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OUT OF THE BLUE Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 17 August 2017 00:00

Well, the municipal elections are just around the corner, and things are beginning to heat up. Then again, that might not be too accurate a characterization, because while the RED machine is certainly revving up, the other side (the once invincible BLUE machine) is finding it difficult, if not impossible, these days to even crank up.

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Their first two contested municipal conventions have been, to say the least, disappointing. In Dangriga, over three weeks ago, among aspiring mayoral and councillor candidates, they barely pulled out 500 votes. And this past weekend, in San Ignacio/Santa Elena, with three mayoral candidates contesting, they only managed to bring out a total of 850 votes. That turnout, proportionally, was actually worse than Dangriga because, after Belize City, San Ignacio/Santa Elena is the most populous municipality in the country, with a total of over 13,000 voters. So, their turnout this past weekend was a pathetic 6.4 percent of the total number of voters in that municipality.

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Speaking of their San Ignacio/Santa Elena Municipal Convention, the PUPs, it seems, have still not learnt some basic lessons from their not so distant past. First of all, let us state that, as a general rule, we have maximum respect for Belizeans who serve, or have served, in the Belize Defence Force, putting their lives on the line for our beloved homeland. But, for goodness sake, when will that Opposition Party ever learn that their strategy of trying to turn retired military men into successful PUP politicians is a perpetually failing proposition?

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Perhaps there is something that the electorate, even supporters of the PUP, find absolutely irreconcilable about the concept of someone retiring from one of our most disciplined forces and somehow transitioning to a reincarnation as a politician in that party with absolutely no discipline, fiscal or otherwise.

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If we can recall correctly, the first time they tried it was with Tom Greenwood back in 1989; and he took a trashing at the hands of the still undefeated, undisputed champion of Queen Square, the now Right Hon Dean Oliver Barrow. Poor Tom, an otherwise decent fellow who was once the highest ranking Belizean in the force when it was still transitioning from British command, still has not fully recovered from that embarrassing episode with the PUP, which he himself has since admitted he absolutely regrets.

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More recently, there was the retired Major who proudly announced he was reporting for duty in Belize Rural North, only to be dishonourably discharged (before he could fully enlist) in November 2015 by the voters of that constituency who let it known in no uncertain terms that, as senior octogenarian Gerald Tillett of Crooked Tree put it, “We noh di let go the bone fu grab the shadow.” In other words, they certainly were not relinquishing their tried and tested Area Representative, Hon Edmond “CLEAR THE LAND” Castro in exchange for some unknown “Major Disaster”, as he was quickly and appropriately nicknamed. Quite fittingly, Hon Castro has since gone on to be officially named as the ministerial boss of “Disaster Management”, the Minister of NEMO.

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In Belmopan, another retired Major, whose surname in English translates to “Look”, was heralded as the man who would unseat his former Minister, Hon Saldivar in that constituency. Poor soul, he was deceived into abandoning his respected position in the Ministry of National Security to run for the PUP in the Nation’s Capital. Well, before we could say, “Mire”, Mira was history, as he could not even make it past the now absconded “Christian”, or even the Eye Doctor, whose professional services he apparently needed, at least in a political, ophthalmological sense. Like “Major Disaster”, the myopic Major from Belmopan has since been wandering across the political landscape like a zombie, although everyone knows he is electorally dead. In his case, “stillborn” is perhaps the appropriate term.

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And, speaking of stillborn, lo and behold, in the run up to this past weekend’s embarrassing PUP Convention in San Ignacio, we saw an ad proclaiming that “the Colonel’ was the PUP’s man for Mayor in that municipality. He, incidentally, is the same Colonel who was retired in the public interest after that stock of ammunition had disappeared from the BDF armoury at Price Barracks back in October 2001.

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Well again, before we could say “Mire”, he has suffered the same fate as “Mira”, coming in dead last out of the three contestants in the convention. And ‘look’ who defeated him and the other PUP aspirant - a washed-out, coat, former PUP Mayor from the past who was dusted off and repackaged as the “new” face of the PUP; the man who once famously babbled from a political rostrum, “ I am not drunk; I am only high!”

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He, incidentally, in early 1998, had resigned from Mayor of the disgraced PUP Council with a slender majority, and had publicly condemned his own party. Marconi Matus is now the “new” face of the PUP? For God sake, stop it! He will no doubt suffer the same fate as the “new and improved” Dan Silva who got trashed and retired for good by Hon Rene Montero in 2015.

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Let’s leave it there for now, as we’re sure there is plenty more humour to come in the weeks ahead as the sputtering BLUE machine tries in vain to crank up for the new election season. We’re just getting started. More next week from ‘out of the Blue’!

 

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