Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account. Robert Paul Arguably, so are campaign promises.
As we embrace 2012, now is the time to reflect on our personal successes and failures, to conduct a thorough self assessment and create new goals. 2012 promises a new political era for Belize. As a country, we need to evaluate promises made and broken ; become actively involved in what we would like our leadership to look like and be vigilant and proactive citizens.
The political history of Belize is fraught with broken campaign promises by the leading political parties of Belize. UDP and PUP have blatantly disregarded their recurring manifesto promise, to curb corruption. It seems that corruption aka the “spoil system” may be the most compelling reason for the inept, inefficient and quite possiblyresponsible for our growing poverty, crime and violence. A society that selectively applies rules can only hope for chaos. After 30 years of Belizean political Independence, we have elected, voted out and reelected the same people . Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
With escalating crime, violence and poverty, the Belizean voters are becoming disgusted, sickened, dismayed, appalled and apathetic to the blatant failure of political parties to fulfil campaign promises, end family enrichment, and respect the confidence of the voter …What is a voter to do?
People’s United Party :
After 10 years of near economic collapse, the PUP was overwhelmingly voted out of office and the UDP was ushered in with a mandate promising good governance. PUP has done an awful job as an opposition party. Distracted by internal fighting. The PUP went thru a time of restructuring that almost resulted in the collapse of the party. The old guard was voted out by the party membership and the PUP was overtaken with old/new blood. Such a change did not last too long as the new PUP leadership seemed weak and failing resulting in the old guard return to party leadership. Since the re-emergence of the old leaders in new suits, all seems to be well for the upcoming elections…but is it? Where is Cordel and Mark? Their silence is now deafening as it echoes of a divided front marching towards major elections in 2012.
PUP 2012 resolutions should look like this:
1. Create a manifesto. Belizeans still want to know what you plan to do when in office
2. Clean House
3. Show the Belizean people you have learned from past failures and come out strongly against corruption.
4. Unite as a party.
5. Promise to make the changes within 100 days in office.
6. Finger pointing highlights the disgraceful undeterred corruption in Belize. Offer solutions. Offer solutions.
United Democratic Party:
The UDP must remember they were ushered into office because of voters disdain for PUP in 2008. UDP is taking a big gamble by ignoring many major campaign promises. People anticipated that UDP would change Belize into a transparent democracy by promising to free Belize from unjust enrichment; empowering the Senate; creating national ownership of the oil industry; reduce crime and violence; creating 5000 jobs, prosecute Ministers who display sudden wealth and property ownership ; differentiate from PUP style politics, and most importantly, maintain and uphold [public] trust. There are reportedly 27 pages of promises. (source http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/5616) . I must say, UDP has failed miserably to deliver an accountable system and have now reduced themselves to welfare politics. The number one reason the UDP gives is that PUP is to be blamed for the prior 10 years to UDP accession, however, during their campaign UDP offered solutions not excuses. Time for UDP to look in the mirror and see if they can now differentiate their style politics from the PUP that was voted out in 2008. As UDP prepare for 2012 battle, 17 million dollars of tax payers money are being given away without accountability. Such a move is quite disconcerting to the average tax payer that may not benefit from any of these initiatives. UDP risk alienating “jealous” voters…
UDP 2012 resolutions should look like this:
1. Create a new manifesto explaining failures without blaming the PUP and what to look forward to in the next 5 years.
2. Follow thru on your campaign promises, you are still in control. Your credibility is at stake
3. Become financially accountable
4. Create programs to uplift poverty instead of masking it.
5. Finger pointing highlights the disgraceful undeterred corruption in Belize. Fix the problems and stop making excuses.
VIP/PNP has done a great job in highlighting corruption. They have great ideas and they are a fresh new face with new ideas in the political arena. I like their traditionalist approach to bring back an atmosphere of integrity and ethics. They are making great strides in the political environment and have been great as a check and balance in our system. Their presence in the political arena promises to derail one of the major political party aspirations for control over Belize. VIP/PNP has not been in any leadership position as yet, so I can only analyze them from their promises. However, what is refreshing is a new non-traditional blood of political aspirants. It will be interesting to see how the voters will respond to their presence in the political arena.
VIP/NIP 2012 resolutions should be:
1. Separate your religion from your politics. As candidates, you can be motivated by a higher power without imposing your religion on the voters. Everyone wants to be included in the political process regardless of religious persuasion .
2. Become more visible and more vocal. Demand to be seen, heard and included.
And the media …
The Media many times have not lived up to their needed position as a check and balance. Most media outlets have been directly sponsored or affiliated with a party organization or special interest groups. They serve as an informational source rather than an investigative source. It is evident that the Belizean people are yearning for the end of the abusive and corruptive politics of Belize. Everyone should be entitled to a decent standard of living and fair wages and promotions and a society free of crime and violence. It is very important that the media begin to hold our leaders accountable for the positions they hold.
Media should resolve to ask tough questions, constantly remind politicians of their campaign promises and report without fear or favor or personal persuasion.