REPORT #37 Jan 1999

Produced by the Belize Development Trust
The qualification that the political reform committee have one year to present findings on political reform, whether in partial legal amendments, new legislation, or wholesale Constitutional Changes smacks, of typical parliamentary British stonewalling.

One year! What a laugh! The thing has been kicked around in debate by High Schools and Colleges throughout the country for more than three years. Lots of good ideas are on the table. Lots of ideas already in print for student classroom study and debate as CIVICS AND GOVERNMENT books.

Why would a committee need one year? Two weeks would be plenty. Give a month and be generous. They only have to read what is already done. From Civil Society, Spear, Public Meetings, books and so on. Lots of things could be changed right away.

The British political method of stonewalling and shelving items of public furor and interest, it to appoint a committee. Hopefully, in such a long term of study so that the public furor and interest will die down. It can then be quietly shelved. Should the public start a public furor again, the Prime Minister announces that the findings were inconclusive, or inadequate and re-appoint another committee to study the findings of the first committee. All playing for time to let the 5 year cycle run out, with politicians not losing the absolute power they crave. Will the new Referendum Act have time limits for calling a refendum, like 90 days, I wonder? Will the decision on a Referendum have to become law and force a controlling party to pass it? Wonder how it will play out in Belizean party politics? Can we make Musa and company do political change through petitions and a Referendum Act? It looks like it is going to be necessary.

I view the one year committee study as a pure snow job. Absolute power is already effecting the PUP people newly in power. What do you think?

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