The Second Chamber Debate, the Also-Rans

The list of also-rans includes a few proofs that our democratic system works, because otherwise it’s hard to explain how these people rose to prominence. They did because they pushed it, no other reason, and you could start your own political party too, if you so wish, the infrastructure is in place.

KVK’s president Omar Tromp gave a small election resume at the end of the second Chamber of Commerce & Industry debate. He stated we are a politically conscientious island with 86.3% of voters showing up in 2009, 84.8% in 2013 and 83.9% in 2017, and we should continue to show interest in voting because the right to do so is being denied in many other countries and we should make time on Friday to cast a ballot.

A total of 70.281 persons enjoy the right to vote here. The post office delivered 69,805 cards printed by the Registro Civil y Censo to homes around the island. Many have also reportedly visited Censo personally, to obtain a duplicate of the carchi or claim one. The Censo has been busy.

We have less people eligible to vote on the island, less than in 2017, thanks to a purge, a careful cleanup of the records on file, thus if 85% of eligible voters do visit one of the 70 polling stations on Friday, those votes will be spread over 21 parliamentary seats. It means that to obtain a seat in parliament a party must collectively amass 2,844 votes — as each candidate campaigns, all votes are pooled and tallied.

Two seats? That’s 5,688 votes of confidence. Not easy. If you have a full list of 29 candidates, it’s much easier.

Tromp also mention there are 176 candidates in the run, campaigning for 12 parties, an impressive number.

I noticed there is considerable dirt being dug up these days, in a last minute effort to derail plans.

The No Parade rule on Sunday, did not seem to hold: Traffic was slow in Oranjestad, mostly bogged down by green flag bearing clunkers. I wonder what Santa Cruz looked like that day.

Back to the second KVK debate.

Seraida Pemberton, UPP. Her performance was marginally rated. I liked what she had to say, about not being a traditional politician, that she was not aggressive and did not speak loudly. She said her actions spoke louder than her words. But I did not appreciate the Swiss Model mention she repeated snuck into each of her debate segments, no doubt inspired by the forgettable Bochi Wever. Her last minute pitch was in English directed at SN and its people, who must rely on we, she said.

Ricardo Croes, RED. His performance was marginally rated, but the party got a 3% approval. True to his humorous ways, Ricardo displayed a sizable aluminum water bottle on his podium, with REFORM emblazoned in block letters. He stated we needed a Mental Reform, in order to do things differently. For once he didn’t mention weed, but what else could he have meant by Mental Reform?

Lisette Malmberg, PPA. Her performance was marginally rated, but the party got a 3% approval. She was the only political leader relying heavily upon the resolution of social issues. She used her hands emphatically, punctuating her plans for social support and all around CARE for the community, with clear gestures. I hope she makes it into parliament, as a watchdog for the disadvantaged.

Michael Williams, PP. His performance was marginally rated. Such silliness. Luckily he was cut off after one minute, and we didn’t have to listen to his tirade nor watch his jabbing finger any longer.

Alan Howell, POR. His performance was marginally rated. With his tie askew, Howell indicated he was prepared to go into coalition in the name of unity. He asked SN to trust him, because they deserved better! Just take his word for it.

Gilbert Webb, HTC. His performance was marginally rated. Just a jumble of words and fragmented ideas. He said he represents 85% of the pueblo. His only pearl? Asphalt and Lights, no enough for SN. And on that point, he is right.

Eric Ras. CURPA. His performance was marginally rated. Nice gentleman, old school. He worried about the elderly having to co-pay for their medications. He is the only one to mention his party’s website for more information seekers.

There was some considerable discussion about the Landspakket and COHO during the second debate. When polled 78% of viewers were positive about it, and 80% thought it was designed to improve the island’s financial standing. Which is positive result.

As for the question whether Dutch should be taught as a second language, it wasn’t worded right because it never mentioned Dutch as a foreign language, as an option. People just don’t understand the difference, that teaching it as a foreign language would help the kids, greatly

Last but not least: we have 14% undecided among debate viewers.

The countdown is on!


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June 22, 2021
Rona Coster