REPORT #211 March 2000

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

On the Belize Culture List there is a lot of debate about political reform and what it would take to change things for the better. To make a more democratic and representative nation that would build a real strong nation. Not this existing British African Empire Colonial One Party rules type of governing by patronage and elected townie despots in a plantation colonial model.

Among the bright sparks new to the debating forum, is a Mayan individual, one Valentino Shal. He reminds me of Said Musa when he was a young man, trying to find the answers to the world and the problems of building Belize. With his use of COMRADE and all. It must be some sort of exploratory rebellious youthful educational phase youngsters go through? Like Said Musa as a young man, looking at Valentino today is like looking in a historical mirror. The do-gooder, the rebellious youngster who would upset the status quo and build a new brighter better Belize.

Which brings us back to our new Prime Minister. The honeymoon is over and the question remains. Did he betray us Belizeans? When one listens to the youngster Valentino and remembers Said Musa's youth, it is deja vu!

The writing was on the wall though, when our Prime Minister did betray the Belizean people with the promised Referendum Act, by gutting it of any useful parts. The ability of the people to petition to change things! That was self serving by the PUP party hierarcy.

Now the Political Reform Commission thing, made up of townies. Which is also a betrayal of the nation of Belize, being a simple one-sided argument out of context on any national debating level. But it serves the ruling PUP party townie clique to continue the status quo and tinker with the African plantation model of colonial domination and exploitation of rural Belize.

There are roughly 288 to 300 communities in the nation of Belize. One debater on the Belize Culture List, Peter Singfield, suggested that each village be given a representative at the National Government level in order to more represent the different needs and ideas of different parts of the Nation. Perhaps 288 representatives might be too many? But maybe every 5 communities could elect one of the five to represent the others as a group at the National Legislative level of government?

Then Report # 87 on the Development Issues puts forth other ideas for geographical representation along with more better gender equality in National level government. There are probably other ways, yet not discussed.

Did Said Musa betray Belizeans? I don't think so! Disappointed many of us, I am sure. Like this new Valentino Toledo Mayan, headed for martydom like Julian Cho; both he the youth of today and Said Musa of his youth of yesteryear had that spark that promised change and something new for Belize in the way we govern ourselves. With better political power sharing at the national level. Said Musa is no longer a youth. He finally got to be Prime Minister. Unfortunately, he waited too long. Anything good is going to come before you are 32 years old. After that the fire dies out in the belly. In that, the PM fulfilled the promise we all saw who watched him in his youth. But there was never any guarantee that he would become suddenly democratic. And so it proves to be. Just one more ordinary person, not living up to his potential, as a teacher might say on a report card. A talented, educated, smart, intelligent man. A good administrator in the status quo, but definitely not the man to lead the nation of Belize on his present course to a better type of democracy. In that aspect it is disappointing, the result is just copycat average. But a betrayal no! Disappointing for what might have been, yes! More stagnation for Belize and more of the same through the years ahead. The current electoral system does not work. Will Valentino Shal, or any like him form an independent political party and make that change Belize so badly needs?

Niall Gillet explains it so succintly. The dictatorship of the old colonial capital merchandising, service centered parasites and snob academic intellectuals are ruining the potential of Belize as a nation. As Niall puts it:

" without economic empowerment, there is no political empowerment." Niall goes on to point out that, the debaters on the belize culture list give the party hacks, particularly that group or clique from the old colonial capital are given too much credit for patriotism. Asked for an intent to build a nation, where such patriotic intent does not exist. It is all hypocrisy. Niall says that townie crowd have NO VISION. NO ACUMEN. Simply put he says, " they are selfserving, and small minded. A foresighted group of elected representatives would want to increase the dollar base. These guys ( townies from Belize City) just use it ( the government offices and national credit card and treasury) as a "lifestyle" private company. One which supports the lifestyle they ( parasitic non-producing townies) enjoy. Status quo and all that."

Niall went on to point out that the brothers from the old colonial capital that are exploiting all of the nation of productive Belize as elected political managers, are not really about keeping " the Brothers down", but simply do what they do for fun and personal profit. They inherited the African style plantation colonial governing model and they don't want to rock the boat any more than is absolutely necessary "to maintain their income and perks!" They put selfishness above patriotism and innovation and leadership.

In other words, we are expecting too much from the PUP and UDP political party cliques from the old port town who control the nation of producers in the districts. As Niall explains; they have no evil intent, but no foresight either. They only want to feed off the existing system for income and perks.

What do you think? You students in the High Schools, Colleges and University of Belize? Would you form a political party and challenge these parasitic townies of the old port at the ballot box? Can you change Belize and the way we govern to make it a strong democracy? The political process says, you have to form a new party. The current Prime Minister Said Musa is an example of how the existing party processes subvert talent and lose Belize the nation, the abilities and promise of a once bright spark on the political scene. So, the obvious lesson here, is to avoid the existing political parties and form a new one to challenge the status quo. Are you ready for that?

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