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Editorial: 9th, February, 2020

Editorial:  9th, February, 2020
February 09
17:29 2020

In democratic countries political parties submit to general elections from time to time, usually every four years or so, to give citizens the opportunity to elect leaders of their choice.

he men and women vying for leadership are required to tell what they stand for and what they propose to do if elected to improve the prospects for the country hosting the elections. Candidates competing for the opportunity to serve are expected to show their faces, meet the people and answer questions about themselves and about their ideas for leadership. As we have seen in the caucus in Iowa, candidates compete for the opportunity to address the electorate to answer questions and tell what they stand for

But in Belize we find an extraordinary situation developing, where one candidate does not want to meet the press; does not want to answer questions about himself or why people should vote for him as Party Leader. His defenders explain that a caucus is not an election. It is only a process which leads to an election, and at this stage it is a decision for the party elders, not the eletorate. But that line of reasoning is completely unacceptable! A caucus to select one or more candidates is a process of elimination, and is very much part of a democratic election.

While it is true that members of an opposing party are not allowed to participate in the caucus selection process, the rules of openness must nonetheless apply among the party faithful. They deserve to know! And if they are kept in the dark, the democratic process breaks down and something ugly begins to take its place.

And now we learn that the nominating caucus will be a closed proceeding. The party doesn’t want the free press around. That doesn’t look good for the future of the UDP, which has always been a party of openness for the free exchange of views.

What a difference a decade makes!

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