Opinion: The change we don’t need

POSTED: 08/12/14 11:12 PM

UP-candidate Maria Buncamper-Molanus put two slogans on her campaign billboard that is to be seen, amongst others, at the junction of Zagersgut Road and Coralita Road. The first one reads: The Change We Need. The second one, at the bottom, proclaims: The Voice We Deserve.

For an aspiring politicians – or, should we say, a disgraced politicians attempting to make a comeback – these slogans seem to be all wrong.

Let’s start with the last one: The Voice We Deserve. We figure that Buncamper-Molanus considers herself the voice. But who is We? The United People’s party? The Buncamper-Molanus family? Had the slogan been directed at the electorate it should of course have read something like, The Voice You Deserve.

Semantics aside, that voice has been extraordinarily quiet ever since the Judge of Instruction ruled last week that the prosecutor’s office has three months to complete a criminal investigation against Buncamper-Molanus that focuses on money laundering. How much money is involved is anybody’s guess – that detail will come out once the investigation is completed.

After the Judge of Instruction issued her ruling last week Wednesday, we approached Buncamper-Molanus’ campaign manager Mike Granger for a comment. We asked one simple question: “What are the consequences of this situation for her candidacy on the UP-list?”

When we did not receive any reaction, we sent a second email on Thursday as a reminder.
She does not want to comment?” our question was.

“By now you should have received a statement from her attorney. I’ll see what’s up with that,” Granger replied.

From there on – absolute silence. We did not receive a statement from the attorney, or any follow up from the candidate’s campaign manager.

The strategy therefore seems to come straight from one of these Agatha Christie novels where a character mumbles, “Least said, soonest mended.”

Buncamper-Molanus is apparently not alone in this, because party-leader Theo Heyliger also did not react to questions. We sent him a text message with the first question we also posed to Buncamper-Molanus. When Heyliger did not react, we sent an email on Thursday, repeating the question.

This email also went unanswered. While we could only guess at the reasons for this breakdown in communication, it seems clear that the party and its number 21 candidate have no desire to say anything about the criminal investigation. They are free to make that choice; there is no law saying that politicians have to answer questions from journalists.

The question is however how the electorate will take such an attitude. Buncamper-Molanus was good at her job as a minister (especially in the field of healthcare) – nobody is arguing that point.

At the same time, the candidate has a checkered history. In 2008 she went down as Commissioner after a vote of no-confidence (only to be reappointed later). In the same year she made a cozy deal with the bogus company Eco Green whereby she and her husband Claudius sold the economic ownership of a piece of land they held in long lease for $3 million, while the lease fee was around $10,000 per year. When this newspaper revealed the deal in December 2010, it took just two weeks before Buncamper-Molanus stepped down as Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor.

Now the candidate is advertising herself with a glamour picture and the slogan The Change We Need. But with an attitude like the one Buncamper-Molanus is putting out there right now, we are of the opinion that the opposite is true: this is exactly the change we do not need.

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