Politics, Belize Style – Part 2

“Elections are won chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody” – Franklin Pierce Adams

“No part of the education of a politician is more indispensable than in the fighting of elections” – Winston Churchill

“Anyone who is capable of getting themselves elected into office should on no account be allowed to do the job” – Douglas Adams

It’s all over.  The dust has settled, the votes have been counted, and the polling booths taken down.  The hands have been shaken, the babies kissed, the parties thrown, and the palms greased.  Last week’s national and municipal elections resulted in victory for the incumbent United Democratic Party (UDP) and current Prime Minister Dean Barrow.  But it was a narrow victory – instead of the landslide they won at the last election in 2008 (when they beat the People’s United Party [PUP] by a large majority), this time they scraped by, winning 17 of the 31 seats and 50% of the votes.  The PUP won the remaining 14 seats and got 48% of the votes.  The independent candidates and smaller parties split the remaining 2% of the votes (which, in a country with Belize’s population, are very small numbers – each party would’ve had about 800 people vote for them at the most!).  And none of them won any seats in Parliament (so it’s business as usual, with the two main parties occupying the House). Continue reading

Politics, Belize Style – Part 1

“Politics is a dirty business” – Richard Nixon

“Politics isn’t dirty, it’s the politicians that are” – Anon

“’Politics’ is made up of two words – ‘poli’, which is Greek for many, and ‘tics’, which are blood-sucking insects” – Gore Vidal

It’s election time in Belize.  Prime Minister Dean Barrow suddenly and unexpectedly announced it last month.  Normally, elections are held every five years (as that’s the maximum term a governing party is elected to), and the last election was in 2008, so everyone was expecting the next one to be next year.  But on March 7th Belizeans will be going to the polls. Continue reading