PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Just like everywhere in the world, election time on Sint Maarten spawns heated debates. Especially in a country that has known too little stability over the past six years, mud slinging season has officially started who is responsible for what. As every Sint Maartener’s right to an opinion is preserved by our constitution, we are allowed so. Even though I highly underline that freedom to say anything, in this article I will argue that for the sake of our future, we should keep ethical boundaries in place for a workable future for our country.
One of the key mud slinging arenas of the past weeks has been that around the new hospital. As much has been said about that, I want to stick to the facts. Not because the honorable Minister Lee is a fellow party member, but because I myself am a man of facts and figures. In my opinion, and so I feel is the word on the streets, has Mr. Lee made a well-calculated case for creating better health care for Sint Maarten. As a social insurance professional involved in healthcare, both the process and its result are sound.
Having had support of several of the most highly regarded institutions in a fully transparent process, ten years from now, my guess is there will be no Sint Maartener regretting the decision made by the selection committee. Next to that, depending on who will be governing soon, we might have put the money to worthier use. As a matter of fact, this might have been the flagship of change to the better on Sint Maarten. To go brief, as they sometimes say, numbers don’t lie. As a corporate strategist involved in health and social insurance, I know when the process and numbers are sound, it is difficult to mount a defense.
But, as oftentimes, it appears we are a creative nation. If a reasonable case is made, opposing factions get creative in their irrationality. Unfortunately, a strong and transparent hospital case has led to attacks of a level of slander that fortunately were hitherto unknown to our young country. It is unfortunate, that it had to start at this elections, with the health of Sint Maarteners at stake.
As a principled and religious man, holding values in high regards, a specific situation struck me especially. A postcard sized political handout my ten year old daughter recently brought into our family home. Within the Belvedere area, a politician carrying the title of MD, appears to be spreading handouts of coffins. It insinuates how Sint Maarten’s government, health care providers and health insurance provider led or will lead to death, sorrow and destruction if you would not vote for him. Whether it was targeted specifically towards people like my daughter still being perceptive to dangerous assumptions or reached her “by accident”, I think the politician in question has made Sint Maarten politics reach unknown depths.
And with this flyer, Sint Maarten might have even breached ethical boundaries beyond. I am pretty sure that within the Kingdom, no party ever insinuated that another one caused death and destruction amongst its own civilians. Neither do I think in our own Caribbean region a party portrayed this lack of values.
And even if some deviant Caribbean party did so, let’s pray they did not recklessly distribute these in an area with families. With small children barely able to read, receiving a message visually stating a future Sint Maarten hospital, not proposed by his party, will be leading to deaths. Lastly, for that generation able to read and critically think like that of my daughter’s, bringing in the flyer alarmingly, it is a very bad showcase of what apparently is allowed during election time.
I call on the party responsible not to spread these dangerous and highly incendiary insinuations secretively in possibly perceptive neighbourhoods and persons, but show the lack of social responsibility and values in plain sight. As a man of principles, I neither support slander, nor lies. But even more less so, do I support secretly spreading shocking and misleading message amongst vulnerable people, acting differently in daylight. Only by a transparent discussion, people can make up their minds properly who align with their personal principles, and who deserves their vote during these important elections.
Moreover, the values we let go during elections, will be difficult to repair after. The more unethical and less adult our political standards get, the less stability we will get back. And the less stability we will get back, even more less will our country be able to live up to our motto “Always Progressing”.
DP Candidate No#7
“Because Principles Matters”