Opinion: Election mood

POSTED: 12/20/13 11:58 AM

Finance Minister Martin Hassink came up with a more than reasonable answer to allegations by his predecessor Roland Tuitt yesterday. In terms of credibility, we rate Hassink’s point of view much further up the ladder than Tuitt’s lame attempt at political mudslinging.

The question is of course why Tuitt bothers at all. Is he preparing for a return to the political arena? His record in bringing a decent budget in a timely manner to parliament is rather disastrous. In that sense, Tuitt has not much to be proud of.

His well-intended move to get rid of the annual song and dance with number plates ended in disaster because he forgot to put legislation in place to ensure that all motorists would pony up. That has cost the state this year around 1.5 million guilders in missed and unrecoverable revenue – money his successor Hassink could have used for the internal control department that Tuitt criticized this week.

But where are we going with these stories? Expect more of the same in the months to come, because the opposition is already in election mood. It will be interesting to see the performance of the parliament in the months leading up to next summer. Already its performance is lackluster at best with just four pieces of legislation approved in the previous parliamentary year, while the current year does not look much better.

Representing the people, as many of our current crop of politicians likes to say, is apparently a cumbersome business. How else can it be explained that among the legislation that was approved there is – with the exception of the budget – close to nothing that affects the lives of “the people”?

Should we be proud of a wayward independent MP like Romain Laville, playing Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs and bringing home after – according to his own statements – two years of talking a twinning agreement with Newark? Should we knock our politicians maybe firmly on the head to shake them up and to demand real action for real people that are dealing with real problems every day while their tax dollars are spent on so-called business trips abroad?

They say that every country gets the government (and the parliament) it deserves. This is also true for country Sint Maarten and such is the logic of the constitutional state where every vote counts and where – unfortunately – money and free fridges do most of the talking. The big numbers do not lie: the electorate is serving us what we asked for, so complaining after the fact is too little too late.

The alternative is obviously to step up to the plate and enter the political arena. But who in his right mind wants to be there when characters like Laveist, Laville and Illidge cling for dear life to their seats? Indeed, who? Anybody out there?

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