by Aria Lightfoot
“If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it.”
In the ad lib words of President Lincoln, to get to where we are going, we must know where we are. 2011 is fading; 2012 is approaching fast and Belize faces municipal, city council and general elections. The implications are for a positive financial outlook for the Belize voter. The money for votes exchange is off to a head start and the political warriors are gearing up for battle. At this juncture it is difficult to determine what the future leadership of Belize will look like, I have my own speculations, however in politics, the only certainty is uncertainty. Voters are fickle and needy; political parties’ popularity fluctuates between love and hate. Hate while in government and love while in opposition.
I predict in 2012 that it really doesn’t matter which party holds the majority in the House and municipal elections. Crime, poverty, corruption, inefficiency, apathy of leadership, politics of patronage, special interest politics, the growing divide between rich and poor will remain constant. Are the major political parties reluctant, stubborn and arrogant? Or are politicians merely a reflection of our corrupted society? The voting patterns in Belize suggests a yearn for change; however the inability to articulate it has resulted in major changes at the polls with little changes to much else. What does corruption even mean to the average citizen? Does the average citizen know that hustling on the side, hooking up family members and friends, pushing friends to the front line, erasing the professional and personal line, selective enforcement, turning a blind eye, paying tax paid government officials to complete work, accepting money for votes, buying anything on the black market, inflating contracts to benefit friends and family, hiring and promoting due to relationship rather than skill; educating friends and family and supporters, denying access to qualified citizens, special favors of any kind…equals corruption? Lets us begin the arduous journey of reflection on the impact we make on the society.