Arubalisa asked me to comment about the coming election in Aruba. First, let me say I consider myself a visitor to the island. While I own a home here, I do not pretend to be a local or a native. Many Arubans have welcomed me here, including the late Charles Brouns, Jr., as many of you know. I'm grateful to enjoy all this island has to offer, including its people. Thus, I will not comment on the issues directly from a political perspective but rather an economic one.
I have friends on both sides of the aisle and this can be very difficult at times. The various opinions they tell me, plus my own observations, leave me in a tough spot, as I can not vote. Plus, I have a mostly outside perspective in that I grew up in the United States of America. While I've spent a good deal of time in Aruba, the government's policies more directly affect citizens. Certainly they will impact us visitors, but not in the same way. For example, if income taxes go up in the US, Aruban tourists to New York will not be directly affected. The same is true on the island for visitors from America. Yes, there is some effect, but typically not an immediate, direct one.
I will say the election appears to be slugfest, most between the two largest parties: AVP and MEP. MEP currently holds the most seats in Parliament and is led by prime minister Nelson Oduber. AVP is the challenger, whose front man is Mike Eman. There are other parties, including Democracia Real whose most noted member is Andin Bikker. MPA is also there but I am not familiar at all with their candidates. (There are other parties, too. Sadly, I know even less about them.)
I posted a series of photos on my blog showing the various heraldry of the parties. Take a look, it's lots of fun, at: http://bentpage.wordpress.com/2009/0...e-aruba-style/
There are also frequent rallies, parades, and such that will affect traffic, business hours and such. Call ahead, ask locals if they know what's happening, and stay tuned in so you don't waste time idling.
In a few following posts on this thread I'll discuss some topics I think are important. These are only my opinions and should not be construed as anything more. As mentioned previously, I only want the best for the island and would be honored to help in any way I can. If my posts cross the line of the purposes of this board, I invite the moderators to delete them at their discretion.