Reader’s Opinion: Respect democratic privacy

POSTED: 07/17/14 4:43 PM

Dear editor,

First of all, I must commend Jeffrey Richardson for his letter to the editor Violation of Privacy of July 16.

He dealt with the lack of privacy during the endorsement of the political lists inscribed for the August 29 parliamentary elections.

It must be said that the contents of both articles, reflect the sentiment of all democracy-respecting citizens on the island.

However, our movement is one of those who feel that the matter should be taken to yet another level.

Reason being, its profound seriousness and possible implications for our young democracy.

To start with, it should be reported to the Dutch government and also to the UN – just for the record.

This violation is too serious just to leave it up to hoping that our elected officials will correct the situation the next election around.

I daresay, that they most definitely will not do such – without serious pressure – that is from our community at large and from and others as well.

Fact of the matter is, that like many, I do not believe it to be some innocent mistake to omit guaranteeing the privacy of voters, as part of the electoral process.

And even if it were some innocent mistake – it simply should not have happened – period.

In my books, it is more some remnant of our political culture on the island, in which honesty and integrity certainly does not come naturally – if at all.

Therefore, being the very first and trendsetting parliamentary election, since we became Country St. Maarten it must be properly corrected from the onset, so as to set a very clear example for respecting not only the letter of the law, but more-so the very spirit of the law and of democracy.

To that end, it is hereby suggested – just like it happened in Curacao – to file a law-case against government, in order to let the politicians realize, that the electorate of this island means business, when it comes to defending its democratic rights.

In particular, Mr. Mock of the NRP, whose party clearly was put in a disadvantageous position vis a vis the other parties, as well as the leaders of the smaller parties, Mr. Jeffrey Richardson and Mr. Rueben Thompson should collectively file such a case.

At least, if they respect themselves as smaller parties, which also want to have fair shot at getting into elected office in due time.

Also, I make an appeal on His Excellency, Governor Drs. Eugène Holiday,  Ombudsman Dr. Nilda Arduin and other legal minds not to sit back and to play a safe game– but to come forward and make their contribution towards the protection of our budding democracy, in the name of the entire community and of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

If, they fail to respond, one should not be surprised, if our movement does exactly that – takes this to another level and to another platform.


Leopold James

President of the St. Martin Grassroots People Movement.


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