Published On: Fri, Feb 9th, 2018

A sign of weakness

By Hilbert Haar

The abuse of short term labor contracts has been a bee in the bonnet for many a politician over the past years. Friday was the time to pass legislation that would have been a good step in the right direction but the opposition parties stayed away from the meeting of parliament where this decision could have been taken. And therefore, chairman MP Theo Heyliger had no other option than closing the meeting; it will be rescheduled for another day.

So what is this all about? Are our parliamentarians there to serve the interests of the people who, so some of them claim, suffer enormously from these short-term contracts? Or are they there only to serve their own agenda?

Here is the argument from the opposition (I can hear them already). The new majority of eight consisting of the UP faction,  the DP-faction and USp-MP Chanel Brownbill was not complete.

That’s true: Brownbill and UP-MP Franklin Meyers were absent.

The argument that the opposition is not there “to give the coalition a majority” is old and getting very tiring, especially because frustrating the legislative process always goes at the expense of the people politicians are supposed to represent.

The United St. Maarten party faction – Frans Richardson, Chanel Brownbill and Silvio Matser (who hasn’t been seen in parliament for a long time) were absent.

Also missing in action were National Alliance MPs George Pantophlet, Drs. Rodolphe Samuel, Hyacinth Richardson and Romeo Pantophlet.

Of all these representatives of the people, only Romeo Pantophlet had the decency to give notice of absence for reasons unknown.

What do the people who work themselves to the bone from one 3-month contract to the next one have to think about all this?

I know what I would think about this kind of behavior, but then, I’m not on a 3-month contract. If I had been under such contracts for a long time, I would never forgive the politicians who chose to frustrate the approval of legislation designed to help me get out of this misery.

I would tell my friends to tell their friends to tell their friends (and so on) to take notice of what is happening here and to take this event under consideration on February 26. I would also tell them that these politicians can stick their request for my vote in a place where the sun never shines.

I also wonder whether all this is the behavior of grown politicians or the behavior of little children throwing a tantrum because they did not get their ice cream.

One thing is for sure: staying away from such crucial meetings is a sign of weakness, and certainly not a sign of strength. Remember this on February 26.