By: Anonymous, NP Guest Writer
Belize City: 5th June 2023
In the realm of politics, where corruption and deceit have become all too familiar, the question arises: Is it still possible to find ethics and values in Belizean Politics? Do they hold any significance in a country plagued by rampant malfeasance? The unfortunate reality is that the masses have grown skeptical, believing that ethics and values are mere relics of a bygone era. However, this should not imply the absence of fundamental principles such as norms, rules, and limits that govern serious politics. While no human endeavor is devoid of imperfections, it is essential to acknowledge and address the dark areas within ourselves and strive for improvement.
Religions have long recognized and condemned these imperfections as sins, offering guidance on how to rectify them. In the civil sphere, transgressions are met with penalties, ranging from fines to imprisonment, and sometimes even life sentences. Although the reasons for deserving such consequences are diminishing in contemporary times, it is crucial not to relinquish the standards of accountability and justice.
As societies progressed, the separation between the State and the Church emerged, necessitating alternative approaches to addressing faults, errors, crimes, and sins. The era of retaliatory justice has passed, but this does not imply an absence of punishment or the abrogation of certain rights. Rather, it signifies a shift towards a more nuanced understanding of progress. Politics, at its core, should be driven by the pursuit of the common good. However, ideological differences often impede the realization of this ideal, leading to conflicts that have claimed countless lives throughout history. Today, the battle between selfish interests and the welfare of the collective persists.
In recent decades, a resurgence of inspiration and divine guidance has permeated political discourse. Previously reserved for wars waged between nations, cultures, and races, divine inspiration is now invoked to support secular political ideologies. In democratic societies, this concept has been misconstrued, leading to an overemphasis on the invocation of God in speeches and rhetoric. This incessant repetition dilutes the essence of religion, particularly Christianity, and dilutes the weight of calls for unfettered freedom without considering the consequences. Phrases like "God help me" and "I want to be free" should reflect a desire to be free within the boundaries of the law, rather than a means of appearing devout or libertarian.
Respect for others is an indispensable aspect of politics. However, accusing a politician of transgressions committed during their youth can be seen as a self-serving smear campaign. Once individuals enter the realm of politics, their private lives should generally fade into the background, although the debate regarding the extension of accountability over time remains valid. Nevertheless, accusations of corruption or crimes are unacceptable in the realm of politics, as they undermine the trust and integrity required for effective governance. Such accusations also encompass war crimes, illegal activities with broader societal impacts, and a multitude of other offenses. In politics, the forgiveness offered by religious institutions or the absolution through confession is not applicable, even though certain circumstances may help explain them.
These considerations directly pertain to the current reality of political and electoral activities in Belize, as well as other countries in the region. It is imperative that those leading the government, serving in government institutions, or working within the justice system to have untainted backgrounds free from past transgressions, including those that may lurk within the depths of their closets, figuratively and literally. The regulation of these matters should be enshrined in electoral laws, independent of an individual's ability to speak persuasively or amass support from citizens, especially those who may lack awareness or understanding of the logical consequences of sacrificing certain liberties, such as the right to hold office. Though challenging, these issues demand serious consideration, despite their clash with impractical theories