Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Prince Harry and politics, past and present

driving through Succotz

 Prince Harry is coming to Benque and Succotz this weekend.  Or, as officially reported, he will be attending an art exibit at the immigration facilities and exploring Xunantunich with children from the Belize special olympics. It all sounds very fancy... much more so then saying he will be at the border crossing in Benque (with art provided by local school children) and then take a little tour of the ruins in Succotz :)  I'm considering some sort of installation in my front yard, since you can see my house from Xunantunich.  Perhaps some goats eating a British flag?  Cows wearing outrageous hats?  I haven't decided yet if I will hang out at the grocery store in Succotz Saturday -- the store happens to be near the ferry to Xunantunich, so I would certainly get a glimpse of the Prince and his crew.  There is just something fascinating about royalty, I guess... but I'm especially fascinated by the juxtaposition of a figure I've seen in magazines with the humble little village I pass though every day.  I wonder if security will stop the ladies from doing their saturday laundry washing in the river?

vast amounts of red paint have been used to paint every single telephone pole in Cayo

Belize's General election is next week, and the two parties' colors are red and blue, which means the country is looking quite festive for a visit from British Royalty. The Prince's visit will be commemorated with a street in Belmopan being renamed for the Queen, and the unveiling of a new set of postage stamps with pictures of the Queen.  I find this deliciously ironic, since Belizeans are quite vocal with their opinions that all problems in Belize can be traced to it's colonial past.  Never mind that Belize has been independant for 30 years, and self-ruling for years before that.  Also never mind the huge, huge amounts of corruption present in politics.  For example, politicians are pretty open about  buying votes.  What can they do for you?  Some land, pay some tuition, or how about just cash?  The elections were actually called an entire year early, because the opposition party is currently in disarray, so the party in power openly decided to take advantage and hold the elections while the opposition is at their weakest.  It doesn't seem very sporting... It is also interesting to compare the election process here to that of the primaries in the States.  The date for the general election was set only about a month ago, so candidates have been scrambling.  There are no endless tours, or debates. Candidates don't really seem to have positions on issues. Sadly, the only questions for most are what will you give me? And are you red or blue?

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