Do you trust a flip flopper? By: Aria Lightfoot

“Arguments of convenience lack integrity … “   Donald Rumsfeld


Marcel Cardona

The term flip flopper is an American term. Other terms used are U-turn and back flip. Flip Flop et al is normally used in a negative way to describe a politician, normally in a declining political position, or to ride a new wave of support.  The flopper changes his position on a subject he has advocated in the past. It comes short of calling a politician a self interested political animal.  Many politicians actually get away with changing political positions because the electorate, for the most part, has a very short memory and many times are willing to forgive the indiscretions of politicians. In Belize’s case, even when those indiscretions amount to major corruption scandals.  However, historically, people are less tolerant to flip flopping when it comes to changing a political party.

Politics in Belize encourages an environment of distrust and disrespect.   As a survival mechanism, politicians tell supporters to mistrust any type of criticism. Any and all criticism, even when it seems unbiased, must be coming from the opposition’s camp. Political parties encourage unquestionable party loyalty; and discourage dissent by publicly punishing the dissenter. The status quo must be maintained and true  faithful political party followers must show love of their party more than their country.    

Marcel Cardona exploded on the political scene as a young, dynamic, intelligent and articulate politician. However, prior to his official political life, I shared several classes at St. John’s College Sixth form with Marcel.  We graduated from the same program.  Even back in the early 90s Marcel was an advocate for justice.  Marcel was a true believer in George Price and if memory serves right, he was in Jorge Espat’s political camp in the 90s. As a young adult back then, Marcel knew what he wanted while the rest of students were still trying to figure things out. He was no nonsense individual, always on a mission of change while taking on a tough course load at SJC.   Marcel shares some similar traits like me, so I can empathize with his passion.  He believes in people and causes and will fight tooth and nail for such and he is always in the position fighting for the underdog.  With that said, I will admit, I am disheartened by Marcel’s political move that may end his career. 

Marcel was never an official candidate of the PUP, but he was a PUP insider.  He has strong political family ties and history with the PUP.   When PUP was in power, Marcel distanced himself from the PUP, likely the same reason the electorate did. The corruption was wanton and undeterred and many were voting on a hope for change.  He was also in Jorge Espat’s camp, and that may account for his keen sense of integrity.   Unfortunately Marcel failed to realize that PUP and UDP do not hate each other (as I have said previously in my writings). They are masters at pitting the electorate against each other; however a casual browse in the genealogy will reveal close familial and business ties.

Marcel was the perfect UDP candidate.  He was a PUP insider telling the electorate how corrupted PUP was.  However, Marcel didn’t understand his role in the political chess game.  Once he jumped ship the first time, UDP was happy to use him for political mileage but in a system of distrust, he was never fully a UDP. How could they trust a person motivated by integrity and emotions in a corruptive environment?  Marcel believed he was making a decision to benefit the people. He was courted out of his relationship with the PUP; he spilled PUP dirt and found out that he was being used for political mileage.  He was not only used, but trapped in an embarrassing and humiliating position for 4 years.  Marcel in his attempt to now “punish” the UDP, has decried foul yet once again, and guided only by his emotions,  has returned to PUP.  And so he finds himself once again in the exact same position he was just 4 short years ago.  He is now once again, airing dirty laundry except now it is the UDP;   he has now distanced himself from UDP;  he has endorsed PUP and has been prominently featured in the PUP commercials.  Again nothing more than a political pawn being used for his integrity.  Marcel’s integrity is now wavering and if PUP wins, how could PUP realistically trust a man who has contributed to their worst loss in PUP’s history  and especially one motivated by integrity and emotions in a corruptive environment?

I know Marcel is not a flip flopper. His stance has always been integrity, however, how can I follow a man reactive to his emotions and one that has submitted himself twice to the role of political pawn?  If Marcel take a step back and realize he is misguided by emotions. He will realize his own potential both parties see in him.  Marcel would be far more effective and credible agitating changes as an advocate outside the system.  His reward may take many years, but if he is a true believer in change, time will not be an obstacle.  Unfortunately, our political party system identifies young talented and respectful people, steal their integrity for political mileage and later hang them out to dry while forever blinding  or discrediting same.  Take off the political lens Belizeans and Wake up!

13 thoughts on “Do you trust a flip flopper? By: Aria Lightfoot


    One the one hand, whilst Dean Barrow was in Opposition, he was able to so clearly see the spec in the eye of others, but now he is unable to see the LOG in his own eye. Whilst the Opposition, he was clearly able to point out the failings in others and the wrongs in our political system that needed to be made right. He even promised to chop of the head of CORRUPTION the moment it sprung it ugly head, and would not care about the consequence and whether his Government feel or not, because he would not stand for ANY CORRUPTION whatsoever. YET, he got rid of CARDONA for standing up AGAINST CORRUPTION by his sweetheart/mistress Dianne Haylock, proving that he was purposely deceiving us into believing that he was this lily-white crusader against corruption…. when he is so full of it!!! Just look at his various acts of nepotism, and how he tolerates the corruption of his Ministers around him, including his Deputy Gapi Vega, who has even been accused in the BROASTER REPORT of being involved in the NARCO-TRADE along with the Mexican Drug Cartel…. Who I am not surprised by this FLIP-FLOPPING by Mr. Barrow and the UDP! They are CORRUPT and need to GO! So on March 7, 2012, let us send Mr. Barrow back to his law office at Barrow & Williams!

    • Question: Does not CARDONA come from strong PUP roots in Orange Walk? What if he soon realised that Dean Barrow and the UDP had tricked him and the people, but could not just suddenly come out against the treachery of his own UDP Party, because of the very “FLIP-FLOPPING” CRITICISM being raised against him by CRITICS like you ARIA. What should he have done? Stay within the UDP and continue to be punished, lashed, mistreated, disrespected and abused? Or come out against the same UDP Party which had tricked him and so many other Belizeans? Is “FLIP FLOPPING” not changing your course without any reasonable explanation? If so, is CARDONA not JUSTIFIED in the action he has taken? … he has only gone back to his PUP ROOTS. Perhaps he might serve the people of Belize better within the PUP, since perhaps he can use some of his youthful energy, passion and zeal for reforms within the ranks of the PUP, helping to create a process of internal reform…. These are just a few thoughts from an analytical observer, with no interest or no hatchet to bury.

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  3. I hope Marcel understands and appreciate your thoughts. You are very incisive and would like to encourage you to keep up with your good work. This is a genuine act of service to your Country and I hope more people would read this article. This is the kind of engagement that impacts more people than the eye can see.

  4. Aria, what an amazing excerpt. Dean should hire you to write more bullshit for him. I always knew you were narrow minded.

    • Well…I thought the PUP were accusing the UDP of not allowing people to think for themselves…you wouldn’t be doing that now would you D. Santo? You know, chastising someone for thinking for herself?

  5. Whoooosh Aria….That was quite the mouthful. I hope Marcel sees it the way you intend. I hope that from now on candidates realize the game being played. It is a shame really, that young, passionate people get caught up in the meat grinder that is politics.

  6. Lol what can I say. Better to be neutral after you leave one of the major parties.

  7. Wow. Everything you said was right on. A psychological perspective! I think Marcel will find his place as an advocate for justice in Belize eventually but until then he will learn many lessons in partisan politics .

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