Nation Re-Engineering - by Paco Smith
Nation building or better yet, "nation re-engineering" is not a task for the faint of heart. At the Belize Progressive Party - BPP, this is precisely what our quest involves.
I trust this was made clear from the launching of the party by way of our mantra which states, "We are not here to replace the PUDP. WE ARE HERE TO CHANGE THE SYSTEM!" Needless to say, inevitably our expressed intentions were and continue to be misconstrued by some of the "actors" our there. That is to be expected, nonetheless, for not everyone shares our values and many are simply "involved" in the struggle for ulterior reasons. I am not here to judge because ultimately, I am responsible for that which I contribute to the quest to make Belize a much better nation for ALL BELIZEANS.
As a result, I seldom pay attention to the various "opinions" which circulate, as it relates to: the BPP and what we should be doing. After all, as I once mentioned to an acquaintance following one such exchange of ideas, I expressed that, "Opinions are like anal orifices...presumably, almost everyone has one."
When I decided to jump, head-on into the effort to be on the front-line of proactively addressing the inequalities and inequities of our system some 14 years ago, I was fully aware that critics and pundits abounded. Therefore, when someone endeavours to share their "opinion" as to their assessment of the BPP, in most cases, I invite them to lend their "expertise". More often than not, that is when the excuses arise. I have no issue with that because inevitably, not everyone is built for trodding the path less traveled. In addition to that, there are those who began and for whatever reason, have weeded themselves out of the earnest effort of the BPP, to change the system. As for those, I firmly believe it is all for the best because along this course, one certainly comes across a wide expanse of personalities and "characters", to say the least.
This brings to mind something that over the years has come to my attention and is becoming increasingly more clear with the ever-eroding state of our nation's governance.
That to which I refer is the distinction between "activism" and that of "engaging the political realm". Honestly, I acknowledge there are points at which the two intersect, but I firmly believe they are not one in the same. That is where, in my humble opinion, some more than likely disagree with this sentiment and hence the unbridled criticisms of those who feel that a political party should function, primarily as the medium through which activism is fostered.
In this vein, in surveying Belize's socio-economic situation, I often wonder why those pundits and critics of the BPP, who consider themselves "activists" have not taken the bull by the horns and do what they do best? If the BPP is not fulfilling the "activist" functions you believe it should, why then don't you utilise your God-given skills and galvanise the people of this nation and do as you must? Surely, you don't believe the BPP is necessitated for you to "take to the streets"?
In any event, I trust that those who consider themselves "activists", lead by example. I am certain the criticisms concerning what you believe the BPP should be doing shall continue, after all, as I stated, much like anal orifices, I'm certain you have an opinion, to which you are justifiably entitled to. Yet on the same token, amid lamenting about what you see as the shortcomings of the BPP, as it relates to "taking to the streets", would it not be most impacting if you, yourselves, lead the charge?
Those are my musing for the day, this being the day after Independence, as some Belizeans, most unfortunately, persist in their "crabs in a bucket mentality" and in some, select cases there are those who bask in delusions of grandeur. Nonetheless, I encourage one and all, whether you are a pundit, a critic or even a supporter of the BPP, step-up and amid your rantings, lead by example so that others will endeavour to follow.
Belizeans and true friends of Belize (critics and pundits included), here's to each and every one of us, contributing, productively toward making this nation a better place for all Belizeans.
For those who are inclined to further analize this issue, I offer the following, which is but one of many publications which I am certain spans the gamut of "opinions".
Nonetheless, this is a starting point - http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/josi.12167/full
Paco Smith is the current Chairman of the Belize Progressive Party - BPP.