Editorial: Reform

POSTED: 07/8/14 2:38 AM

The statements made by the Prime Minister about the Council of Ministers left us both disturbed and surprised. That there is the possibility under our chosen system of government for ministers to not know what the other is doing once their budgets have been approved is clearly disturbing for obvious reasons.

We have advocated that the previous system of collective responsibility under the Executive Council when St. Maarten was a part of the Netherlands Antilles was more satisfactory and left all commissioners aware of what their colleagues were doing.

While giving an excellent Minister freedom to truly execute his or her policies can be beneficial, the flip side is that this current system also leaves us vulnerable to the whims of a reckless Minister who could possibly do serious damage to the island’s economy and reputation. A return to a collective decision making executive is preferential.

But to do that will mean having to amend the constitution, and that means actual work for our parliamentarians, and that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

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