Crisis in St. Maarten


Since the political crisis hit a week ago, Mr.Edwin  Gumbs has been doing everything he can to convince us that calling for new elections is the wrong thing to do. He went as far as saying that article 59 sub 2 is not a real article but a technical one that should only be used to dissolve parliament every four years when elections are due.

The question is, why is article 59 technical but article 33 is not. Now don’t get me wrong, everyone has a right to their opinion but your opinion should not be stated as fact. On a news website there is an opinion from Dr. A. B. Rijn a Professor of Administration and Constitutional law contradictory to Mr. Gumbs. Dr. Rijn feels that if Parliament decides to give Ministers a vote of no confidence that the Ministers are in their right to dissolve Parliament.
So here we have two different opinions on the same issue one from a local gentlemen with experience in the field and one from a doctor of constitutional  law. There are arguments on both sides. The most important thing from my side is what the will of the people is right now. All arguments for not dissolving Parliament don’t seem to take the will of the people into consideration.
Why is it okay for 8 citizens to make a decision for the rest of us but when the Ministers decide to send the decision back to 19000 citizens it is seen as not democracy or wrong. This has nothing to do with politics, in a fresh election anything can happen.  Isn’t taking the decision back to the people the ultimate form of democracy?
What is also important is the way we seem to be tossing laws aside, having illegal meetings and making decisions that are not in accordance with the law. It has been discussed for several years that our system needs to be adjusted to better represent the will of the people and not the will of individual politicians and in some cases politicians that did not get many votes. If we look at the political crisis right now, we have three members of Parliament that among them don’t even represent 700 votes.
In the end, no matter which party you support, we must admit that what is going on now is not good for country. How do you think investors are looking at this fiasco internationally? How about tourist planning a vacation, with all this negative press about failing governments we have to be careful that we don’t lose a percentage of our visitors.
All this from 3 gentlemen that among them do not constitute even 700 votes in a 19000 vote constituent. So when you take a closer look at it, they represent a meager 3.7% of the possible electorate and if you include the entire population of an estimated 70000 this percentage drops to 1%. How is it possible that these gentlemen can even mention the word democracy when discussing their actions. It is clear to see even for a blind man this has nothing to do with the sitting government but it has to do with certain individuals that will do anything and I mean anything to be in government.
Leaving this government in office for the next 18 months was very scary for them. How would they win the next election if the people notice a move to indirect taxation and a broadening of the tax base, or the implementation of free schooling for high school students, the multiple road network improvements, better price control and I can go on. Now bear in mind every single thing I mentioned above could have been done years ago but wasn’t done by the same people that now want you to believe that they have our best interest at heart.
Yes we need to take a look at our political system and fix it but for now, find a petition and sign it. It doesn’t matter whether you support DP, UP, NA or whomever. We need to call new elections and let the people decide the way forward.  For those of you who claim it will all remain the same so you won’t vote, that’s your good right. However, bear in mind that by not voting you are allowing the same people to make a decision that you do not agree with. Maybe if you voted, the decision may be different.

Kendall Dupersoy