The Bottom, Saba- Sabans seem to be reasonably satisfied with the performance of the two commissioners forming part of the Executive Council. This is suggested by an online opinion poll performed by consultancy organization Linkels & Partners in cooperation with the online news site www.bes-reporter.com.
A total of 69 residents filled out the survey. This represents about 6,4% of the eligible voters of the 2019 Island Council elections.
The respondents in the Survey are relatively happy with both the functioning of the Executive Council as a whole, as with each of the participating members. Overall, 44.9% of respondents consider themselves happy or very happy with the performance of the Executive Council, with 24.6% describing themselves as neutral and 30.4% describing themselves as unhappy or very unhappy with the Exco’s performance.
Respondents were also asked to motivate their answers. Various respondents pointed to the fact that they felt that the communication of the Executive Council with the population could be better and more open, especially when it comes to matters that are of importance to the whole community. Some respondents also mention a general ‘lack of progress’ on many important matters. Another comment that could be heard relatively often is the feeling that the Commissioners let themselves be too strongly guided by political The Hague and could be more independent in their thinking and actions.
When it comes to the 2 commissioners it is noted that Commissioner Bruce Zagers scores (much) stronger than is the case for colleague-commissioner Rolando Wilson. When it comes to Zagers, 64.2% of respondents describe themselves as happy or very happy with his performance. 13.4% of respondents consider themselves neutral and 22.4% consider themselves unhappy or very unhappy.
Respondents were also asked to give the commissioners a report-card figure between 1 and 10 with 1 being very poor and 10 being excellent. Zagers earned an average score of 6.83, while most respondents awarded his performance with a 7. Few comments are made when it comes to the motivation of the rating given to Zagers.
When it comes to Rolando Wilson, 39.1% describe themselves as happy or very happy with Wilsons’ performance, 31.9% describe themselves as neutral and 21.7% describe themselves as unhappy or very unhappy.
As to the report-card score, Wilson scores an average of 5.89, while most respondents awarded him a 6. When asked to motivate their answers about Wilson, various respondents answered that he should take more initiative (especially when it comes to his portfolio), that he should be more decisive and that -in general- come up with more initiatives regarding Culture.
While the sample of respondents in the Survey executed by Linkels & Partners is relatively big as a percentage of the total population in eligible voters, Linkels & Partners also utter some word of caution with the interpretation of the results.
“Online polling is attractive as we are able to quickly gauge opinions on a number of matters”, says psychologist Harald Linkels, who took the initiative for the online survey. “However, we do know that not everybody has access to the internet and thus the results of the Survey may not be completely representative of opinions or feelings on the island. Having said that, what we have noticed with similar surveys executed on Curaçao, Bonaire and St. Eustatius, is that these surveys do provide important pointers on a number of issues”.
Linkels said that his company intends to continue with these online polls to get feedback from residents on the 6 Dutch Caribbean islands. “Too often we see on our islands that opinions are strongly influenced by what one or two -often very vocal people- express in the media. By means of these surveys we are able to gauge in a more objective way what opinions are among a (much) bigger group of respondents”.