REPORT #491 May 2002

Produced by the Belize Development Trust


Either as an individual publishing Civics books for students in Belize, or later with the establishment of the Belize Development Trust Volunteers and the use of the internet based Belize Development Issues, the efforts to introduce consensual democracy through checks and balances in the supposed bi-cameral legislature of Belize have met with apathy and outright opposition from the established political parties.

For close to twenty years the message has been that the five year term for elected representatives to the legislature is wasted time for developing the nation of Belize. Back three elections ago, when Ralph Fonseca was making a mess of the country back then, we said it then, that the idea that a political party, mainly based through power out of the port town electorate of Belize City, the old colonial capital was too long. Since then, the PUP of that time, ran out of steam at the two year mark and floundered around for the remaining three years of their term. Followed by a term of five years for Esquivel's UDP party, which repeated the process of completing all the goals they desired in two years and also spent the remaining three years of their five year term getting into scandals and corruption trouble in a system that had no checks and balances, or methods for the public to correct what they saw as abuse of Ministerial power; other than petitions, and parades and outright violence in the streets against the political party representing the government of the country. It has not changed this time either! This recent five year term, PUP have finished their manifesto and have been floundering around ever since for the remaining three years of their useless five year term. In all, through three changes of five year administrations, we have lost nine years of development time for the nation of Belize because of a sadly lacking fair constitutional system.

What the country needs is some checks and balances! Also shorter legislative terms. As it stands right now under the Constitution, the concept of a bi-cameral government including a legislature and a Senate is a very sad joke. For all intensive purposes, the political party out of the port town of Belize City that wins the election are dictators. They all get appointed to the Cabinet and the Cabinet and Ministers rule. The idea that the legislature and Senate are functional or even necessary is ludicrous. A sad state of affairs in Belize. These two bodies are mere rubber stamps. Useless expensive appendages to a dictatorial elected system that does not even need them.

For checks and balances and finding consensus, with a system in place to allow the public to argue with Ministerial and Cabinet dictatorial political party rule, we need an elected representative term for three years. Even this might be two long and reduced to a more functional two year term? It seems to work out that way, as each political party that becomes country dictator blow their wad, by the end of two years, though sometimes as long as two and half years. Either way, a portion of the legislature should be elected, each and every year, to give a balance to the idea of a bi-cameral government. A rotating system of the legislature would provide checks and balances.

What we need is a legislature representative that is elected for three years, but in which one third of the whole legislative body get elected each and every year.

This rotating nature of the legislature, would provide some checks and balances to the dictatorial aspects of Cabinet and Ministerial rule. Then with an elected Senate based on Geography, as in two Senators from each district for longer terms than the legislative representatives; we might get some horse trading and finding of compromise and consensus on new legislation to build the nation of Belize? Particularly in the empty field of legislative and Senate approved budgetary controls and distribution of annual tax revenues to each district, by departments through Grant distribution systems. An area that is totally missing right now from our system of government. The concept of hiring legislatures, each year, in a proportion of one third members, would change the dynamics of the legislature and turn it into a law making body building a consensus on all the needs of all the six districts.

That twenty years has gone by since this discussion has been started, shows the public apathy and outright belligerent lying deceitful practices of those seeking riches through political position in the two major existing political parties, using the British aristocratic exploitation corrupt model of parliamentary government. It seems that Belize yet has to have it's civil war and revolution to get the changes necessary to make it a democracy; because after twenty years of debate any solution done by peaceful means seems as far away as ever?

Back to Main Belize Development Trust Page

Maintained by Ray Auxillou, Silvia Pinzon, MLS, and Marty Casado. Please email with suggestions or additions for this Electronic Library of Belize.