The Inter-Parliamentary Kingdom Consultation IPKO opened earlier this week with a call for more collaboration and understanding to face mutual challenges. Delegation leaders of the Netherlands, host Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten used these and similar terms like working together, unity in every aspect, constructive dialogue, embracing diversity, solving bottlenecks, etc.
On the other hand, several Members of Parliament (MPs) from St. Maarten spoke of “breaking” the kingdom charter, “getting out” and “not getting anywhere” during a debate on the democratic deficit (see related story). If this seems a bit contradictory, it probably is.
Rather than saddling the public with mixed messages, local politicians who talk independence should make it their main campaign issue for the next election and explain clearly not only what they want but exactly how and when they plan to achieve such, as well as possible impacts on residents’ daily lives and legal rights. The result would then give an idea of citizens’ support for this position, while those involved voted into office could be better held to their promise.
However, no significant change to the current constitutional status can be entertained without a new referendum. After all, during the most recent one a majority democratically opted to remain in the Dutch kingdom and that must be respected until there is a different outcome.
Any such fundamental choice must be left up to the people. “Vox populi, vox Dei.”