I waited until the results of the election to write my weekly piece because I know that somehow it would be historic and it was! On so many fronts this election brought suspense, intrigue and change and depending on a person’s political affiliation, fanaticism or outlook the elections is indeed one to talk about. I will share just a few of my thoughts and the elation I have over the results
Landslide no more!
While I had friends that tried to predict the results, I never ventured in that direction because I truly believe voters will tell you what they think you want to hear and will vote how they want…after all it is a sacred act of privacy!
But the victory in this result really goes to the people. I feel this great joy just knowing we will not be having no super-government with overwhelming power to just push through any more Constitutional changes. This I think means that if there should be any such Constitutional amendment it would have to be with the help of the opposition….hmmm if that could ever happen!
These super-majorities, are even more disastrous that the super-bond and while some of our people never understood the dangers in these, there are those of us who saw the eminent disaster of keeping that trend. Since independence we have had too many landslide victories and truly I have not seen these in anyway help our democracy nor our governance, but rather has deteriorated it. You see one intoxicated with the elixir of power, the leaders transform into demi-gods and no longer feel that they need to hear the voice of their bosses – yes us the people.
Wow – I could breathe a sigh of relief and feel that there is hope for our employees named politicians will be humbled and realize there are there to serve us the people not their self-interest and wild desires.
I think that there is now more balance of power, or at least the perception of this. For me it is more than just the perception. For a democracy to be vibrant there is need for an effective and visible opposition. Failure to have this only serves to create a monarchy, dictatorship or ruthless arrogant leader…. The system of governance we continue to use is premised on the proposition that ‘Her Majesty will have a loyal opposition that will serve as a check and balance to the ruling government’; this of course can only be done where there is an opposition. Of course those who do not comprehend the rational for a functioning democracy clearly in their moments of fanaticism would want to destroy and wish away said opposition, not realizing that to do so is to set themselves up to create a monster that will eat them up. Oppositions are important and having served once in an opposition party and in the senate I surely appreciate the value of that and thus remained vigilant.
The truth be told the present opposition because of its own internal hemorrhaging had not been as organized and effective as it was expected to be, but in a short period they have had their own cleansing and surely more can be done.
There were those who were happy when they said that the opposition done! This so reminded me f the terrible defeat by landslide of the UDP in 1989 and similarly the fanatics from the other side wishing that the UDP would not come back. It was my sheer realization that there is no democracy without the opposition that made me answer the call to duty so as to ensure that the party got the new blood they needed and a chance to rebuild…and this they have done and are now government twice in a row…and that too is historic in itself.
I was one of those who got the results as they came in, and saw a welcoming and wonderful trend…those who are fanatics may not want to see it and may be critical of the results…but I see the platinum lining around this silver cloud.
It is historic that for the first time the UDP has had a repeat and it shows that it has surely found ways to appeal to the masses and get their support. That 44% living below the poverty line, is an army any political party, who knows how to keep them satisfied, can call out to action as enforcers … especially if a few dollars or personal gain is involved.
It is also historic because of the voter’s turn out that showed such a huge disparity in the districts as opposed to Belize City, which still is both the electoral and financial powerhouse. And because Toledo recorded the highest turnout ever and an absolute sweep-out of the ruling party, despite all the hand-outs and grants distributed in that area. It is also historic because early elections usually usher out the ruling party but this one did not, it only sent a strong message.
It is historic because the PUP, which was once so strong remains humbled and their demise is still at the hands of two of their own. It is also historic because of the big players who were swept out: Melvin Hulse; Salvador Fernandez; Gabriel Martinez, to name a few. But it is still historic because the Alberts has gone back to being red – it was almost gift wrapped by Mark and returned to “its rightful owner” so to speak! Historic historic historic it was!
Victors and Victories
And surely while the UDP claims victory, they really suffered a major loss to a party that according to them had no “come back”… And a party, which so many, still have not forgotten about the wrong-doings that caused such a wave of change in 2008. The people were caught between the red devil and the deep blue sea (no pun intended) and some just did not come out to vote and some decided in their own way to send strong loud messages to BOTH!
Even if quietly, I too must recognize that the much vilified PUP had its own victory…imagine they moved from six seats to 14 that is more than 100% improvement – as a matter of fact its 120% improvement, with a leader called a puppet, but whom rose to an occasion when leadership was trust on him….wow! Francis Fonseca was able to pull his party together in such a shot time compared to Dean Barrow who has always been a maverick in the UDP and done Christ-saving moves to the point that he is the demi-gods of a ll gods – his language, speeches and way of cutting through his opponents with an uncanny response and sly laugh puts him into the category of a goliath. To be shaken at the roots by such a new-comer that so many under-estimated is in and of itself historic and a victory for Francis.
There were amazing victories for newcomers such as Herman Longsorth, so new to politics; victory for Mark King, whom his own party rejected and yet her persisted and won; victory for Patt also so new to politics and yet able to defeat a giant such as Valdemar Castillo who had become an institution in his division… wow the stories behind these are surely amazing.
Then there are the victories for newcomers Dr. Tulio Mendez, who got the very impressive support from Marcel Cardona. And who could forget the victory for totally unknowns such as Mai; Mahmud; Oscar Requena and Ramiro Ramirez – these are really brand new faces to the PUP…yet the people rejected their fairly well-known opponents Landy Burns, Chendo URbina, Juan Coy and Gabriel Martinez, respectively, who were already known in politics and people in the area…these surely require further analysis
Congratulation is in order for all those who won their seats… but do not forget that the true test of you being a victor will lie in your ability to serve the people and not forget that you are NOT our bosses but rather WE, THE PEOPLE, are your bosses. I can’t help but feel excited that we no longer have no super-government and that it is important for us to keep our democracy alive and kicking and kick we must kick when the need arises. God bless Belize!