Election debate Op de Klippen informative, but never explosive

The lower-ranked candidates often outperformed the party leaders themselves.

KRALENDIJK – The election debate which was held on Saturday in Club Trocadero, organized by Mega Hit FM and radio program Op de Klippen, and broadcast by Dutch Caribbean TV, can be described as informative, but nowhere as explosive. 

There were no major collisions or verbal fireworks, and there was a fairly friendly atmosphere throughout the debate. Presenter Arjen de Wolff navigated skillfully between the parties and the questioners and ensured that everyone was able to express the respective party positions. It was a stronge point from De Wolff that he allowed small or newer parties just as much space as the established and larger parties such as MPB and PDB. The Unio Patriotiko Boneriano (UPB) had, as was the case in several other debates, completely absent.

It was also striking that the debate actually became more interesting in the second half, when the party leaders made way for other candidates on the respective lists. “This is actually going much better”, De Wolff exclaimed spontaneously.

Anthony Weber of the M21 in particular stood out in a positive sense, not only for his eloquence, but also due to the fact that his anwers were very concrete and concise manner. In that respect, Jay Frans of the Union Revolushonario Bonaire (URB) also surprised in a positive sense. He actually made a stronger impression than his party leader Suzy Thodé.

Less strong

Gianni van den Heuvel (PDB), Fransel Janga (Un Union pa Pueblo) and Debby Rauwers (MPB), came out a bit less strong, compared to for instance Weber and Frans. Van den Heuvel often searched for words and did not formulate as sharply as she usually does, Janga had little to add, and the answers of Debby Rauwers did not stand out when it comes to originality. With Rauwers it is noted that she strongly identifies with the current Executive Council. For example, she spoke several times about ‘we’ when it came to questions about what Local Government had done in recent years and could do even better.

All in all, the M21 in particular had a strong day, while the URB also performed much better than many people expected. Aljano Emerenciana of Un union pa Pueblo may also be mentioned in a positive sense. Despite the fact that he consistently chose to answer in Papiamentu, he was always concrete and clear in his positions. Viewed in this way, the small or new parties performed better in the debate than the more established or bigger parties did.

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