Congratulations, you have just been democratically elected by the people of the island with the charter to govern them.
So how do you get them, all the citizens of the island community, to accept your authority??? The island has a deep distrust and contempt for politicians. They are regarded as crooks and charlatans.
Curacao has a problem, at least 30% of its economy is no longer part of the normal society, where government authority is respected, but takes place in the shadow economy, which makes up its rules and regulations, mostly opportunistically and randomly.
But it is not only the economy that operates in the shadows, social morals, and ethics, once dictated by the Roman Catholic Church, have been replaced criminal standards, dictated by the power of the strongest. A large part of the population does not respect and accept the authority of Government, the Law or the Courts, and others think they can buy just about any favor. The former Minister of Justice, Navarro, made it very clear that according to his observation every branch of government is infiltrated by organized crime, with nothing but selfish objectives.
Curacao has new leaders, but not for only 60% of its population and society; the leaders can only be effective when their authority is accepted by all, as legitimate and just.
Therefore, three simple rules any new government should apply to its members of Cabinet.
1. Reign in the shadow economy by legalizing it. Yes, undocumented immigrants, labor forces off the books, contempt for education obligations, and the Rule of Law by the Courts can be controlled by adjusting old laws and regulations and adjusting them to what the market requires today. One can never force an unwilling and uncooperative part of the population by bullying them with Law Enforcement.
For instance, how silly it is to drive thousands of young men and women into the illegality of the soft drug industry, while in the USA, the EU, as well as other Caribbean islands legitimize such culture and trade.
Outdated labor laws paralyze flexibility of the economy, so badly needed to react adequately to a rapid succession of dramatic changes. The effect of sticking to outdated politically ideological ideas is high unemployment, especially amongst non-, and low-productive workers.
2. As a Minister in the new Cabinet, be qualified for the job, and do not learn on the job. Stand for what you do, and do not play-act being a Minister, like you have seen in the movies. You have the dramatic examples of would-be ministerial clowns, like Godett and Jamaloodin. Such is doomed to become a disaster.
3. Be legitimate! Godett, a convicted criminal, managed to get his sister in the drivers’ seat as Minister President; more damage has hardly ever been done to the islands. Monte also ruled by proxy; Wiels was smart enough to see his incompetence and hired professionals.
By Jacob Gelt Dekker
Opinion columnist for Curaçao Chronicle