Winning Entry : Citizenship – Why I will vote on November 4th, 2015 written by: Jaime A. Burns Jr.

Citizenship – Why I will vote on November 4th, 2015

I have never bore witness to a purer, more innate sense of patriotism than that of the collective Belizean people. Belize boasts a national haven of resource, both human and natural. “Mother Nature’s best kept secret” remains only on the fringes of secrecy, because our earthly divinity is rapidly becoming world renowned and internationally beloved. Who then, will be selected as caretakers of our Belize? Furthermore, who will be held accountable for those choices? How do we vet and vie the candidates who seek to subscribe to the guardianship over the “Land Of The Free”? Democracy – the process which harkens our participation and gives content to the speech of the populace; therein lies the engine of our governance. My vote is my voice, and I will vote on November 4th, 2015.

In direct opposition to the carefree cliché, ignorance is not bliss, certainly not when it comes to general elections. To abstain from voting when you possess the eligibility to cast a ballot is tantamount to being wilfully mute in the discourse of our national regime. Your voice is inevitably drowned amidst the ones of those who practiced their right and adhered to their responsibility to see the one, true victory present itself on Election Day: democracy. Some vocally defeat the value of their vote, convinced that their say will not sway an election. If I may contravene from a logically-parallel perspective: one vote is resonant in adding to or subtracting from the eventual majority or minority. If there is strength in numbers, then there can certainly be weakness in few. I, for one, crave progress so mightily for Belize; my vote is my strength, and I will vote. I would be remiss not to mention, however, that even in the abstinence of voting, the candidate who is elected is nevertheless your representative. Still, refraining from voting diminishes your stake in assessing the performance of your representative, for you veiled yourself in silence when the remainder of your fellow constituents lent their voice on your behalf. Ergo, accountability – your vote is your solemn invocation of your involvement in computing Belize’s prosperity.

Men and women who both possess and present the integrity, interests, goodwill, and compassion of Belizeans are oftentimes the ones who solicit our confidence. The Belizean citizenry, however, must confront the political stigma that concurrently connotes itself with elections; i.e., corruption. It can be defeated, but only when we are willing to inject the vaccine of diligent democracy to provide for governmental health. My vote is my vaccination; I will vote. Naïveté assumes immunity from corruption; national pride compounded by wilful virtuousness asserts the fervent combat against it. My vote is my fight; I will vote. My sincere respect for the legacies of great Belizean figures – Phillip Goldson, George Price, and even Antonio Soberanis – and my gratitude for the historic strides they effected, shames any inclination on my part to abstain from the rectitude of voting. My vote is my honour; I will vote.

While most people may assess any government on a utopian premise, I implore them to accede to the position which accepts that harmony is the ideal goal, but success through respect is the realistic one. Administrations will perpetually contain divergence – we toil for the attainable synergy of all comprised, which eludes us. Admittedly, in the history of Belize, we have elected both martyrs and tyrants to our government. I feel we have been too complacent in granting communal clemency to the latter. As for the former, I have bore witness to manifest proof of the absolute and inherent patriotism in the blood of the Belizean people. That bloodline must live on, and my vote is my life. I am Belizean; “I am Belize.” On November 4th, 2015, I will vote.


Submitted by:

Jaime A. Burns Jr.