photo: Esther Henry

THE BOTTOM – “I wouldn’t have known about this referendum if I haven’t followed Dutch news media. There may be a lack of interest and this will result in a poor voter turnout. This is not well communicated on the island as in the Netherlands.”

Mariette Naber has been living on Saba for 3.5 years. ”I haven’t been a victim of digital attacks on Saba. Referendums are always after the fact just to keep people busy while nothing, in the end, gets done.”

SLP party leader Ismael Levenstone on voting
Citizen Eva De Vries why the referendum is not a big topic

Referendum on new law
The Dutch government is of opinion that is it necessary for Act 2002 to be replaced by a new Act: the Wiv 2017. This in order to decrease the threat of terror attacks and digital attacks by the interception of telephone and internet traffic.

The Intelligence and Security Service Act 2017-the Wiv 2017, extense the power of the Dutch Intelligence and Security Services: the AIVD(General Intelligence and Security Service) and the MIVD(Military Intelligence and Security Service). They get more access to internet traffic and also data from third ‘innocent’ parties.

“Saba people must come out to vote”-SLP party leader

“Saba people must come out and vote and consider this important. In life you never know, it may be positive or negative”, Ismael Levenstone SLP party leader urges.

RCN has carried out the information campaign since February 13, on behalf of the minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. Various means of communication are used, such as advertisements, radio and TV ads and Facebook to inform the public.

But as an anonymous local expressed: “The right to vote is very important. Unfortunately, in our culture, there is poor communication between us all. I do not feel that they care, because there was not enough effort brought to the campaign of the referendum.”

“There’s something hidden that doesn’t want to be brought out to light”-citizen of Saba

Eva de Vries living on Saba but from Holland, says: “There is a difference between how referendums are publicised in the Netherlands versus here. People in the Netherlands discuss things while here a lot of the population contains foreigners who have no say. It will be seen as not a big topic.”

“I read the documents and it is still not clear. The way I see it, vote or no vote, the law will still happen. The Dutch people are very smart and this worries me. There’s something hidden that doesn’t want to be brought out to light”, another local concludes.

On Bonaire the situation is similar: a lot of locals don’t seem to know or care about the referendum tomorrow.