Published On: Thu, Jan 25th, 2024

Community involvement

We have always thought that elections are the ultimate form of community involvement but after reading a press release from informateurs Dr. Nilda Arduin and Drs. Candida Joseph we have to reconsider this assumption.

The informateurs have invited “selected civic organizations and government-owned companies” to offer their considerations about the January 11 elections. Their press release does not say which organizations and companies belong to the selected few. Is GEBE part of it? The Nature Foundation? The teachers union? We have no idea.

Still, the impression we get is that our informateurs want to do a thorough job. At the same time we wonder why they would even ask organizations and companies for their opinion about the elections. After all, companies don’t vote; the people who work there vote and if they have done their civic duty they have already expressed their opinion by casting their votes.

The informateurs obviously have to work in a rather awkward environment where four parties have already signed a coalition-agreement. The thought that the informateurs can go home and do something useful will enter the mind of quite some people, unless their objective is to break the agreement signed by NOW, DP, PFP and URSM.

What are the informateurs going to do with the feedback they will get from the selected civic organizations and government-owned companies? Theoretically it is possible that they will all denounce the four-party coalition agreement and express a preference for the return of the National Alliance to government. It is not likely, but it is possible. What will our informateurs do then? Suggest to the Governor that he should ignore the coalition-agreement and give the NA a shot at forming a parliamentary majority to support a new government?

We don’t think that this will happen but we suppose that in politics anything is possible.

If we look objectively at the results of the election, two things are clear. The National Alliance became the largest party, with four seats in the new parliament. That’s nice, but it is not a majority, even if the party were to join forces with the decimated UP: Four plus three is seven, so they would still need one of the four smaller parties to get a majority of at least eight in the 15-seat parliament.

It is also clear that the four losing parties quickly found each other to form a majority.

Winning the elections and losing the formation is nothing new. Not that it happens all the time, but it does happen on occasion and there is not a darn thing anyone can do about it.

In the Dutch elections in 1977 the PvdA won an astonishing 53 seats, the highest score ever for any political party. But the victory was not enough: after 208 days of formation-talks, the PvdA was left out in the cold or rather, in the opposition.

The election-victory of the NA can obviously not stand in the shadow of this historical monster-result, but still. The NA did become the largest party and could rightfully dream of another four years as the leader of the government. But as things stand now, that is not going to happen.

Is that sad? Is it unfair? We would say: it is the reality and we all will have to get used to it, whether we want it or not.


Related articles:
Informateurs involve community in consultations
Governor appoints two informateurs
New coalition warns outgoing government against practicing departure policy
Coalition intends to align manifestos by February 3
Winners and losers: four top candidates were outvoted
Comfortable win for National Alliance