By Neri Briceno
Why do men aspire for political leadership in Belize? The answer for this can be broken down into three distinct categories; those who do it for love of country, those who genuinely do it for love of people and those who do it for greed. Belize has had its more than fair share of the third type.
If we were to take a close look at those persons who are once again vying for political leadership in the coming general election, we will see that the vast majority of these people are doing it not for love of people and country, but rather for personal gain.
It is no secret that a seat in the House of Representative while your party is in power is the equivalent of winning the lottery, except tax free.
Citizens now see public service not as medium to help our fellow citizens or the development of the country, but rather how one can accumulate wealth. Under this mentality the country will never improve, never grow and we will leave nothing for our children and generations to come.
I have always said that they are but a few people in either party who really love this nation. We need more of these people in politics if the nation is to succeed. The nation needs to move away from the ingrained mentally of supporting party and start supporting the best individual for the job.
The news of the amalgamation of the vast majority of all the third parties show that the country is finally on the road to political maturity. This is something that is long overdue because the political pattern in the nation has basically been an exchange between the two political parties, while the full potential of the nation has never been reached.
The presence of a viable third party will now remove any guarantees for either parties.
But the big question to ask is how much will the voters take to a new national party? Will it get the necessary support at the polls or even financially? Who will take the reins of its leadership and who will be the first national figure to join them and tip the scale on their side?
On paper, in talk and so far in action, the third parties have echoed exactly what the nation needs. However this can only be translated into success if the people want it and if the nation has reached that level of political maturity to embrace change.
What is certain is that this new party has a monumental challenge in front of it and it’s just through unity, strong leadership and always putting the people and the nation first, that it will succeed.
The nation has long cried that both the UDP and the PUP are basically the same thing wrapped in a different package. The opportunity is now presenting itself to the nation and the people will have no one but themselves to blame if they do not embrace it.
Is this new party perfect? Of course it’s not and we do expect it to make mistakes, but these inevitable mistakes should be a far cry from the irreparable damage that both political parties have inflicted on the people and the nation.
I advise every red blooded Belizean, that once the next general election is called, we examine what each candidate offers and think not just about today, but for the next generation to come.
Think about our children and what is the legacy we will leave for them. Most importantly to not automatically count out the new party. This is a great day for true democracy in Belize.
It’s all about the people!