Political promises with short-term priorities a serious risk to our democracy: DNT

An appeal to concern citizens

In 2018, Bhutan will have its third parliamentary election. Two democratically elected governments would have governed the country. With every election, we are learning and experiencing the fundamentals of democracy. There are ample examples of democracies around the world, some that have done well and some not so well. As a young democracy, we have the advantage to learn from their experiences. Whether we like or not our generation has the moral responsibility to make democracy work, for future generations will judge us by our action/inactions.

Although democracy is new to all of us, it is absolutely critical that we follow the right path and set good examples for future generations. That responsibility lies in each and every Bhutanese. It is time for all of us – not just the politicians, all Bhutanese citizens – to pause and reflect on how we are taking our democracy forward. Is our democracy heading in the right direction? Are we able to look at our future with confidence? Or are we worried and concerned? Are we setting the right trends that will inspire future generations? These are some pertinent questions that we need to ask ourselves.

Politicians and Political Parties will do anything to win elections as seen everywhere. The large number of uninformed voters, especially in the rural areas, is an easy target for votes by politicians. Making political promises with short-term priorities is emerging as the modus operandi for winning elections and that’s worrying. The trend of giving government handouts to keep voters happy is setting a dangerous precedent for our nascent democracy. We are concerned. We all should be concerned.

Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa believes that planned development activities will progress irrespective of which party comes to power, however at this juncture the overarching objective must be to deepen democracy and avoid any risk of taking our democracy in the wrong path. The ECB has been relentlessly educating and informing voters around the country, which is laudable. However, the ECB alone cannot do the job of civic voter education. All of us, especially those who are informed, have the responsibility to inform those who are uninformed, especially in our villages. Otherwise, we risk being taken on a wrong path of democracy for short-term vested political gains.

Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa would like to appeal to concern citizens, especially educated citizens and dynamic youth to play a more active role in our democratic process, for at the end of the day what is at stake is our shared future. Finally, in the words of Our Beloved King, “we all love our country, but remember, to love your country is one thing but quite another to love your country intelligently.

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Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa

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