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Oct 10th
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Where is Theo? His silence is deafening..

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Short Letter to the Editor‎:

‎With all the commotion going on...where is Theo? His silence is deafening..
Is he backing the Government's fight for new elections now? Is he READY? Curious to know...

Michael J. Ferrier

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 06 October 2015 16:51 )


“Ship-jumping” again!: Government of St. Maarten in Crisis Know your Constitution and Parliamentary form of Government

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As reported in the media, the perception that “amending the Constitution is the only solution to stop “ship-jumping” and the further continuing demise of Government on St. Maarten (4 times in just about 5 years) is utterly absurd and uninformed. Respectfully, Article 47.1 of the Constitution clearly defers such matters as the election and maintenance of Parliament, to be regulated by national ordinance. To this effect, the Election Ordinance (AB 2010, GT no.10) was ratified by the Government of St. Maarten December, 2010.
As such, to avert “ship-jumping”, the focus should be on amending the Election Ordinance which allows for (non-elected) Parliamentarians to indiscriminately break ties with their elected party list and align with another party list consequently causing Government to fall, which has become affectionately known as “ship-jumping”. To avoid such continuing political anomaly, this citizen has written and submitted to the Parliament of Sint Maarten a draft Election Ordinance Amendment Legislation (June 29, 2015). The objective of the Amendment Legislation is to “ensure the sanctity and rightful representation of the election results . . where elected non-elected Members of Parliament (could) declare themselves as “independent, align with a different party list/ political party . . . and render the premature fall of Government.” And yes, “new elections will not solve the “ship-jumping issue”, however, the afore mentioned Election Ordinance Amendment Legislation reform will.
With respect to the constitutionality of new elections or that “calling for early elections is unconstitutional” as also reported in the media, while this might appear to be a gray area to my mind it is quite constitutional. As Article 33.1 of the Constitution clearly states “the Prime Minster and the other Ministers shall be appointed and dismissed by National Decree.” This is further reinforced by Article 59.2, which states that “An order for dissolution shall also require new elections to be held for Parliament which has been dissolved and the newly elected Parliament to meet within three months.” The coming together, after the fall of government, of different parties and/or “independent” members of Parliament to form a new government, which was permissible under the Island Regulation of the Netherlands Antilles this is hardly consistent with ordinary norms of parliamentary government.
For a detailed understanding of St. Maarten governmental structure and parliamentary procedures see Julio R. Romney, St. Maarten: Our Constituent State Constitutional Framework, IAAS Publishers, 2013.

By Julio R. Romney

Last Updated ( Sunday, 04 October 2015 22:50 )

Stop the Insanity!!

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5 Governments in 5 years; That is Country St. Maarten's CLAIM TO FAME.....and all because we keep trying to work an electoral system that DOES NOT and WILL NOT function on St. Maarten. As long as there are politicians who enter the political arena on our island, who do not mean what they say, do not keep their "word", do not know how to practice "Country above self" and who will do whatever it takes to get into and stay in one of the 15 coveted Parliamentary seats that come with a handsome salary and a gorgeous benefit package, the insanity will continue.

I speak from experience, having run on the DP slate in 2014 and as such, I feel I can comment with authority about the type of people described above. For instance: MP Van Hugh Cornelius de Weever.
This politician hijacked the second DP parliamentary seat earned through party votes, INCLUDING my 129 and started the new 2014/2018 cycle of "I-am-going-to-throw-down-Government-if-I-do-not-get-what-I-want-notwithstanding-the-fact-that-I-am-not-popular-enough-to-get-elected-on-my-own".

To me it is obvious that our system of government, our very democracy, is rapidly becoming the subject of ridicule within the Kingdom, the region and the world. But forget what the rest of the world thinks of us...WHAT DO WE THINK OF OURSELVES? Why is it that, up to now, WE THE PEOPLE accept that a small group of politicians only pay lip-service to the problems of our electoral system, but do NOTHING to give up their lucrative payday as Members of Parliament and Ministers of Government. I challenge any one to show me one single concrete action that has been taken to stop the insanity where a single politician is elevated to Parliament on the coat-tails of a party leader, or combined party votes, to then promptly BOLT (JUMP) across the aisle with "his/her" seat.

Regardless now of how this latest session of political musical chairs plays out, the result will likely be that the usual suspects return in some form or the other. So WHY HAVE NEW ELECTIONS? Just so that the SAME bunch of politicians will be able to make even more promises, while pledging their loyalty to party and party leader as a convenient way to hop on to THAT particular party train to the promised land of a lucrative Parliamentary seat? Or is it to have Christmas come early for those that collect money and favors in return for their vote?

