Published On: Thu, Sep 8th, 2022

The idea behind Democracy

Dear Editor,

Democracy is defined as: ‘a system of government by the whole population or eligible members of a state or country, typically through elected representatives.’ Most countries execute democracy via representatives because it would be very difficult for the entire population to run the day to day activities of the country.

To allow Democracy to function, most countries use an electoral system to elect the representatives. These representatives are elected for a specific length of time and in a specific system. No country has a perfect system as can be seen in the United States as Trump almost blew that system up.

Here in St. Maarten we have a system that is also far from perfect and since 2010, we have been promised some form of change. Don’t hold your breath on that one. None of the political parties want any change because this system allows for members of parliament with hardly any votes to influence the way the island is run. All politicians like that.

Recently, we have heard the doctor, with his new party on radio hoping that government falls. Members of opposition, are also hoping the same thing. This is my problem with politicians. Democracy allows for an elected set of representatives to run the country for a specified period. Early elections are only put in place in case of the total non-functioning of the Government. However, since 10-10-10 we have seen that what we can consider functioning governments have been thrown down for what we can only call personal reasons. The same is true right now.

This government is not perfect, I don’t agree with everything they are doing but we must honestly admit that this government has been able to navigate through a pandemic, slow economy and now a shaky government with some successes. Even if you don’t agree, our system dictates we wait 4 years to decide on how to grade this government.

Not because a new party or members of opposition selfishly want early elections should this happen. Elections cost money. Not to mention we will have to be paying two Prime Ministers, two Ministers of VROMI, two Ministers of Justice, etc.. We have to pay for all this. Why? Because opposition thinks it is a good opportunity to win the election. Selfish politicians do not deserve our vote. Just wait until election is due and then ask us what we think.

Another issue is these bunch of parties, 20,000 voters and 7 or 8 parties. These multitude of parties is a main source of this government falling-thing. Can you imagine, opposition just sat down the other day in a press conference, a set of independent members and a few others. Imagine MP Christopher Emmanuel sitting next to MP Sarah Wescott-Williams defending each other. A set of those opposition members didn’t even get 300 votes but they want to have the power to decide our future whenever they see fit.

I don’t know about you, but something wrong with that system. I don’t expect any change because all parties like this system.

Name withheld on request

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