St. Eustatius

Van Putten (PLP): Koos Sneek’s Proxy Vote Contradiction

Since 10/10/10 it is possible to vote by proxy, by filling out the designated area on the voting card.

Dear Editor,
The front man for the opposition party of Statia, Mr. Sneek, must have been so obsessed with fighting for Statia’s representation with 0 seats in the Dutch Senate, that he misunderstood what I meant with the title of my previous article “Be careful what you wish for”.

Contrary to what Mr. Sneek wanted to read into that title, the title was addressed at him and the little sister opposition party he represents, and not the voters of Statia. The voters of Statia have proven once again to be very well-informed and wise. So a day after proving that they are, they certainly didn’t need my advice in the form of an article.

No, the title of my article was pointing out that supporting, promoting, and participating in the nonsensical elections for the Electoral Council on March 20th, would backfire on the opposition party. And that’s exactly what it did.
Despite Mr. Sneek’s attempt to confuse people with his “voodoo mathematics” interpretation of the actual statistics I provided, losing 21% of his party’s voters is not progress by any stretch of the imagination, nor anything to be proud of. Nobody disputes that it’s better than not getting any votes at all. But as a politician, Mr. Sneek should know very well that in elections, even retaining the number of votes is considered a setback for any party or candidate.

Losing that percentage of votes when no other party participates and only five candidates participate, more than offsets Mr. Sneek’s predictable and flimsy excuse that the elections were not “well-known” to the public. And even if they weren’t, that would have been another failure on the part of the opposition party and its big sister party’s Mr. Knops

But let’s take a closer look at the 374 votes secured by the opposition party. Of those, 150 votes, or nearly half, turned out to be proxy votes. Not only does this prove the hypocrisy of the opposition party, and its front man, it also raises the question if any laws were broken in securing these proxy votes.

According to sources on Facebook which were not contradicted by him, Mr. Sneek stated the following in the aftermath of the 2015 Island Council elections: “The Governor writes that it was observed that all parties and groups made use of the provision of proxy voting. The provision of proxy voting is to be used by the voter not by the political party. So in fact he admits the misuse. The use by parties is in conflict with the law. Besides buying votes, also soliciting votes is against the law. This means asking you for your proxy is against the law.”

Having to depend on 40% proxy votes to scrape their way to 21% less votes compared to four years ago, makes the showing of the opposition party at the polls on March 20th even more of a fiasco. And, unfortunately for its front man, it makes the title of my previous article even more applicable to his little sister opposition party.

Based on his statement in 2015, I will be looking forward to Mr. Sneek’s public request for an investigation to establish if each and every single one of the 150 proxy votes cast for his party on March 20th was obtained voluntarily and without solicitation.

Sincerely, Clyde I. van Putten Island Council Member and Leader of Government of St. Eustatius

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