Editorial: Green partyPOSTED: 05/6/14 10:50 AM
The field for the August 29 elections is becoming increasingly interesting. The traditional contenders – UP, DP and NA – will get company from several upstarts with wildly varying backgrounds.
The latest addition is Rueben Thompson’s Citizens for Positive Change. Given Thompson’s background as an environmentalist, this signals the birth of the first truly green party in St. Maarten.
How the ideas of this newcomer will connect with the electorate is anybody’s guess right now. The elections season is still young, and the traditional big guns still have to fire their first shots.
Thompson’s turn to politics comes on the heels of a similar decision by the long-time (and now former) president of the St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association, Emil Lee, who will be a candidate for the Democratic Party.
The leaders of the traditional three – Heyliger, Wescot-Williams and Marlin – furthermore will have to compete with Frans Richardson’s United St. Maarten Party (USP), Lenny Priest’s One St. Maarten People Party (OSPP), Jacinto Mock’s Social Reform Party (SRP) and possibly also with Jeffry Richardson’s Concordia Political Alliance (CPA).
Upstart parties do not have a good track record, as the experience of the CPA in 2010 shows (125 votes or there about) but this does not mean that they do not have a role to play. In the end, the voters decide and this time around, they have plenty to choose from.