It is almost election day. But still, I would like t take the opportunity to inform eligible voters on Saba about a young political party. The name of the party is Ubuntu Connected Front (UCF), List 29. I, Petra Ploeg, am #12 on the list.
UCF dedicates the most attention by far compared to other parties, to the BES islands and addresses subjects such as poverty reduction, improvement of debt counseling system, housing for young people, and combating institutional racism and discrimination. I hope the word Ubuntu does not scare people off. It means “humanity” in African Bantu languages. It is often translated as “I am because We are”, or “humanity towards others”.
The principle of Ubuntu is based on living in a society where everyone counts. Three of the candidates of UCF are from Statia, #3 Kenneth Cuvalay, #7 Charles Woodley, and #13 Carlos Lopes. Two other candidates are from Curaçao (living in the Netherlands), #5 Bryan Doesburg and #17 Melvin Sillé. Party leader and #1 on the list is Regillio Vaarnold, a human rights lawyer. Also important to mention is that UCF is a national party, and has no formal ties with political parties on Saba, Statia or Bonaire.
In 13 of the 20 electoral districts of the Netherlands, people can vote for all of our candidates. I am not necessarily asking people for their vote, I just want them to know that this party exists so that they can make an informed choice in this election. If you did not feel represented in the past, this new party has your interest at heart. The candidates are people of the people, and do not have to come on a business trip once a year, being shocked to see the poverty on the island, and then forget all about you once they are back in Holland. I have that experience at first hand trying to communicate with MPs about AOV and public library work, for instance. I experienced it as well as I was working on St. Eustatius in the public library and all the years I’m traveling back and forth to the islands.
Don’t be fooled by the standard old parties who claim to represent you. Don’t be fooled by promises, fixed roofs after a hurricane, or road repairs. Look at racism and discrimination that your children and family face within the Dutch Kingdom. The racism that also affects your health, housing, career, education. The ‘toeslagenaffaire’ that caused Dutch government to step down, was the responsibility of standard old parties like CDA, VVD and PvdA. CDA played an important part in smuggling away necessary information for the investigation committee. Half of the victims of the ‘toeslagenaffaire’ were from the Dutch Caribbean. So if these established parties say they have your best interest at heart, they are not telling the truth. I wish every voter a good election day and I hope to have contributed to putting all voting options on the table.
Petra Ploeg Candidate #12 Ubuntu Connected Front List #29