Opinion: Empty promises of politicians in the electionsPOSTED: 07/31/14 10:43 PM
Elections bring out the best and the worst in people, candidates and potential voters alike. The traditional mudslinging does not surprise anyone anymore but it is getting old and it does not impress the thinking part of the electorate at all.
Surprisingly, and this is a recurring theme, candidates are always promising change (because the current government did everything wrong – or did nothing at all) and the electorate is actually expecting that this change will materialize. This is of course an illusion, a political fata morgana that somehow has managed to survive in the human psyche throughout the ages. The reality is completely different. If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.
In 2008, the world practically got a collective political orgasm when Barack Obama was elected as the first black president in the United States. In itself, this seemed to be a tipping point in American history. After six years of Obama the question is what his legacy will be when he leaves office in 2016 and, maybe even more importantly, which changes the American electorate is expecting from the inevitable change of the guard.
Back home, we have seen a long stretch of DP-dominated governments, followed by UP-dominance and a brief stint at the helm by the National Alliance. Even when the DP was nearly obliterated in the 2010 elections, it was still holding the key to power with its two seats because no party won an absolute majority.
This time around, both the UP and the NA are aiming for that absolute majority – in our opinion a mission impossible in the true sense of the word. That begs the question which party will end up with the keys of the castle – the DP or Frans Richardson’s USp.
Will it make a difference in the lives of ordinary citizens? That would be nice, given the thirst for change, but do not hold your breath.
Who is going to call the government-owned companies to order to make sure that the economy of those companies no longer outpaces the national budget by – attention please – 200 million guilders?
Who will finally put a stop to the abuse of short-term labor contracts?
Who will bring about legislation to ban single use plastic grocery bags?
Who will establish the Gaming Control Board and get a grip on the casino industry?
Who will agree to decrease the bloated salaries of our parliamentarians and ministers?
Who will support the initiative for open government – with full public disclosure of the assets of elected and appointed political functionaries?
Who will really do something to modernize the tax system and catch up with those who do not pay their fair share?
This list of questions is as long as the Great Wall of China. It goes on and on, and it proves that, for one reason or another, change is nothing more than an empty promise.