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Ship Jumpers vs Party Surfers

Data Analysis of the St Maarten Candidates in the last four elections.
Created by: 26 Feb 2018 02:15 AM

In this article it is important to distinguish the difference between Ship Jumpers and Party Surfers as they may seem to be the same but they are two separate beasts of a kind.

A Ship Jumper is a sitting member of parliament representing a political party that is part of the coalition of parties that formed government, who for one reason or another disconnects from the his/her party to become an independent. Most of the times when this member of parliament becomes an independent, they remove their support from the sitting coalition to form another coalition with sitting parties excluding their party.

A Party Surfer is a candidate that has ran on more than one political list. Many ship jumpers have ended up being party surfers. Since 2010, after St. Maarten gained its status of Country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands the island has experienced elections in 2010, 2014, 2016 and now in 2018. A total of 4 elections in 8 years. We will look at the candidates participating in the 2016 election in the order of the ballot to identify the ship jumpers per party and the party surfers among them. The review will only look at the elections since 2010

United Democratic Party - Of the 23 candidates on the new UD slate only the 3 new candidates Luc Mercelina, Nikhil Kukerja and Asha Uche-Roosberg have participated on a single party slate. All remaining 20 candidates (77%) participated in elections on more than 2 different parties. Six of these candidates Brownbill, Biljani, de Weever, Engle and Lake (26%) participated on more than 3 parties with 1 candidate, Marlin-Romeo who has party surfed every election since 2010.

Four of the six party surfers Brownbill, Marlin-Romeo, de Weever and Lake are also listed as ship jumpers. These 4 candidates are collectively responsible for the fall of 3 governments within the past 8 years (2014, 2015 and 2018).

Six of the candidates Heyliger, Wescot-Williams, Geerlings, James, Marlin-Romeo and Engel have participated in every election since 2010.

United St. Maarten Party - 70% of the list have ran on a single party slate except Frans Richardson and Elvis Flanders who surfed on 2 different party slates while Maria Buncamper- Molanus surfed on 3 separate parties. Richardson and Buncamper- Molanus are the only candidates that has contested all 4 elections. Although Richardson was responsible for breaking a coalition in 2015, he never jumped from the USp ship.

National Alliance - 78% of the list have ran on a single party slate. The 5 party surfers joining the list this election are Rabess-Richardson, Priest, Morales, Vlaun and Philips. Seven of the candidates Jacobs, Emmanuel, Samuel, Richardson, Pantoplet G, Martina and Marlin contested all four elections. There are not ship jumpers on board.

Sint Maarten development Movement - All 6 candidates have only associated with the SDM party. The members are taking part in their second election. No Ship Jumpers on board.

St. Maarten Christian Party - All candidates are single party candidates except Toulon who was on one other party in 2014. All members except Toulon are in their first or second election. No party jumpers on board.

People's Progressive Party - Arrindell, Brown and Richardson are the only party surfer on the PPA. Arrindell is also the only candidate that participated in all four elections. No Ship Jumpers on board. Corner Stone Solutions NV