I met my favorite parliamentarian this week, Michael Lampe, he was determined to sway me to vote for him in the upcoming elections, and I totally agreed with him, because of a personal level, I share many of his views and all his values.
Four years ago, I found it cynical that talented, gem of a man and musician, Michael Lampe joined the AVP list of candidates, after having been courted and pursued by the former MinPres.
He was #11 on the list and garnered a mere 120 votes in the September, 2017.
He was recruited because of his immense potential contribution to culture, including art and music, safeguarding the island’s heritage, protecting spiritual values.
But this time around, in 2021, I believe he occupies #21 on the list. His chances of getting into parliament again are slim.
Why, I asked, why did you slide down the ladder?
Party handlers did not peg him as a vote-getter, he explains, and dropped him further down the list.
Michael says he was not ‘hired’ as a politician.
As an apolitical parliamentarian he set out to create artistic and creative opportunities for locals. Arubans are very entrepreneurial and creative and if supported, he states, they will diversify the economy, and get far on their own, if good infrastructure is in place.
This is not just about music, and the creative arts, he offers, this is about all people doing what they love and earning a good living in the process, because in essence, a rising tide lifts all boats.
In parliament, Michael did not behave like a politician, he did not bully, did not issue press releases and/or tout his own horn; he studied all materials, offered critical thinking, promoted his progressive ideas, but at the end the handlers were only interested in political currency, and decided to devalue his stock.
If you vote for me, Michael argued, the handlers will see my ideas are valued in the general public, which will force them to pay attention and allocate funds.
I am giving this race my energy, he concludes, so that my ideas don’t die.
And why not try to affect change in collaboration with a smaller party, I questioned.
Because let’s be honest, he replied, Aruba has just two deciding political parties, it’s either one or the other in government, where influence and power lie.
But I can’t vote for you within your current framework, I sadly stood my grounds, and that was the end of that conversation.
That talented, gem of a man and musician is now a dad, crazy about his little man, and a proud husband to a creative woman.
Besides being a parliamentarian Michael plays an important role on the island as mentor to budding talents. His recording studio is busy, and he schools novices on subjects such as trademarks and intellectual property, so that their original work remains theirs.
Stand by for a new album soon!