We know the open era in professional sports; the various open tennis tournaments; the golf open tournaments. In these open tournaments the playing field is wide open with minimal restrictions. It means amateurs and beginners can enter a tournament and compete with the best of them, the professionals. All that is required is the will to succeed and a titanium determination.
History has shown it works and amateurs and newcomers can and do defeat the pros. It has also added to a higher level of competition and entertainment, and lifted the level of the games. Just recently we saw the 15-year-old newcomer Coco Gauff beat veteran Venus Williams at Wimbledon. There are many more examples across various sports.
What if we can bring this open era to our island politics; what if we can level the playing field, allowing challengers the free range to challenge and depose the career politicians who have been dominating the field for so long, and with dubious results on many fronts. Political parties are the vehicles politicians ride to run their campaigns and fuel their careers. Political parties we have seen that are not necessarily responsive to the voters, but have a greater interest in protecting their entrenched leadership often to the detriment of progress and the voting public.
Dissent is not tolerated and new ideas are often swept off the table to protect special interests. Political parties hold on to their views and position on issues just to oppose their rivals, hoping to thrive on division and discord. Unity is not a priority; rather division is seen as an opportunity to block, pull down and humiliate the other side.
It is clear this politics of division has not done our islands well and continues to hurt us.
Even today when our island Statia, in the opinion of some, is under “foreign occupation” and our people are suffering one humiliation after the other, political parties seem to prefer division in hopes of gaining total control after an eventual poll.
The Open List is an alternative choice, a unity strategy, an opportunity for all you folks out there who want to make your contribution to your island as leaders. You do not have to choose between DP, PLP, UPC, STEP, SLAM or BLANCO, you just need to be willing to work for Statia and its people.
The Open List welcomes anyone in or out of politics to join our list for the upcoming elections. No party hierarchy, no obstruction, no waiting in turn. You come, you do well, you conquer, you move up. If you have been in a previous election, you are especially invited to come on board. Even the established parties are welcome; then we can have one single list on election day and let the voters make their choice.
Enough talk about unity; now is the time to put your island and its people first. Other political parties won’t do this, so I am. We expect a decision soon whether elections will be held on Statia in the near future. We want to be ready. Statia needs new blood in our politics and young people are wanted.