The campaign for the House of Representatives elections was once again not happening on Bonaire and that is worrying, says Deputy Anjelica Cicilia. According to her, the political parties in the Netherlands and the local government still have ‘a lot of work to do’ to get voters to the polling station.

The turnout on Bonaire is only 23.44 percent, the Public Entity of Bonaire said. This is in stark contrast to the European Netherlands, where 77.8 percent of voters turned out. Acting Lieutenant Governor Oleana expected the turnout to double, but it has remained virtually the same as in 2021 (22.8 percent).

Little campaigning on Bonaire

There was little noticeable of the elections on the streets of Bonaire, because election posters, for example, were barely visible. According to Deputy Cicilia, although there was ‘a number’ of calls in the local media to go vote, there were hardly any discussions about the elections and political campaigns of national parties. Only the Pirate Party and BBB actively campaigned.

Cicilia has now lived on the island for four weeks since she became a deputy. “I have also spoken to a lot of people here and I have the impression that people do not yet know why they should vote. I think we still have a lot of work to do here.”

‘Fulfilled promises’ of political parties

From conversations with various voters on Bonaire who did go to the polls, it appears that two things mainly played a role. They looked at the ‘fulfilled promises’ of political parties about the islands or at what is stated in the election manifestos about the islands.

Both Bonaire and The Hague have homework, a Bonairean voter agrees after he has voted. He says he had to make a lot of effort to find information. He believes that the political parties should make an effort themselves and campaign on the island.

‘More information in different languages’

The political positions should also be in Papiamentu, English, or Spanish. “The information is there, but in Dutch, and we don’t really like reading Dutch. It is easier to reach people in their own language. We also have a lot of Latinos here.”