Opinion: Politics 101

POSTED: 04/15/14 11:38 PM

It promises to be another exciting week in politics. As usual, it is hardly possible to get official confirmation of anything, but this is what we heard.

The Democratic Party will apparently embrace both Bada Bing expert Patrick Illidge and the shadow Minister of Economic Affairs, Romain Laville, as candidates on its list for the upcoming elections that will now take place on August 29.

Nothing is official yet, of course, so don’t shoot us if things turn out differently in the end. We also heard that former SHTA-President Emil Lee will be on the DP-list. If this turns out to be true, we wonder how Lee will reconcile his principles – that have always been clear as glass – with finding himself on a list with someone like Patrick Illidge.

The grandmasters of political chess at DP headquarters could already hold a majority in parliament with Illidge and Laville in the anti-UP camp. Together with the National Alliance, there would be a block of eight against 6 UP-MPs and the lone and blindsided independent MP Frans Richardson.

Again, if this turns out to be true, Thursday could very well be the last day in office for Vromi-Minister Maurice Lake. The veiled majority will not be so daft as to bring down the whole government – that would certainly not benefit them in the upcoming elections, whether they be held on the anniversary of Hurricane Luis or a week earlier. No, what this majority wants to do – or so we hear – is to send Lake packing and replace him with National Alliance leader William Marlin.

This way, Marlin would enter the elections as the celebrated minister of grand projects, a position that is sure to enhance his stature among the electorate.

Are we surprised to hear all this? Of course not. After all, politics is about power first and about the people later – much later.

We just discussed this issue with someone who, just like us, has noticed how the current parliament has totally bungled its legislative duties since 10-10-10. An example? Here is a very simple one: the legislation to outlaw single use plastic grocery bags – those ugly pieces of plastic that pollute the environment and that threaten the wellbeing and the lives of animals on land and at sea.

The proud proponents of this legislation – independent MP Frans Richardson and UP-MP Johan Leonard – seem to have forgotten all about their lofty initiative.

Why is something that seems to be so easy so complicated, if not impossible in St. Maarten? Here we get to the conspiracy-concept. In the United States they describe this as: I buy your bullshit and you buy mine. That ought to keep everybody happy, right? This is what makes the world go round, never mind that oceans are polluted and that fish and animals are dying due to our neglect.

Those who think that the change of a single minister (or it could be two, we hear that another member of the cabinet might be sent back home as well) is going to make a difference, or that the outcome of the elections is going to bring about real change, will be sorely disappointed.

The powers that be define our destiny, not the (wo)man in the street with a single vote at her or his disposal.

 

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