• Frank Paco Smith

Inauguration of the Belize Progressive Party | Belize Politics




Greetings Belizeans and true friends of Belize, both at home and in the Diaspora,

Welcome to the dawning of a new socio-economic and political paradigm or better yet, A NEW BELIZE POLITICAL CONSCIOUSNESS concerning our beloved nation, for on this day, Thursday, 1st October 2015, your Belize Progressive Party henceforth known as the “BPP”, is officially unveiled!

There is no doubt, today marks a watershed in the annals of Belize’s history. Therefore, one may ask; What is in a name? Admittedly, that is a valid question and in response, I submit that a name should embody the essence of that which it signifies or represents. Seated here, before you, are true Belizean patriots who, like the Hon. Phillip Goldson, came to the bold realisation that the two-party system in Belize is corrupt and that it possesses no viable potential to move Belize forward, in a progressive and sustainable fashion. Much like the honourable gentleman, to whom I referred, we have put words to action. Thus we find ourselves here and I take this opportunity to signal that the BPP is not comprised of politicians. For the record, we are agents of change.

The name, Belize Progressive Party, represents the coming together of disparate: groups, entities, political parties and elements in that of “a progressive people’s alliance”, therein which egos and agendas (meaning those other than working for the collective good of this nation), have been set aside. It represents, in the purest of fashions: selflessness, commitment, sacrifice, unity of purpose and faith; which inevitably translated into joining forces to form a truly, national political party and in effect the only viable alternative to the scourge that has infected Belize.

Indeed I refer, in such fashion, to the two political parties that persist in fleecing this nation of its resources, while disrespecting its citizens and quite frankly denigrating the essence of our nation-state, which is the Rule of Law. For without respect for the all-important element of Good Governance, we find Belize continuously spiraling into the depths of that of a kleptocracy or dare I say quite possibly, an “ineptocracy”, which is I must admit, a word I most recently learned and certainly believe is an appropriate descriptor of the state of our nation following thirty-four (34) years of independence, in which the UDP and the PUP have shared equal time at the helm. If you listened closely to the Independence Day addresses given by the respective leaders of those parties, you will note that neither could avoid admitting to the “Failing Systems and Structures” as well as the “Incompetence in Government”, to which they have subjected the people of this nation.

On the topic of our coming together, I would be remiss not to recognise the role played by the Belize Unity Alliance (BUA), under the guidance of its former Chair, Mr. Charles Leslie, Jr., as to the ultimate brokering of this amalgamation, for without their persistence, this day may very well not have come to pass. I am therefore overjoyed to acknowledge Charles’ contribution to this effort as well as noting that with the completion of said goal, he has brought his talents to the BPP! Accordingly, I must also acknowledge the steadfast and critical role played by Mr. Bobby Lopez, for his decisive and pragmatic contributions laid the foundation for what we present today.

Also key toward making this amalgamation a reality are our brothers and sisters in the struggle, many of whom are here with us today and have made the necessary sacrifices which resulted in the formation of your Belize Progressive Party. I must give mention of: the People’s National Party, We the People and all others who made this bold step. I say without hesitation, our foundation is the acknowledgement of the supremacy of the Almighty and with that comes the necessary vision and above-all, humility that shall keep us grounded. Therefore given our absolute commitment to Good Governance principles and practises, unlike what we have seen and experienced by way of other political affiliations, in the BPP, there shall be none among us, who are deemed more equal than others.

Let it be known, we are not naïve, for we are aware of the “nay-sayers” and to them we say, your negativity serves as fuel for our fire, to bring about a keen awareness of, and adherence to, the principles of Good Governance and the Rule of Law. Our approach shall involve the application of open-source governance, otherwise known as open government, in which collaboration is paramount. Through the use of instruments such as referenda and other reform methods, Belizeans shall be empowered to assist in the decision-making process. This approach demonstrates participatory democracy at work and most significantly, signals the political will to effect the much-needed systemic changes to our governance apparatuses. Therefore, given that your Belize Progressive Party is inherently “positive”, I believe the current vernacular which says, “Powered by Haters”, is succinctly applicable. Therefore, I shall make it absolutely clear that your Belize Progressive Party is not here to replace the UDP, nor the PUP. Our purpose is to change the game. In effect, no games shall be played, for this party represents, A NEW BELIZE POLITICAL CONSCIOUSNESS, in which governance is inclusive and not selective, as it is currently practised by the powers that be.

I wish to share with you, two nuggets of insight, from none other that Albert Einstein, in which he stated, and I quote, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them” and “All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development, accorded the individual”. As such, I ask that you kindly open your minds and hearts to those concepts and apply them to Belize’s political environment, in that the BPP represents the “individual” to which Einstein referred. In so doing, I trust you shall uncover, precisely why the Belize Progressive Party exists and what we strive to achieve for the nation. Of course, the BPP’s Political Leader, Mr. Patrick Rogers whom, in short order, you will formally meet, shall elaborate on the political aspects of our mission.

I submit that our slogan, “8867 Today, 8867 Tomorrow and 8867 Forever” is not only demonstrative of our commitment to ensuring Belize’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, it is also our rallying call to all Belizeans and true friends of Belize, irrespective of your whereabouts, to take the proverbial “leap of faith” and join us in this most noteworthy, meaningful and necessary effort to save the nation of Belize, NOW, before we lose it!

In closing, I thank one and all, for attending whether you are physically present or tuned in, via the various forms of media. We look forward to your involvement, by way of supporting the Belize Progressive Party, in any fashion you deem suitable.

But in particular on Wednesday, 4th November 2015, Election Day, the day on which more than any other, the power lies expressly in the hands of the people, I ask that you vote for substantive change, by voting for the BPP!

Note: Ineptocracy – A government system where the least capable to govern are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the diminishing number of producers.

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