Today was a perfect day for demonstrating just how thoroughly our democracy has disintegrated and how apathetic we are about it.
First, our government, as personified by our Prime Minister, seized a company that they always meant to seize from its owner. The simple fact is that Fortis made the mistake of making a profit, of running a utility everyone loves to hate, and of getting between Nestor Vasquez and his dream of having all utilities revert to government, whether or not it makes sense. And (this is me being a cynical conspiracy theorist) probably because they couldn't afford to buy the utility in a straightforward negotiated transaction they used the Public Utilities Commission to bring it to its knees. Then today the PM delivered the coup de grâce by passing legislation to acquire the 'insolvent' utility.
Second, despite the critical importance of acquiring BEL and saddling the taxpayer with the attendant costs, or perhaps because of all that, the government did it all in one day, with a House meeting in the morning, a Senate meeting in the afternoon and the Governor General signing the paperwork before punching the time clock on his workday. There's something a little sickening about having the father sign the legislation that legitimized everything the son fought so hard against, but such it is in Belize these days, we have no loyalty, not to anyone.
Third, there was not even the pretense of a House debate, and why should there be? After all, the opposition hadn't even bothered to show up. A more than slightly whiny press release issued later in the day suggested that the opposition was in a bit of a sulk because they found out about the House meeting after the media, etc, etc. No, Mr. Briceno, we weren't impressed by your integrity and your nobility of stance. We were, and are disgusted, because you couldn't be bothered to show up and record your feelings on the acquisition or on the way the House meeting was called. If you had a problem, as we all do, with the way today's meetings were you should have gone there snd ripped rass about it. You have the ultimate bully pulpit, after all. This way you actually weakened your party even further -and who knew that was even possible?
Fourth, the Senate performed as expected. This is a body that is as rubber stamp-y as it gets, and without the opposition there they were even more so. Senator Gordon wins the denial prize (which is a lovely set of almost-leather horse blinders) for in essence suggesting that 'God will provide' and 'people will understand.'
People, what makes you think it will stop here? Our PM hijacked the House for his own purposes, subverted the processes more than he ever has before, and none of you noticed because he took over a utility that he had convinced you had to be taken over, and hell, you never liked those jerks anyway because your light bill is too high.