There is one week to go before the 2014 elections take place. I have received many reactions to my first opinion piece that you have published so kindly.
In this piece I would like to share with you what I have learned about the political culture on Saba. Of course, for obvious reasons, the current strategies within the parties will still be kept confidential, but there is enough historical information to explain how it works.
Let’s go back to the 2003. The WIPM party was in government led by Will Johnson. Their position was contested by the SUDP, led by Steve Hassell.
Among the original material that I received, was a copy of the following email exchange between a WIPM leader, WJ, and a supporter, DL.
The story starts when DL reports to WJ that C insists that the WIPM party should not try any longer to “convince” N to vote for them.
WJ responds to DL, that he can tell C that “…they can look after themselves from now on. It is every man for himself and all deals are off.” It seems that the election war is on.
WJ has decided that R will represent Saba as a senator in Curacao. WJ states that, once the elections are over, there is no need to hurry with the payments of the vacation money, as long as it is done before the end of the year. He does not write about what he thinks, how this will be received by the community. He states “The next elections won’t be for another 4 years anyway.” Here speaks a leader!
Subsequently another interesting subject is introduced: “We need to focus on clearing the obstacles left over from this campaign.”
Apparently WJ is aware of fishy things that have happened in the Housing Foundation by RW and in the Day Care by DL. It seems that LH is also aware of this and that she has announced that she would “go after” RW and DL. Then there is a proposed solution. Looking at the final results, that proposed solution did not work.
The WIPM did win the 2003 election. The WIPM appointed Will Johnson and Lisa Hassell as commissioners. There seems to be a price for everything.
The above gives an insight of the internal affairs of a political party on Saba. In this case, it is “The Devil you know.” This does not mean that the other party, “The Devil you do not know yet”, would be different, although they do claim that they want to change the way WIPM is governing Saba.
In contrast, the WIPM party has indicated that they want to continue to serve Saba in the way that they have been doing in the past: “We want to continue to work to develop our island in a way that will benefit all the people of Saba, including its culture, economy, social development, infrastructure, environment and overall social economic conditions. We want to provide the stability and leadership needed to continue the progress we are seeing.” (From the WIPM programme)
On March 18 the choice is yours.
(shortened by editor)