~ The Daily Herald ~ Editorial ~ Tuesday October 25, 2016 ~
More than meets the eye
There’s an interesting story in today’s paper on a speech by Council of State Vice-President Piet-Hein Donner. His assertion that one should ask not what good the Kingdom does, but rather for what it can be used makes all the sense in the world.
Too often the focus is on problems in the relationship between the coloniser and its former colonies, rather than possible benefits. If one looks at, for example, the historically strong ties of the Netherlands with the United States, the Dutch Caribbean plays a key role.
By calling separation “the easy way out,” the former Minister of – among other things – Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations hit the proverbial nail on the head. It’s not only about less or greater autonomy, but about making better use of modern-day opportunities the current constitutional structure offers.
When it comes to the term “Unity in Diversity” a lot of emphasis is placed on the latter and very little on the former, or what actually binds the kingdom countries. These common values are fundamental and must be guarded, which to a certain extent can indeed mean involvement with and in each other’s affairs.
Of course, the traffic is in practice often one-way from The Hague to Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten, due to the vast difference in scale and because the Kingdom Council of Ministers is dominated by the Dutch Cabinet. That’s why a Dispute Regulation remains very important.
Donner’s arguments in any case show that not all persons of authority in the Netherlands see the islands as just a costly nuisance to be gotten rid of as quickly as possible, even though populist politicians there obviously tend to score well with such a simplistic and to a large degree inaccurate message. In reality there is considerably more to being part of the Kingdom than meets the eye and it’s high time this be publicly acknowledged on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/editorial/61150-more-than-meets-the-eye