Skip to main content

Drukyul decides once again

Bhutanese people will once again go to the polls to choose their National Council (NC) candidates tomorrow (April 20, 2018). But doesn't it seem just like yesterday that we elected the current batch of NC members? This is impermanence in action. An end of one thing is the beginning of another.  

This year’s NC election is significant for two reasons. First, compared to the previous two elections, this year we have as many as 127 candidates contesting for 20 seats in the Upper House. In the second NC elections, we had 67. In 2008, the number was only 52. Although more candidates would cost more to the state it is a healthy symptom. It means people are now confident and think of leaving their footprints in our democratic process. More is more. Our people are given more choices. 

Secondly, Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) tried something new this year to allow more Bhutanese to vote. In the past, civil servants and armed forces had postal ballot facilities. Earlier a voter was voting by post. After ticking on her choice of candidate, a postal voter had to post her ballot. But this year, ECB modified the postal ballot system slightly in that voters could vote at the designated places of their choice. Though they were not voting on EVMs, the close-to-real experience of the process inspired voters across the country. Some civil servants however chose to vote in the conventional manner by choosing to post their ballots. We hope ECB extends the same facility for the two rounds of upcoming National Assembly elections. 

But it would benefit thousands more if such facility is also extended to those working in the private sector. After all we want more people to participate in the process and increase voter turnout.

And finally I would like to wish all the candidates in 20 dzongkhags all the best. May the best and deserving ones win. 

Comments

  1. What a coincidence. We will have the General Elections early next month. In the past the council were not honest and so much results were unfairly rigged. I am sure you have read much news about our country's corruptions which received the worst news coverage in the whole world. So shameful for me to tell you. Ha ha!
    Happy weekend!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

So what do you think?

Popular posts from this blog

Alive and kicking

This feels like ages since I last posted anything here. That shows how inactive I have become on my blog. It is such a pain to let it go empty, day after day. And I am sure that all bloggers share the same sentiments.

I have attempted to blog about something for a long time now, only to find myself failing to do so. Maybe that is my laziness. But sometimes, there is nothing new or interesting to blog about. Topics are crucial. As far as my idea of blogging goes, a post cannot be a mere record of personal events - everyday affairs - although there can be blogs about such topics and interests. For example, the one I am writing now - has nothing about anything in particular,  besides citing some personal excuses.

Bhutan is going through yet another interesting era in that we have just had our third parliamentary elections and the new government is in place. I take this opportunity to welcome the new government and a new set of cabinet members, the speaker of the National Assembly and th…

When they are ready

The Ministry of Education discovered 890 'underage' children admitted in schools across the country in 2019. Thus, the ministry in May 2019 issued a notification revoking the admission for these children. Majority were in urban centres. 
Desperate, parents and the affected schools requested the government to intervene. They also requested the government to consider lowering the enrolment age to five years. Currently, in Bhutan a child can legally go to school only when s(he) is six years old. 
And that policy was strictly followed a few years ago to the extent that some schools refused to admit children even if they were short of a few weeks. So, parents, mostly in urban areas, resorted to faking their children's ages. Many parents were guilty of adding years onto their children's actual ages. However, most parents, we are told, managed to correct their 'mistakes' later. Faking a child's age was rampant both in government and private schools. But the story wa…

Our throw-it-away culture

Like all grandparents, my late grandma would call food 'tsampa rimpoche' and any fuss made about it would invite everyone's sneer and scoldings. Food is always treated with respect and is never wasted. "If you waste food in any manner," she would admonish us. "One day food will discard you and you will go hungry." 
What remained from the previous meal would be turned either into porridge or sometimes leftover rice would be dried in the sun. The dried rice would then be fried into puffed rice and consumed with cups of suja. When there was so much food left, especially during big events, leftover rice or kharang would be mixed with a small amount of yeast and brewed into ara.  
The only thing that I can vividly recollect from my primary school days is how we would be hungry most of the time. Food we were served was hardly enough to tickle our throats. We would be sent home only once a week on Saturdays and that was our opportunity to replenish our popcorn s…