REPORT #412 August 2001

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

by Ray Auxillou

July 12th, 2001. The four day civil war between the political parties of the Jamaican Labor Party and the ruling "winner take all British political system" ruling People's National Party is now over.

At it's height, bodies lay in the streets for several days, swollen with gases, putrefying in the hot Caribbean Sun, as an object lesson by the People's National Party for the Labor party supporters. Over 3000 police and troops, including a helicopter gunship were used to fight supporters of the opposition Labor Party in the suburb of Tivoli Gardens.

What troubles Jamaicans, is the inability of anybody to galvanize an alternative third party with political reform the goal. Ex-President Seaga is viewed as a power mad, megalomaniac, while Prime Minister, Patterson is viewed as a corrupt self serving greedy individual.

" I am very disheartened, very ashamed at what has happened on the island," said Jamaican, Lola Miller, who works in a Miami-Dade bakery in Florida.

The next election is more than a year away. Traditionally, Prime Minister, Patterson authorizes an armed moved into Seaga's voting base, as a "fight against crime", it is alleged, when it comes close to election time. This takes votes away from Seaga. This move was way too early this time. Both parties supposedly use criminal gangs in their election and muscle intimidation campaigns.

Seaga being out of power, does not have the patronage to give to his constitutents; which is how the main port town political party bosses keep their power bases under the British type Caribbean political system. The British system, rewards friends and punishes voting enemies. The general aim is to polarize the population, between theirs and ours. The haves and have nots. Party hate is the goal. Discrimination and polarization the result.

Seaga's base, the Tivoli Gardens was the target for the armed incursion, by Patterson. But this time the residents had armed themselves and fought back. Bullet pocked walls, burned out shells of cars, street barricades and bodies lying in the streets overnight were the result. Four days of political party civil war! Because Tivoli Gardens is the base for Opposition leader Seaga; the ruling Labor Party, Desmond McKinsey, has been doling out very limited patronage in work, services and favors in the area. Punish your enemies and reward your political friends is how the British political system works! With the Prime Minister controlling the patronage at the top of the political party, like a spider in a web, pulling puppet strings. Tivoli Gardens had stagnated, punished for voting for the opposition for past years. Times were more than hard. To live there was to suffer.

Seaga claims the armed incursions are a political device, to put his constitutents under threat, to batter them into submission. Last time this happened in a previous election, the armed incursion took place closer to election time. It worked, and the PNP won the elections. This time, the timing was off and civil war broke out.

Similar things have happened in Belize in the Corozal District in the past, on a much smaller scale, befitting the small scattered population of geographically huge Belize. In Barbados and Trinidad though, things have been much more serious, with even armed coup d'etat attempts on occasion.

The British Political system is a ruler/opportunistic monarchist system. Leaving the control of the country in the hands of a very small group of individuals who control a political party and in turn, the party controls the larger country itself. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer in such a system; which is based on self serving greed. Always the despotical ruling party clique are from the largest port town, because of population representation without any minority, or geographic voting system 'checks and balances' in the system.

Surprisingly enough, lots of studies around the world have shown that systems that use Federation, accomplish much more in the reduction of poverty and equality of opportunity than the British political system. Economically, the system in Jamaica, Belize, Barbados and Trinidad are proven failures for the greater good. Despots who control political parties from old colonial port town capitals rule, instead of having a democracy with self reliance and self rule the goals.

Belize continues to go down the path of self destruction also, under the same political system as the rest of the West Indies. In England, only the North Sea oil riches rescued the existing monarchist collapsing political party system. Until the oil runs out, the British political system in England is expected to continue. Without oil revenues though, to paper over the mismanagement system, the British are also expected to see civil war eventually, AGAIN!

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