It was all’s well that ends well in Parliament Friday, as the credentials of four incoming parliamentarians were approved without a hitch. Because they are to succeed former members who had already resigned as such to become Ministers, there was some concern about the possible lack of a quorum for the urgent meeting announced just a day earlier.
The Chair explained that as only 11 of 15 seats were now occupied, the remaining six of governing partners NA, US Party and DP still constituted a majority. However, with one coalition member off-island, cooperation from the opposition UP fraction was nevertheless needed and given.
The latter is commendable, as stated, certainly compared to recent events in Curaçao regarding a similar situation. People often tend to view Parliament as divided into coalition and opposition, but ultimately it’s one legislative body formed by representatives who took an oath to uphold the laws of the land and act in the best general interest in good conscience.
Too often one hears expressions such as “the votes are already counted.” While that may to a degree be true in practice, healthy debate and the exchange of ideas usually lead to better decisions.
May 2017 prove a year of excellence for St. Maarten’s relatively young Parliament in terms of more getting things done and less politicking. Perhaps a unanimous motion calling on Government to have utility company GEBE evaluate all existing plans and proposals for a local waste-to-energy plant and make recommendations on finally realising this long-overdue project would be a nice place to start.