Country for Sale
It might sound like sour grapes when someone like me, who postulated on a list, complains about those that were elected and those that were dragged in on the coattails of the party leaders but at the risk of sounding bitter, you were warned.
In fact for numerous years now a few politicians and activist have been calling for campaign finance reform in one form or the other. In fact there was even a proposal made a few years ago but it never saw the light of day. The situation St. Maarten and Curacao find themselves in right now is partly due to politicians being bought by businesses.
Now I am not ignorant of the fact that even with campaign finance reform some vote buying would still occur but this would be on a retail scale instead of the wholesale scale we now experience every four years. Wholesale are hundreds of people lining up in front of politicians campaign offices or calling them aside during rallies to get a ‘lil help’.
The issues we are now experiencing with frivolous projects, (Simpson Bay Causeway) and continued exploitation of worker (Pelican saga) and the overall incompetence of this government is partly due to our country being for sale. Self enrichment schemes have been part of St. Maarten politics for years, hidden behind the veil of the Central Government and other red tape bureaucracy that was designed to keep local people poor and begging. How else would they maintain control by buying votes every few years?
We now experience the results of the ‘lil help’ many of us enjoyed just a few months ago. How many of us are still enjoying the ‘lil help’? How many of us know any of the 200 workers at Pelican? Those workers need more than a ’lil help’ right now. Think any of them can go to the elected officials? No, because those elected officials have already given a ‘lil help’ and have no more to give.
Let’s hope in the next election when politicians come to solicit your vote, your decision is based on a much more than a ‘lil help’.