Political sabre-rattling

By Hilbert Haar

Parliament can pass all the motions it wants but it won’t get the government to do something that it does not want to do. After all, a motion is nothing more than a request to the government. Over the past seven odd years we have seen many motions approved by parliament that resulted in zero action from the other side of the fence.

There is therefore not much reason to get excited about a motion that “resolves” to discharge Prime Minister Marlin of his duties and to call on the governor to make sure this happens.

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If anything, this motion expresses once more the disgust of a slim majority in parliament with the man who has now become their prime political adversary.

If the government politely (or, more likely, silently) decides to ignore the motion, parliament has only one option: sending the government home.

But since the new majority already sent the government packing with its motion of no confidence of November 3, this has become a moot point. Checks and balances only reach that far.

The same is true for the motion that “instructs” the Council of Ministers to in turn instruct its Minister Plenipotentiary Henrietta Doran-York to put the annulment of the decree to dissolve the parliament on the agenda of the Kingdom Council of Ministers in The Hague.

Fat chance that that is going to happen, no matter how much resentment there is – also among the population – about holding elections in January.

Considering all this, there is only one conclusion. The parliament, in its central committee meeting of last Friday, spent three-and-a-half hours on an exercise in window-dressing. It was nothing more than political sabre-rattling in an attempt to do as much damage to Prime Minister William Marlin and his party, the National Alliance.

It seems to me that it would have been more honest to say this loud and clear than to go through the charade of voting on motions, knowing that they will go absolutely nowhere. That could have been done within half an hour and it would have given everybody three hours to do something useful.

While political fights of this nature are to be expected and even while the new majority has expressed its opposition to holding elections, it is crystal clear that the campaign was already in full swing on Friday, while it officially begins on Monday when parties are going to submit their lists of candidates at the government administration building.

Expect more of the same in the weeks to come. It is not going to be a Merry Christmas.

Source: StMaartenNews http://stmaartennews.com/news/political-sabre-rattling/