adults can enjoy; more opportunities for activities and clubs (like camping clubs, a movie theater or a bowling place) that me and my friends can enjoy; a nice children’s home for the less fortunate kids; assistance for the homeless people around our city, including a safe place for them to sleep, take a shower or get a nice hot meal; and a safe Belmopan where as a teen I don’t have to be afraid of walking on the sidewalks or riding my bike through the streets.
Voting goes beyond just that single moment that you take to cast a vote on election day. Voting is choosing who will be responsible for running Belize for the next five years. If we choose for the wrong reasons, we can have five years of suffering, but if we choose for the right reasons, five years can bring about lots of good things for us. So you should not vote because the corrupted parties bribe you to do so. Be smart and let your voice be heard the way you want it and not the way a candidate forces you.
So do the right thing for those of us who cannot yet vote so we can have a better Belize by the time we are able to cast a vote and make a difference ourselves to continue to better the lives of the people of Belmopan and our country.
Thank you! Sincerely,
Second Form Student
Our Lady of Guadalupe High School, Belmopan