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#268181 - 02/17/08 10:31 AM Political Forums
Don Greife Offline
I read the article by Amandila(sp) in the daily and was really, not surprised at the comments made there. They might well have been made about most new governments and in particular the US government, where it seems the American publics choice in who gets elected only chooses "whos turn it is to get theirs now". While visitors and xpats have little influence on foreign politics, we do like to keep abreast of it simply because that knowledge is very helpful in our decision making process. Like, Should I buy property and retire here or remain a visitor. However since political discussion is not a top priority on this board, I wonder if there is a political discussion board in Belize.
I'll be happy to discuss my avatar with anyone who knows what it is.

#268197 - 02/17/08 01:08 PM Re: Political Forums [Re: Don Greife]
klcman Offline
_ _ _ _ _ _ _________________ _ _ _ _ _ _
But then what do I know, I am but a mere caveman

#268222 - 02/17/08 09:03 PM Re: Political Forums [Re: Don Greife]
Short Offline
No real forums that discuss politics; I would go to the newspaper web-sites:

The "Belize Times" is the PUP newspaper and has a discussion/blog feature: http://www.belizetimes.bz/
"The Guardian" is the UDP newspaper: http://www.guardian.bz/
Then you have the "Free Belize" website, that was sort of the scandal-guerrilla site from the UDP, set up to undermine the former PUP government - my guess is it will slowly disappear now that we have a UDP government: http://freebelize.org/
The "Amandala" is a typical Belize City Newspaper with a good editorial: http://www.amandala.com.bz/
An other quality paper is "The Reporter", also with an interesting editorial: http://www.reporter.bz/
Live and let live

#268251 - 02/18/08 12:09 PM Re: Political Forums [Re: Short]
Sir Isaac Newton Offline
Check out my site: www.ambergriscayerealestate.net

#268252 - 02/18/08 12:12 PM Re: Political Forums [Re: Sir Isaac Newton]
Sir Isaac Newton Offline
1981 would have been a good time to purchase real estate, as was yesterday. We have seen UDP and PUP governments since independence (with only 1 reelection) and Belize has remained the land of the free.
Check out my site: www.ambergriscayerealestate.net

#269064 - 02/24/08 04:35 PM Re: Political Forums [Re: Sir Isaac Newton]
Short Offline
I found this an interesting political article. Interesting because it gives a good insight, although I don't necessarily agree with the contents:

Commentary: The role of third parties in Belize politics
Published on Tuesday, February 19, 2008

By Wellington C. Ramos

The role of third parties in Belize politics have always been a controversial topic historically in our country. Belizeans normally like to vote for the two major parties that they grew up in, which are the People’s United Party and the United Democratic Party. Even though Belizeans through their frustrations would tell you that they will not vote on Election Day because UDP and PUP are the same thing, the chances for them voting for a third party is always slim.

Born in Dangriga Town, the cultural
capital of Belize, Wellington Ramos
has an M.A. in Urban Studies from
Long Island University

Third parties in Belize have failed in shaping their political philosophy, organize nationwide, build grassroots support and compete in village councils, municipal and general elections nationwide. General elections are held in Belize every five years and municipal elections are held every three years. In the past most of the third parties would field candidates months before the general election instead of trying to shape their philosophy, organize nationwide and compete in the village council and municipal elections before fielding candidates for the general elections.

The most organized political party in the history of Belize is still the People’s United Party. Members of the People’s United Party tend to vote party-line and are dedicated to their party. The United Democratic Party members are not as diehard and could be swayed to vote for another party easier than a PUP. Belizeans are becoming disgusted with the UDP and the PUP but they do not have an alternative party that can convince them to leave their party at this point and time.

Many Belizeans are moving away from the two major parties and are identifying themselves as independents, with the hope of becoming a member of a real third party that can become significant in Belize politics. So far that third party has not emerged but there is the potential for that to occur now that the People’s United Party have suffered a major defeat at the polls recently.

Currently, the People’s United Party has a lot of rebuilding to do. There is also the possibility that another party will emerge from the People’s United Party under the leadership of Mark Espat. I have always felt that the People’s United Party was divided into six factions which are George Price Faction, Musa Faction, Marin Faction, Briceno Faction, Fonseca Faction and Espat Faction. In public they try to give the Belizean people the perception that they are united but in reality they have divisions that go deep in philosophy and competing family interests.

The People’s United Party lost this election mainly because of the perception and attitude these families displayed to the rest of Belizeans. Many Belizeans came to the conclusion that it is all about them and not about us. In politics, a good government is one that shows that they care about the people that they govern by delivering to the people their basic needs.

If a government fails to provide for the people they govern, then that government is no longer serving in the best interests of the people and as a result must be removed from office. People’s anger have sometimes led to forceful removals instead of peaceful removals. Belizeans cannot afford to have a government in power that they are so disgusted with that could lead them to forcefully remove them from office.

In the next few weeks the People’s United Party will be having a party convention to elect a new leader. If the convention is not held fairly, there is a strong possibility that some of the current members of the People’s United Party will break away and form their own party. The only thing that can keep the People’s United Party together is a threat by other party members that they will expose some of their illegal activities to the public if they should decide to leave the party.

Some members of the People’s United Party, may also want to join the United Democratic Party but I do not think the UDP will accept them because of their past conduct as PUP ministers and the fear that they are involved in corruption investigations. The United Democratic Party will be conducting some investigations into the activities of most of these PUP Ministers and, depending on the outcome of those investigations, that will also influence the decisions the current members of the People’s United Party will make to leave or stay in the party.

The United Democratic Party is in power now and they have been given a full mandate by the people of Belize to govern our country. This is only the second time in Belize’s history that the people of Belize have entrusted the government to them with such confidence. They must use the power they have been given to institute constructive and fundamental changes even if they have to amend the Constitution of Belize to do it.

Belizeans are so frustrated and angry right now they want to see real changes and they are not prepared to hear more excuses. In politics, there is always populism and grassroots support. A politician with grassroots support is always harder to defeat than a politician with populism. This is because a person’s popularity fades quickly when things start to go wrong but with grassroots support your supporters will remain with you through thick and thin.

The third parties must begin to work and focus on the areas I have outlined if they intend to become major players in Belize’s political future. If they are not willing and prepared to face and overcome these challenges, then they should stop wasting there time and get out of politics and seek a different occupation.


Live and let live

#269096 - 02/24/08 10:21 PM Re: Political Forums [Re: Short]
Don Greife Offline
Short, Thanks for posting the above article. It seems that Mr. Ramos is promoting a third party. It also implys that the things that the public is upset about is transparency is the operation of the government and that both parties accuse the other of being corrupt. The article also implys that meaningful changes can only come with constitutional ammednments. Do you feel that a constitional convention is in order? Or, is the political bickering just "so much noise"?
I'll be happy to discuss my avatar with anyone who knows what it is.

#271281 - 03/10/08 11:54 PM Re: Political Forums [Re: Don Greife]
Short Offline
Don Greife,

I do agree that a third party would be positive to the nation, but successful third parties have never existed very long in Belize. Chances of such a party emerging are very real as it seems like the different fractions within the PUP are digging in.

Both parties accuse each other of corruption; Said Musa originally got elected in 1998 with the promise that he would end UDP corruption. I think an important factor in the anger of the people is also the viciousness in with the party newspapers attack the each other (and not always founded on facts).

I do not know what constitutional amendments Mr. Ramos has in mind, but I hope that new administration will use their powers wisely. Elections are over and it is now to Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the UDP to show that they can do a better job.

Live and let live


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