Learning from the Past Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 17 July 2014 00:00

If the possibility of a contempt of court charge was non-existent we would have long commented on the only possible outcome of the criminal proceeding against Elvin Penner.  Given this condition, we hold our pen for the “I told you so” imminent finale of this circus.

What we find interesting in this matter however is at least two “firsts” that it presents in the history of our nation. It is the first time that any Prime Minister of Belize has ever publicly announced the banning of an area representative from ever serving in the party he leads.

It is also the very first time that any serving area representative is before a criminal court of law on a matter relevant to the ministerial portfolio that individual held.

If this government would have had a larger majority in the House of Representatives, there would also have been the possibility for a third “first” as this would have been the first time in Belizean history that an area representative would have been successfully recalled triggering a by-election in the constituency to which that individual was elected.     

A larger majority of area representatives for any one political party can either have positive or negative implications dependent on the integrity of the leader of that party.

 On a singular positive note, a large majority in a team lead by an individual with the moral fortitude to take action against any and all forms of corruption will afford that leader and his party the leverage to recall any elected individual engaged in corrupt activities.

On the down side, recent history has shown a myriad of negative implication that a large majority with a leader lacking the moral fortitude to take action against official corruption can have on a small nation state as ours.

As history has shown, this combination is BAD for Belize as it ushers in the presence of a larger group of individuals raping the nation at the expense of the masses with a “leader” not having what it takes to tell them: “For God’s sake, STOP IT!”

Such a situation can easily result in the amassing of a large national debt with nothing to show for it. It can result in a national government irresponsibly incurring loans from questionable sources at loan shark interest rates.

It can result in the elected corrupt giving away the nation’s key facilities, electricity, water and telephone, to friends and cronies for very little or nothing at all.

It can lead to the awarding of bloated contracts to relatives and friends with no regards for qualifications and due process.

It can result in the washing away of a multi-million dollar bridge on the Southern Highway with the first flood.

It can lead to substandard works like another bridge, connecting an industrious Mennonite community, that washed away even before construction could be completed and without a single person or vehicle passing over it. 

It can mean a leaking Center for the Performing Arts which is less than ten years old.

 A compromised leader at the helm of government can result in the giving away of 12,000 acres of land (over 40,000 house lots) to a single senior crony who has no intention of working the land and instead walks into a bank, mortgages the land, gets a huge sum of money, pays back the bank not a dime and allows the bank to take ownership of the land.

A large majority in the House of Representatives with a corrupt leader can result in the signing of secret agreements to accommodate a multi-billionaire friend. It can result in this same special individual not paying taxes to the government or dividends to Belizean shareholders of the lucrative enterprise he owned.

A large majority in the House of Representatives with a compromised leader can result in extreme arrogance where one of them can publicly tell the people that it does not matter how many mistakes he and his government makes and that the more mistakes they make, the harder the Belizean people will work to get them out of trouble.

A large majority with a corrupt leader can result in the hurling of insults to the employable among us as they do not create jobs because they publicly announce that we are lazy and that we will thief the tools. It also presents the scenario where they can come forward and proudly announce that they don’t need us and that they can go to any of their offices in Montevideo, Canada and Cayman, where they can make a lot of money.

A large majority government with a compromised leader can result in the collection of an environmental tax for many years without using the funds derived from these taxes for its intended purpose. It can create the arrogance where they seek to increase that tax, first by a whopping 200% but are forced to settle for a nonetheless burdensome 100% while the people living in the nation’s commercial capital as well as those living in the west are subjected to the breathing of toxic smoke emanating from perpetually burning garbage sites.

The negative effects of a larger majority with a corrupt leader are historical, real and numerous, the nation must therefore seek out and steer clear from electing to government and political party with a leader lacking the moral fortitude to take action against corruption among those he “leads”..

More recently, history has shown us that an improved standard of living and the meaningful development of a nation can only be realized in an environment where official corruption is at its lowest level. The best combination for this to happen is by way of the election of a leader of a political party with the moral fortitude of take action against all forms of corruption among the team he leads. The ability to take action is amplified when that leader is afforded a comfortable majority in the House of Representatives.

It was a wise man who once said that a nation which studies not its history, learns not from past mistakes and highlights not, for the benefit of the younger generation, the errors of the past, is a nation doomed to a lifetime of major crimes, violence and general suffering.