Democ­racy is the best form of gov­ern­ment only if you know that no gov­ern­ment is per­fect in the world

Business Bhutan - - Opinion - Busi­ness Bhutan pro­vides this vi­tal pub­lic space to cit­i­zens from cross sec­tion of the so­ci­ety to en­cour­age free and frank de­bate, di­a­logue and dis­cus­sion. Views and opin­ions ex­pressed here are that of the writer. If you wish to con­trib­ute, please email y

As Bhutan is gear­ing up for the third par­lia­men­tary elec­tion which is to be held this year, we have al­ready started see­ing a lot of pub­lic de­bates and dis­cus­sions on so­cial me­dia about which party should be elected next and why. With about five po­lit­i­cal par­ties al­ready reg­is­tered to join the race this year, it is cer­tain that the road to the par­lia­ment will not be as smooth as it is sup­posed to be. The gen­eral ex­cite­ment and anx­i­ety are al­ready run­ning high among the po­lit­i­cal par­ties and their sup­port­ers as we start pre­par­ing for the Big Day to cast our votes.

There will cer­tainly be clashes of ideas and wis­dom among the mem­bers of po­lit­i­cal par­ties and their sup­port­ers as they fight for the op­por­tu­nity to serve the na­tion for the next five years. But in a demo­cratic set­ting, such clashes are wel­comed since they cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for or­di­nary cit­i­zens to add their voices to the pub­lic de­bates and en­gage them­selves ac­tively in the po­lit­i­cal process so that they can make the right de­ci­sions when they vote. This is the true spirit of democ­racy, but this war of ideas and ide­ol­ogy should end with the poll day. Once the elec­tion is over, we must be able to leave be­hind all our po­lit­i­cal dif­fer­ences and come for­ward to sup­port the gov­ern­ment of the day, re­gard­less of which­ever party it is af­fil­i­ated to.

When we had the first par­lia­men­tary elec­tion in 2008, we had not ex­pected that the po­lit­i­cal race would trig­ger so much con­flict and mis­un­der­stand­ing among the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion that stirred up the en­tire so­ci­ety. Then in 2013, the elec­tion cam­paign be­came even more vig­or­ous and wild with ac­cu­sa­tions and al­le­ga­tions be­ing shot at each other from all cor­ners. While such de­bates are an in­te­gral part of a healthy democ­racy, peo­ple should never carry the griev­ance be­yond the Elec­tion Day. Right from the 1st gen­eral elec­tion, it was said that peo­ple started tak­ing every­thing too se­ri­ously and per­son­ally that they were said to have even stopped talk­ing to each other. This is a sad devel­op­ment that is tak­ing a bad prece­dence in Bhutan.

The po­lit­i­cal in­ter­ests of dif­fer­ent peo­ple should not be the cause for dishar­mony and un­rest in the so­ci­ety that had sur­vived for ages on the ba­sis of mu­tual un­der­stand­ing and trust.

If we can’t re­spect the gov­ern­ment of the day and con­tinue to dwell on the po­lit­i­cal dif­fer­ences that had clouded the pub­lic cam­paigns be­fore the elec­tion, the na­tion can­not move for­ward be­cause no mat­ter how much the gov­ern­ment tries to do for the coun­try, we will never be able to ap­pre­ci­ate it. This is what we have been see­ing in Bhutan since 2008. Dur­ing DPT’s ten­ure, there were al­ways some peo­ple who could not ap­pre­ci­ate the ini­tia­tives of the gov­ern­ment and the same thing has been hap­pen­ing dur­ing PDP’s ten­ure. The most im­por­tant thing to re­mem­ber is that democ­racy is the best form of gov­ern­ment only if you know that no gov­ern­ment is per­fect in the world. So it would be im­pos­si­ble for any gov­ern­ment to reach out to ev­ery in­di­vid­ual in the coun­try and cater to his or her per­sonal needs. It is man­dated to func­tion in the larger in­ter­est of the na­tion. But we al­ways land up ex­pect­ing our gov­ern­ment to do more for us even at the per­sonal level. We should cast our votes in the larger in­ter­est of the na­tion, not with the hope of get­ting per­sonal fa­vors from the can­di­date or the gov­ern­ment later. I should say that both DPT and PDP gov­ern­ments have done an ex­cel­lent job dur­ing their ten­ure so far and I have deep re­spect for every­thing they have done for the na­tion de­spite the lim­ited re­sources that we have in the coun­try.

If the gov­ern­ment serves the na­tion well, I will be happy even if I don’t per­son­ally ben­e­fit from any of the ini­tia­tives un­der­taken. I would like to al­ways be­lieve that the gov­ern­ment of the day de­serves high re­gard and re­spect from the pub­lic, no mat­ter which party forms it. As soon as the elec­tion is over, the peo­ple and gov­ern­ment should come to­gether to work hand-in-hand to take the na­tion for­ward. Af­ter all, na­tion-build­ing is a col­lab­o­ra­tive process.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Bhutan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.