Monday , February 26 2024

Opinion: Party strategies: how does it work inside?

Dear editor,

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.

Original email exchange
Original email exchange

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.

Kees Jansen

Freelance journalist

(shortened by editor)

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Opinion: Is a new school a solution for SCS issues ?


  1. Can’t imagine why the people of Saba wouldn’t be in an uproar about this. Smells of corruption, wrong doing, abuse of position along with other bad stuff.
    And some people want to reelect this party? After all it’s a party philosophy isn’t it.

  2. While I do not condone the above letter, I am sure if we knew what happened in the other camp some of us would be astonished as well.
    Is this letter not sent to SLP’s number #1 supporter, DL?

    “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)”

    Mr. Jansen, you do not seem to be a very objective journalist.
    While shedding light on “the devil we know,” why not shed some light on the ones we do know? I think, perhaps that is more important.

    Although, unlike you, we do know much about the member of the opposition….

    WJ may be a part of the WIPM party, however is not the only one. And he has not served in government for the past two terms.
    The WIPM programme refers to the ones running now, and those are the ones who we should judge. A whole party cannot be judged on the actions of one man. The same of which can be said about the SLP party.

  3. Dear Hassell,
    I do believe that both my articles are objective because they are based on verifiable facts, not opinions nor gossip.
    There may be other issues that are not discussed here, but that does not change the facts.
    Note as well, that I am describing what has happened in the past. Subsequently,I compare this history with what is expressed in the party programs.
    Of course I cannot comment on performance of the opposition because as they have not been in government for many years. A given track record can raise problems, in particular if it is a negative one.
    But note that I have clearly stated that “the Devil you do not know yet” may well perform in a similar way as “the Devil you know”.
    You may always contact me at

  4. Mr. Jansen you seems to know plenty. your informers keepin you well fed!
    plenty funny business going down this campaign, I heard of a story just yesterday, all i ga say is it was FRIGHTENING
    all i ga say is that saba people watch out. hurtful is to see how we own local government given good jobs to non sabans. just imagine given a good job that could be for a local saban to a stranger -non saban. this job at the planning office could have well be given to one a we own. it goes to show mE people what they got for we. planning and recycling (spelletjes aan het spelen) its a jig saw puzzle.

  5. While it seems that the SLP candidates have been calling for a change they seem to be up to the same old tricks as usual. The copy of the email that was published by Kees Jansen (who is himself an enigma, more on that later) is the same regurgitation (literally) of an email that was sent around during the elections when the SUDP ran under the leadership of Steve Hassell. The only difference then was that he was united with another Peterson and they had the same WIPM Party as a common foe. It’s a bit strange that this email didn’t pop up in the two previous elections but somehow pops up whenever Mr. Hassell and one of his allies unites to launch guerilla attacks against the WIPM.
    What Kees Jansen, as a journalist fails to ask is what a letter that was discredited as soon as it was published 12 years ago surfaces now and is somehow supposed to expose what exactly?? What should really be asked is who is paying the pied piper that is Mr. Jansen for his time or rather his so called independent words? Maybe we should question why it’s ironic that Kees Jansen is a literal Dutch translation of Chris Johnson. That’s right, just check it out for yourself.

    The spelling of the name Rollie in the email, the present leader of The WIPM party has always shortened his name to Rolly and surely his party mate and supporters would have followed suit.

    There was already an investigation done on this email at the time and it concluded that the authors were fictitious and that their intentions were to malign the WIPM party and its leader during the heat of an election campaign (déjà vu maybe?)

    And of course there is the issue of the real Kees Jansen (please stand up). While he has appeared out of nowhere, with seemingly altruistic intentions, on further investigation it seems that his intentions are just a bit more nefarious. Why would a so called freelance journalist wait until the heat of election campaign to make comparisons of a political process that he is not a part of, unless maybe he IS a part of it. When you google Kees Jansen there is one freelance journalist that pops up with a twitter feed and he is not even concerned with Dutch politics, let alone politics on our beautiful 5 square miles. A freelance journalist makes his money by selling his stories and to be a good freelance journalist you have to raise your profile, so why is the profile of Mr. Kees Jansen so hidden and his agenda so secret.

    Maybe and just maybe it’s because Kees Jansen is the mouthpiece of a party with no spokesperson, a party that has not been able to speak for itself, and has used surrogates to relay its message for the entire election. It’s a week before the elections and there are still no indications who their commissioners will be, I shudder to think what surrogates they will use then.

  6. Sabaan, while I agree that our locals should receive first preference for jobs.
    I do not believe they should receive jobs that they are unqualified for.
    That should motivate our young people to strive to become educated and skilled for the job they want, instead of thinking Government will hire them anyway.
    (shortened by editor)

  7. For our young ones to get the jobs they need the right education at the school. This is not happening right now as many of our youngs Dutch is not high enough of a level so they cant go to holland and CXC not preparing them for universities in America. Sounds to me like they have no chance at all and that is a crime in my opinion
    Note Editor: this discussion moving away from the content of the post. Could we please stay focussed?
    Thank you.

  8. If this letter was demonstrated to be forged and discredited all the way back in 2003 by the public prosecutor, wouldn’t it be proper if it was removed from Sabanews? That’s sending a very confused message to readers. Check your sources, Kees. #1 rule of any argument.
    (shortened by editor)