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Feb 20, 2018

Attitudes Must Change on Campaigning and Financing

Mark Lizarraga

What was once whispered about has now, in some quarters, been stated openly: no money, no vote! With municipal elections two weeks away, it is open season for vote-buying or trading favors of any kind is very much. But there is a message from the business community through Senator Mark Lizarraga tonight: the monies spent to buy votes on and before March seventh will cost us all in the long run. He also addresses the importance of re-registration of voters and keeping the government lean, but not mean.


Mark Lizarraga, Senator for the Business Community

“In the business [community’s] manifesto, ‘Change for Progress,’ we called for many things to strengthen the systems that we have. One of the things we called for was this whole campaign finance reform and this whole environment in which we have elections. We know that we have to have re-registration. We are not convinced that we have to have redistricting, but we know we have to have re-registration. Perhaps there are some adjustments that need to be made in some districts for size but we’re not thinking we need to have more constituencies. So we want to make government leaner, not bigger. We realize that many politicians and many citizens participate in what is illegal, because you should not collect money for your votes and you should not offer money to people to vote for you; that is against the law. So we hope the authorities and the people that come to monitor elections will be very observant and will stop that or try to slow it down. But the most important thing we have to realize as Belizeans and as Belizean voters is that this money, at the end of the day – trust me, if you get fifty dollars as a taxpayer it’s going to end up costing you a lot more than that. So at the end of the day, we pay for it.”

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