What separates a democracy from a dictatorship?

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Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs failed to get SER up and running as prescribed by law.

It is very unfortunate that our Minister of General Affairs, the Honorable Prime Minister
Jacobs, deemed it necessary to create such a burden on the employers and employees’
associations to nominate people to the SER. However, after the nomination of members
to the SER by these organizations, there is still no clear indication on when the
appointments will take place.

In the past, the SER has been instrumental in giving advice to the government of St.
Maarten by keeping them in check with the positive and negative advice. This body is
important to ensure that there are no hidden agendas at play. And while the government
does not always listen to them, at least there is documentation that clearly states that
there was advice given by a sound body of people, with good judgment, collectively
agreeing to something.

The SER has given the government several negative pieces of advice in the past,
including the most recent controversial NHI/ SAAHA. Yet the government has continued
its path of self-destruction by not adhering to this advice.

One might ask then, if the SER is such an important body whereby the Minister of
General Affairs, deemed it necessary to impose SO many restrictions on who can sit on
the board as employer and employee representatives, why then is this VERY
IMPORTANT body of professionals not given the respect of being appointed to execute
the work of their esteemed organizations?

Patrick Henry in 1799 coined the words at the end of his speech: “United we stand,
divided we fall.” The government of St. Maarten realizes that a country that is united, a
people that are united and a community that is united in one goal, the betterment of ALL
of its citizens, is a very dangerous entity to play with. They will not only hold government
accountable, but they will pool their resources to ensure that the masses are not made
into asses.

The deceptive game that our government is playing is VERY DANGEROUS and every
citizen of St. Maarten with the right to vote or not, MUST heed the manipulative tactics
that our government continues to use to deceive the people so that they can engage in
their continued lies, cronyism and nepotism.

Take a moment and reflect on this: when you have unions and businesses on the island
that collectively agree, it is something that is well decided upon because normally when
you listen to the news, you’ll hear of unions complaining about companies and vice
versa. However, in the SER as well on the TPC, both parties must do their research and
agree to the terms and conditions of the proposed changes or additions to the law.
You may ask why it is important for these two organizations, unions, and business, to
agree on the way forward. We all must work, unless you’re born with a silver spoon, and

even then, you must work to keep your money and make sure that it grows. No matter
how you twist it, employers need employees and employees need employers. If you
stress out the employees, they will walk off the job and your company will close, and if
you stress out the employers, they will close their company or hire less people, which
means less jobs, no matter how you look at it.

For the past four years, the government has not consulted with the stakeholders before
making their plans public. Most times when the government says that they are
consulting, they are actually informing the employers and employees of what is going
on. The plans are already in place and are already agreed upon within the Council of
Ministers. The sheer disrespect and boldness of the various ministries to not consult
stakeholders borders on narcissism and shouts incivility.

We MUST do better than this. We MUST stand up and ensure that we have a voice.
We CANNOT let the government continue to put covers over our eyes. The only thing
separating a country from having a democracy or a dictatorship is the ability or inability
for its citizens to stand up and demand that their rights are never trampled.

By Wilson Gromyko L.N.V.
Candidate on the USP party