It has been mentioned time and time again that the behavior of Honorable members of the Belizean National Assembly at times of House meetings are perceived by some as bordering scandalous. The verbal sparring across the aisle can sometimes contain quite colorful language, packed with insults and accusations that can sometimes be, well, rather shocking. Well yesterday, the sole female in the house addressed the issue of proper behavior from House members and was quickly shot down by at least one minister who says he is rather satisfied with the “Civilized” way the Belizean House of Representatives conducts itself when compared to some foreign parliaments.
Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, Belize Rural Central Area Representative:
I believe that the sergeant at arms that we have now—not only has he been found drinking or harm to a woman back in 2006 and charged a hundred and fifty dollars, but I have personally seen the conduct of him draining the bottle of Belikin outside of this House, and his behavior and conduct out in public, urinating in public,and now we have a situation here., Mister Speaker.
Anthony Boots Martinez, Port Loyola Area Representative:
Mister Speaker, I have a point of order. When somebody’s standing orders say matters must be of national importance. What that has to do with a man di drink wah Belikin beer pr whatsoever the drink. Unu di get personal; that dah unu problem.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow:
To be uttering that sort of character assassination. Man, make a formal report to the speaker. The question of how this speaker governs the employees of the House is a matter for the speaker to raise this. And if she did that the speaker would no doubt show a fair play…natural justice where any accusation that you want to make can be put to the sergeant and the speaker will give him a chance to defend himself. To just get up and malign the man like that without him getting a chance to defend himself…You talk about mean; that is mean.
To get up and to say that she saw the chairman of arms urinating out there, then I nearly wah ask…like dah weh. If she see the sergeant of arms urinate, dah weh size? Mister Speaker she is asking for it. I know that the sergeant of arms is a man of many ladies so she coulda answer that question to me all the while weh I mi wah know. You understand.
And the things I know about fi you husband weh dehn tell me. You have ought to be very careful.
On Thursday morning the phone lines at PlusTV’s morning show were all abuzz with regular citizens who had a lot to say about parliamentary behavior and what they would like to see in terms of honorable behavior in the House.
Caller: 1 According to Mr Barrow and Mr Perryfette, what I saw, it was more accurate to say it is a COURT of representatives not a HOUSE.
Caller: 2 As the people become fed up with the politicians and the way they behave in the house, the politicians themselves as well, they reach boiling point and we don’t want to see it turn to bloodshed but that seems the direction it will take
Caller: 3 All these things happening at the Parliament is just a show, like professional wrestling; they put on a show, entertainment for the people, so the people can say they are doing something. Nothing is happening all of them cover with the same blanket.
Caller: 4 I’m really at a lost for words of what is happening in the country, are they really serious? With all the distraction, i hope all the people are smart enough to realize that they are all playing games. this is polytricking at the highest level. this is high end stupidity; no kind of intellect, no logic, no sense, no respect for the House… I think my country is gone because if that is what you call governance and politicians then I don’t know.
Caller: 5 I tell the politicians that that kind of circus will not work because none of them want to fix the problem. With the stroke of a pen they can fix the problem and put things into effect. You hear what they are saying? At the end of the day the constituents will tell, but they pay off the constituents,,, so at the end of the day nothing will happen; on both sides.
Caller : 6 Only the people can save the people…. and we must understand that. We need to go back to history. Anywhere in the world where change has happened, it is because the people stood up together and made that change.
Caller: 7 You don’t have the words to describe how it feels. if these are our leaders who act like that it makes you wonder, what are they thinking!
Caller: 8 What we looked at yesterday was very disheartening Here we are on the ground understanding that there are many real issues facing our country. we are looking at the plight of our families and that is one that deserves urgent support.
Caller: 9 I am disappointed. I sit now and i do not know who to vote for. My daughter, who is a young first time voter, said to me “Ma those are the kinds of people you vote for, sorry I will not vote!”
Caller: 10 I don’t know why people are so disappointed at the politicians when we are the ones who vote for them. We put them in. Politicians are a reflection of the people.