Fund Raising with Marisol

For Saturday, a digital invitation described a modest fundraising event in my neighborhood, given by Marisol Tromp, now on the POR list.

After arguing with Google Maps about the location of Salina Cerca 27 –  it first took me to the other side of the salina – I arrived at a family residence where Marisol was hosting an open house.  It was an informal affair, people came and went the whole afternoon, handing Awg 25 over to the volunteers and receiving a take-out meal ticket.

The political candidate, in high-heeled red platform shoes, skinny jeans and a cap, black tresses flowing, welcomed her guests with a high energy, engaging smile.

“My mother told me I will lose my liberty as a politician. At the beginning of my career I did not understand what she meant, but I know now,” she told her small audience. Then she went on to thank each and every one present for their support, by first, last name, and barrio of origin.

I greeted Marisol’s parents, living down my street for many years, had a beer and chatted with the candidate.  The way she explained it, the role of the support team, the vote-getters, is super-important, as each candidate creates a cadre of disciples, who in turn recruit other voters.

“My team has been with me from the very start she says, through a MEP government, to AVP and now to POR. I rely greatly on their help to make things happen.”

In my view, Marisol is in possession of good political instincts. While many locals fault her for moving her cheese from a Social Democrat, to a Christian Democrat, now to a Question-Mark Democrat party, I think as a politician she should be applauded for not fixating on traditional leadership, but marching to her own drum and seeking alliances across the political arena.

(Remember, she voted against party line, against the refinery, Good Girl!)

The island welcomed Marisol’s political debut enthusiastically. She entered the arena in 2001, fresh and dynamic with 4,708 votes, as a first time candidate. That is unusually high. She was #4 on the MEP list, and we were thrilled to usher an educated woman into government.

She climbed up the list to #2 in 2005, and collected 4,392 votes out of 22,002 for MEP. Still very strong.

But frustration set in, as the opposition harped on her friends & family brand of nepotism and in the 2009 election, as #2 on the list she garnered 2,880 votes out of 19,804 for MEP. In the last election, 2013, she occupied an honor spot, closing the list as #29, with 1,643 votes out of 33,114 for AVP.

Then mid-term she declared her independence and now she is part of the POR lineup presenting itself as a government alternative, and if reason prevails over undeserving loyalty, she will become a Minister under POR, when it forms a coalition with MEP, or AVP – who knows, politics make strange bed-fellows.

Before leaving I went to greet candidate Andin Bikker, and as is his custom, he complimented me on my looks and immediately wanted to know how my friends Carla was. At least he did not pay me his regular kill-joy compliment: “How good you look…for your age, like old wine.”

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July 17, 2017
Rona Coster