(from daily herald march 27)
After I listened to the Island Council meeting of Thursday, March 21, 2013, it took me a couple days to form an opinion on the matter of our constitutional status.
Although I did not agree with some of the statements made by the UPC faction, it dawned on me as to why a referendum will be the only way to go. What caught my attention is the fact that the UPC faction took the time to answer the question as to what will have to be done to make the current status work.
In answering that question they named the following: change the Kingdom Charter to make us equal citizens, amend the Dutch constitution to give us representation in both Houses, and a properly defined status that fits within the Dutch governmental structure.
The sitting coalition and their Executive Council are still of the opinion that Statia should sit and negotiate better conditions for our people, but what they failed to tell the people is what should be negotiated and what it will take to accomplished that. I believe that the public will surely welcome an overview of what this coalition saw as important points to be negotiated with Holland in an effort to make things better for the people of Statia.
Taking the arguments of the UPC in consideration, I am more than convinced that Holland will not do all of that just to please the 15,000 people living in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. They made it clear that they have no problem with a referendum as long as it is realistic and it is in line with the “flavours” that Holland can offer under these circumstances.
Listening to the arguments used by the coalition partners not to vote in favour of the motion, they all are in line with the position of the Executive Council and echoed by the Minister of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relation. The evaluation of 2015 must be seen as the fine-tuning of the current status.
So, since Holland is dead set not to accommodate us in that regard, we will have to decide our own destiny by choosing a different status. Then make use of the international forum and treaties to force Holland to facilitate our freely chosen constitutional status.