I note with interest that persons of very different political hues (The Patriot and Russel Simmons?) are putting their minds to the question of the characteristics and personality of the most suitable candidates the voters should consider for our upcoming election.
We regularly read of the need for young fresh “untainted” candidates who would not be tied to the apparently “corrupted” establishment. If we studied the experience over the past seven years we have already had numerous of such younger persons who have succeeded in being elected but in practice their performance has not resulted in the anticipated success. Many have disappointed. Why?
Many of the comments about elected officials seem to suggest that those who do get elected quickly succumb to a change of heart and their will to “fight” for “the people” is lost. The assumption being that someone with a better mindset and dedication and less influenced by the “good life” would not be deterred in the same manner. The assumption appears to be that being “tainted” by the experienced establishment is the greatest danger.
I would submit that the persons elected do not suddenly have a change of heart once they become “politicians” but that instead they are more challenged by the complexity of government and the need to study, grasp and understand, than they are by some suddenly induced complacency and deviousness. I would submit that in this very young country the support for these newly elected and the tools at their disposal (training seminars, legal support) are grossly limited and that, as these are developed, matters will improve.
Ideally every Member of Parliament should have a law degree. Of course that is not going to happen in Sint Maarten. But clearly it would facilitate their functioning. Knowledge in Health Care, Economics, Public Finance, Public Administration would all be very useful. We are not going to see much of this. The most we can ask for is that our candidates have a substantial knowledge base, the will to learn and more importantly the capacity to learn. They should have the drive and the capacity to deal with extensive documents on complex subjects that use ridiculously complicated words. They must truly be able to supervise the executive branch as well as propose legislation to manage the entire country.
Candidates who have no understanding of how government works are most likely to focus on the morality and character of the competing parties. They will avoid focusing on the specifics of how they will improve matters for the people but rather focus on claiming greater determination and their “fight” for the people. You will hear them saying “we will do it better“ but they will avoid explanation of HOW they will do it better because they have not the understanding of the system to actually make it happen.