Opinion: Theater

POSTED: 11/9/12 12:34 PM

We agree with United People’s party interim faction leader Sylvia Meyers-Olivacce made a valid point with her complaint about the abrupt adjournment of yesterdays Central Committee meeting. The better part of the meeting was spent on condolences for Education Minister Silveria Jacobs and on congratulations for the re-elected President Barack Obama.

When the agenda point what the meeting was actually about came up, President Samuel said that he had received new information, that this information was unclear and that he therefore adjourned the meeting. Before any members of the committee could utter a word, the hammer came down and the meeting was over.

Is that the way to deal with Members of Parliament? We think President Samuel could have handled this situation differently. What’s wrong with giving those present the opportunity to say whatever it is they want to say?

Apparently, this was too much to ask and thus the meeting fizzled. The only one who got the opportunity to say something relatively meaningful was UP-MP Johan Leonard who commented on the mandatory shop closure on St. Maarten Day.

Leonard made clear that he does not support retailers who want to keep their shop open on that day, saying that the country’s national holiday needs to be respected.

When he wanted to elaborate on the subject, President Samuel intervened, saying that ‘notices are notices” and that there is no need to make more of them than necessary. Keep your notices short, he told Leonard.

The latter was not amused and muttered that this abuse must stop. “If I am unable to voice my opinion here, where do you want me to do that? I cannot go on a potato box in Front Street or Back Street.”

That last statement is obviously debatable, but we get the point.

Parliament and the central committee do not meet all that often and when they do most of the time is wasted on topics that have nothing to do with the agenda. And when an MP finally comes up with something the president is at the ready with his hammer to silence him (or her).

It makes one wonder: what is this all about? We’re not able to get a handle on this theater, but maybe others are better at getting to the bottom of it.


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