Know Your Political History for all secondary schools

POSTED: 02/1/16 7:28 PM

The legacy of Edgar Lynch

St. Maarten News – The book Know Your Political History by Edgar H. Lynch, and co-authored with his brother Julian, will be distributed to all secondary schools and the University of St. Martin in memory of the fifth anniversary of the passing of Edgar Lynch.

In commemoration of his birthday and the fifth anniversary of the demise of my late husband Edgar H. Lynch, social activist, politician and author, the book Know Your Political History which he co-authored with his brother Julian Lynch, will be distributed free of charge to all secondary schools on the island and the USM. Each school will receive ten copies of the book for use in the classroom and their library,” Ombudsman Dr. Nilda Lynch-Arduin stated in a press release.

In a time of political turmoil and uncertainty it is important to reflect on, and study the political history of the island to avoid a merry-go-round in seeking solutions to deal with election reform, Lynch-Arduin said. “In a climate where party loyalty meant, and in a way still means, loyalty to a political leader rather than a party philosophy, the lately much discussed Lynch-law was created. In the absence of a democratic decision-making structure within political parties to determine the sequence of the candidates featured on a political list, the decision of who would be representing the people after an election, rested practically solely in the hands of the political leaders. Party leaders were mainly responsible to determine the position each candidate got on the list. As such the decision of the persons elected from each slate to represent the people, in fact rested with the political leader, notwithstanding the amount of votes each candidate received from the electorate.”

The Lynch-law was drafted and ratified to empower the people, the electorate, Lynch-Arduin said. “The Lynch-law ensures that the voice of the people prevails by providing that the highest vote getters on a party slate are elected to represent the people in Parliament in accordance with the amount of seats obtained by each party. This system of electoral reform calls for political maturity of both the electorate and the politicians elected by the people to represent them.”

Lynch gracefully bowed out in 2003 when he lost his seat in the Island Council to George Pantophlet by a mere difference of three votes, Lynch-Arduin added. “Pantophlet got the confidence of three more citizens to represent the people in the then Island Council, and Lynch totally agreed with the fact that he had to vacate his seat. The people had spoken and made their choice.” Guarantees for proper representation in Parliament therefore greatly lies in the hands of the electorate, the people going to the polls, Lynch-Arduin said. “How to deal with the trust of the people, after the votes are cast, is a matter of each individual elected to represent the people, and take care of the country’s affairs. As such, giving one’s vote to a person with a track record of competence, trust and reliability is vital. This was the premise by which Lynch championed the so called Lynch-law, the present electoral law.”

The Ombudsman stated that knowing our political history is important as the leaders of the country again seek to introduce electoral reform. “In memory of my late husband Edgar H. Lynch, together with his son Edgardo Lynch and the Board of Foundation EWA, we continue to contribute to social awareness and shaping our nation through the youth. By donating to all schools at secondary level and the USM ten books each of Know Your Political History in the coming weeks, we continue Edgar’s legacy; his love and plight to empower people. May his love for Sint Maarten, strong believe in the principles of a democracy, and his concerns for the wellbeing of the people of Sint Maarten continue to be felt through the August research he did in compiling the information to write Know Your Political History.”

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