I think it is time to face facts St. Maarten. Our system is broken. Reality is, that we vote for people, not for parties. And only a limited few candidates get the majority of all votes. Their political coat tails are such that other (obscure, little known, or unpopular) political candidates are swept into office. Once in the “seat”, having taken the oath of office, a Member of Parliament, is given a huge amount of authority and power, irrespective of how much PUBLIC SUPPORT they PERSONALLY had. So, where is the democracy in this!?? Why is it that politicians running on a party slate do not actually have to share that party's principles, values and vision? The ease with which members of parties, once elected to office, can switch loyalty is proof that there is no party loyalty or shared party principles or beliefs! It is pretty sad that we have (and keep) a system in which a candidate, who is unable to earn the required PREFERENTIAL votes from the electorate, can hijack an entire government. SUCH A CANDIDATE MUST NOT BE ABLE TO TRADE HIS/HER SEAT.

If a candidate becomes an MP on the popularity of the party, and down the line they cannot, for whatever reason, remain loyal to that party, they should have two options: RESIGN AND VACATE THE SEAT, making it again available to the party, or alternatively, STAY WITH THE PARTY, VOTE THEIR CONSCIENCE and let the chips fall where they may (or as they say in USA Politics: Put on your big-boys' pants!). A Member of Parliament takes an oath of office to represent ALL of the people and not to be obliged to any individual or entity. Not towing the party line is allowed, but it takes GUTS, PRINCIPLES and VALUES. If a politician is sincere in working in the best interest of the people and also wants to stay true to principles of integrity, then he/she should be able to defend his/her view and stand up to his/her party. Trading, or otherwise negotiating deals with a seat in Parliament, for personal gain, is not acceptable. It simply has to stop. Let us eliminate the NOT-EMPOWERED JUMPER!

This means our electoral laws have to change and it will not happen without public pressure. The next government MUST make this change a priority.

For now, just as in 2013, 8 is more than 7 and as long as there is a majority in Parliament (unfortunately, no matter the characters), Ministers (in this case, a majority of whom did not run for office at that) should not be able to cause the dissolution of a Parliament that just gave them (the Ministers) a vote of no confidence (fired them).

Michael J. Ferrier

Last Updated ( Sunday, 04 October 2015 15:25 )

Quality Of Life on the Friendly Island

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We are often boasting about our economy and being a leader in the region when it comes to our cruise industry, our cargo distribution facilities and being a hub for travelers by air. There is the ever ongoing search for investors on our island to build our economy and to create jobs. Jobs are needed to guarantee an income to provide for the basic necessities and some (small) luxury items. We get that.
But is this what life is all about? We work (sometimes multiple jobs), pay for food, shelter, clothes and utilities and if we’re lucky we have bit left over to spend on other things. We hope to get quality education and health care for the taxes that we pay, drive on decent roads and basically hope to grow old. The aforementioned examples are some pillars, in which our Standard of Living is measured, but what about the Quality of Life? What about our happiness? Our ‘peace of mind’?
There are some things that can’t be measured in amounts of money, but that are worth investing in to preserve, build or eliminate. We can think of our environment (nature), safety, political stability, divorce rate, equality, freedom of religion, teenage pregnancy, leisure time with friends and family, etc. These are some of the things that can greatly influence our happiness.
Happiness also increases productivity and is a factor that decreases the crime rate. So, instead of only investing in projects that can increase our Standard of Living, we think that it is time to invest in the Quality of Life. Preserve what is left from nature, create leisure spots for families, show some political maturity and create an environment in which the less fortunate among us also can participate in our community.
Sjaoel “Shooz” Richardson
President Soualiga Social Movement.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 04 October 2015 10:53 )


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To the Honorable Chairman of the House of Parliament
And to the honorable members of parliament of country Sint Maarten
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Please permit me to draw your kind attention to the following problem taking place here on this lovely twin island of st martin we all love to call home home to the Dutch national as well as home to the French national
going back to the Concordia treaty when emancipation came to the north those slaves from the south shed their chains and ram across the border to the French side where they embraces freedom
some years later the movement reverse abandon by the French colonial powers of the day and left to fend for our self the French subjects ram back to the Dutch side to survive at the cause of sometimes given up their French nationality and the name given to them by their French slave masters in order to go to curacao to work with SHELL, or to Aruba to work with LAGO WE SAY THANK GOD FOR THOSE DAYS so you see st martiners has always been true to SAINT MARTIN DUTCH OR FRENCH TO US was secondary YOUR ARE A ST MARTINER FIRST WHEN TOURISM SMILE ON ST MARTIN IN THE EARLY SIXTIES it was great bay that lead the way and people came from French quarter , from st James from Ram beau  Saint Louis , Freetown Grand Case , French cul-de-sac (CULSAC LAVIER) COLOMBIER TO work in Great Bay , Little Bay, maho and Mullet Bay so from  After working together for so many years we cannot benefit the same pension because of a law that was made up in Curacao MISTER CHAIR MAN AND YOU HONORABLE MPs TODAY THAT YOU HAVE TAKEN THE DESTINY OF YOUR COUNTRY IN HAND
chevalier de l,ordre national du mérite
chevalier de l'ordre national du merite
president de la commission des affaires culturelles et cadre de vie

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 29 September 2015 13:34 )

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