Published On: Sat, Jun 8th, 2013

Curacao at a cross road

Jacob Gelt DekkerIn whose hands are we going to place the power over all, we have accomplished? Will our wealth, no matter how limited or extensive, be better off under governance of those who want to maintain it, or those who wish to acquire it? Shall we place power of government in the hands of princes, our elite, or in hands of ordinary plebeians? Will our government be an aristocracy, or an ordinary democracy, a people’s republic?

For the last decennia, Curacao lived through a tug-of-war, culminating in a near 50-50% split at the date of autonomy on 10-10-2010. Thereafter, power has been on a teeter totter, an unstable balance of marginal majorities in the populace and parliament, frequently shifting from one to the other.

Stability was achieved temporarily with governments of technocrats. In a highly complex world of social structures and economic challenges, governance can hardly be left to poorly educated, half-trained and inexperienced do-gooders. Occasionally, simplistic perspectives and solutions may appeal to the masses and heralded as the Eureka of all outstanding issues, but once put to the test of reality, they quickly dissipate, fizzle out, and sink into quagmires, and nobody want to be reminded.
For a brief period peace, quiet and prosperity prevailed under guidance of technocrats, but today, the voice of a recently assassinated popular ruler who seems to rule from his grave, called a politically motivated government back to power.

A new concoction of rulers rose from the ashes of the deceased’s grave. Partly, technocrats prolong their rule, partly, nepotism and cronyism rose to power; a government of crony-techno-cracy was born.
The new course is unspecified, murky but obtrusive, the leader pockmarked. His many scars, from inflicted wounds caused by multiple claims of lack of integrity, may cripple him from his earliest hour.

The luxury of debating ideological solutions at length, is a privilege far beyond the means of the island. Daily urgency, demands pragmatic and rapid decisions. Already, large groups are totally disenfranchised. They placed themselves outside the social structures of all law, order and beyond the reach of government. Like an unstoppable freight train, a crime wave thunders over the islands, leaving no one untouched in its wake. Tyrannized by violence, people coward back to safety and so do entrepreneurs and investors.
More than anything else, how to deal effectively with this violent uprising will be the test of time for the new government, and the time is already running out.

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