Unlike the heated political debates of the past, the recent interaction between members of the political parties showcased a remarkable level of smooth debate and collaboration. This was visible in the Sombaykha, Haa debate on Friday evening.
The debate started with the gentle introduction and the decent questions, while praising and acknowledging the members.
Jampel Dorji of Druk Thuendrel Tshogpa queried Tshering Tobgay, the President of PDP, on the implementation of educational initiatives during the party’s previous term. He raised concerns about the surplus of resources distributed to students, leading to their sale rather than utilization in some cases. In response, President Tshering Tobgay acknowledged some surplus but emphasized the importance of avoiding scarcity. He contended that the slight excess of resources served as an opportunity for teachers to instill civic sense in students, teaching them responsibility for the free provisions from the government. Tshering Tobgay argued that, despite the surplus, it remained a small margin above necessity, benefiting not only students and parents but also contributing to the growth of private firms and the overall development of the country.
Ngawang Tobgay, representing the Bhutan Tendrel Party, posed the second question, focusing on PDP’s efforts to curb youth unemployment. He highlighted the “learn and earn” program in Japan, which saw the government acting as guarantor for hundreds of Bhutanese youth. President Tobgay admitted the program’s shortcomings, attributing the failure to irresponsible agents mediating between the government and the students. Despite the financial setback, Tshering Tobgay underscored the importance of learning from such experiences and adapting strategies to better serve the youth in the future.
The third inquiry came from Dorji Wangmo of Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa, directed at PDP’s plans to address the root causes of cancer if elected. President Tshering Tobgay emphasized the need for public education on the causes of cancer to prevent the disease effectively. He also proposed the establishment of a dedicated cancer hospital as a crucial step toward tackling the rising health concern.
What stood out in this political discourse was the absence of heated debate unlike in the past and the emphasis on constructive dialogue. The leaders displayed a commitment to addressing issues collaboratively, setting a positive tone for future political engagements.
The overall conduct of the debate signaled a shift toward a more cooperative and solution-oriented political landscape in Bhutan. It showcased a political discourse rooted in the collective well-being of the nation.