PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Former Minister of VSA Pamela Gordon-Carty on Tuesday cautioned the country’s elected representatives about the dangers of casting St. Maarten, its government and its people, as mediocre on the regional and world stage, and gain a reputation as a country that refuses to, or is incapable of dignified, ethical governing.
In observing the many ongoing saga involving past and present government, Gordon-Carty had a simple reminder for all high officials, including Members of Parliament and the Council of Ministers: “Show some decency, and integrity. Be reminded of the constitutional law from the LMA AB 2010 GT no 25 article 2.2 states: ‘It is of vital importance that citizens have confidence in the performance of the government. That confidence of the public can only be won or retained and strengthened if the quality, incorruptibility and care of the government and, therefore its integrity are beyond all doubt. Without that confidence, the democratic state under the rule of law will be damaged to its roots.’
She questioned how it’s possible that dignity, integrity, principle and common sense are being defined differently on the island compared to the rest of the world. “When high officials are representing a country, they are deemed to be held to the highest level of accountability where they portray dignity and integrity as they are representing a country on a whole not their own household,” Gordon-Carty said.
She added that the latest developments on St. Maarten would never be never drawn-out points of discussions in a country that acknowledges the tenets of accountability and integrity. The fact that the type of behavior on display currently has dragged on, she said, shows how far St. Maarten has fallen and the world is looking.
“We are condoning this type of behavior here in St. Maarten and then wonder why the country is being treated as it is being treated by the Netherlands and isn’t viewed seriously by others. Condoning unethical behavior reflects on the entire country with no exception and its citizens. It reflects on each one of us whether you voted green, white, blue or red,” Gordon-Carty said.
“All of a sudden bad is considered to be good depending on who perpetuates the act and things are being twisted to suit the narrative that we want others to believe. I don’t believe this is how the people of this country want to be viewed by the outside world. How low can people fall to justify wrong-doings. It’s ok to make mistakes we all do, it’s a human nature and yes limited chances should be given to amend mistakes, but when representing a country where it can be determined how serious the country is taken and seen by the external world, the high standards by which you proclaim the country is being governed by, should reflect in the manner you handle the matter once it presents itself,” she added.
The former Minister opined that dignity still means the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect through the way one present, talk and conduct themselves whether in private and/or in public. “Certain positions go hand in hand with high level of dignity and integrity. Dignity does not differentiate in timing, location, matter, race, sex or gender and let alone last name,” she concluded.