My hiatus is over. For the past few months I decided to take on an observant and forum participatory role to remain engaged and involved. Belize is truly a vibrant and dynamic democracy with some of the most passionate advocates; however there are quite a few passionate advocates who are passionately ignorant and divisive. They inspire or rather rally up their base from a position of fear, discrimination and hatred. They have no intention of engaging the public with thought provoking dialogue and solution based discussions and yet they have attracted the attention of the most credible people…
The Political Parties
The PUP seems to be heavily focused, also obsessed with Penner but seems to be missing a unique opportunity to redefine their party. They seem to be rousing up people and pointing the mistakes of the UDP that serves only to arm the UDP with unlimited opportunities to counter by pointing out PUP missteps and period of corruptive politics. PUP seems to be unsure of what direction to take the party and less focused on ridding itself of characters that cause their disrepute. (Luke is running to represent PUP..Seriously!!) They are charging down the road of divisiveness; finger pointing; name-calling and solution-less politics and in so doing is not offering Belizeans an alternative choice. PUP is less than impressive and their mouthpieces are boring, uninspiring, angry and divisive.
PUP needs rebranding; they need to start talking solutions; tell the people what they plan to do differently and why they believe they are the party to accomplish it. They need to be vocal and dynamic and inspiring and show leadership and direction…
The UDP has been in power long enough now that they can no longer point fingers to the PUP, save for the dreaded super bond. The UDP won decisively in 2008 with a super majority to make all the necessary changes. They had the unique opportunity to “cut off the head of corruption” by strengthening the laws that would have created a corruption free system; instead UDP does what it does best. They strut around like peacocks, with an air of arrogance; cluelessness and the uncanny ability to alienate their supporters. They may do work on the economy and the aesthetics of the country; however the perception that they work on their personal enrichment of their closest personal friends and family has merit. The very next elections UDP lost a good margin of their massive support. UDP barely won and one candidate Penner won by questionable votes.(maybe the source of PUP’s obsession?)
Barrow is now in the same conundrum as Musa was when he held a slim majority and a cabinet of uncontrollable corrupted ministers. This situation is not ideal for corruption fighting. It leaves the majority party paralyzed from seriously addressing the flaws in the system or risk losing power.
UDP need to start focusing on fixing the system that lends to such corruptive politics. They need to work on a failed embarrassing justice system that is unable to give citizens the justice they seek. They need to become solution minded and seek help from experts.
The third parties seem to be waiting for elections to be called to become vocal and visual. I guess they should resign themselves to a lobby group because they seem to have lost steam in the fight for change. Change takes years, decades and generations sometimes. I really cant say that they have made themselves seen or heard of late especially in light of the ongoing scandals that keep surfacing. Third parties wake up- the campaign season is here…
The Church in Belize is not one entity. However, of late there seems to be an attempt to frame Christianity as one entity for Jesus Christ. I grew up Catholic and was told by many fundamentalists and members of other religions that the Pope is the Anti-Christ; in fact I recall one such evangelist gave me a book that would prove to me that my religion was really the religion of the devil. So what is up with the unholy alliance of the Bishop and the evangelists?
Growing up Catholic, the priest never asked me to judge my neighbor or condemn anyone to hell. During election times, priests stayed away from politics and political issues so as not to divide congregations. Church was a place for sinners looking for redemption; we were reminded of service to the poor and compassion.
The bishop seems to have suddenly discovered some selective morality and is now directing the schools on what organizations the can associate with. Forget for a moment that the Catholic Church is one of the richest organizations in the world and have some of the most exclusive schools for the wealthy while asking a poor country like Belize to sponsor their schools and agenda; the same tax payers they openly discriminate against to attend. Forget that the church position is to act as a moral guide not a sin counter; forget that the Catholic priest job is to emulate Jesus Christ, I simply ask, how can we ignore the inconsistencies and hypocrisies?
Belize has a welcoming open door policy to visitors where just about any riffraff out there can make Belize their home and domain. We have welcomed members of the mafia, KKK, terrorist and a Waco Texan who has singlehandedly changed the face of Christianity. He admittedly had a drug and alcohol problem and maybe in drunken/high stupor decided he was a prophet that needed to save Belize. He probably fled to Belize to escape his personal demons (we seem to be a beacon for that sort) and he found a welcoming gullible country with a soft heart for the American fast talker. He presents the perfect family and says God in every other sentence. Like Columbus who descended upon the Indians, he descends upon Belize and promises salvation; threatens damnation and brings foreign money in; he attempts to talk and live like the natives. He introduces a new type of religion to Belize. A religion born out of the US conservative movement that has a history deep rooted in racism, homophobia and god-fearing, burn in hell type messages. He plants a seed in a generation of young men…The fruits of his seed are blossoming with radio stations, TV and a God inspired politician… suddenly our society that is hungry for healing and change embraces this messenger of hate and divide. He argues that he is fighting a foreign agenda…saving the Belizean people from an American culture…Irony and deception is packed in his message but it still resonates with people too afraid to burn in a fiery pit to question the irony of his message. Belize is now enveloped into a darkness where hate and divide is prevalent. People are attacked verbally, they are shamed and openly condemned and some even killed because the seeds of hate are nourished everyday on social media, radio stations, TV and in churches.
The story continues….