Better party

That a group of people in Thimphu are forming a political party comes as very good news. Our two existing parties – one ruling, the other in opposition – cannot offer sufficient choice for democracy to take hold in our country. So we should be excited about the prospects of a third party. And we should encourage them.

But we may need even more people to step forward and form political parties. After all, both the existing parties – DPT and the PDP – have huge loans, and may not be around to participate in the 2013 elections. The Election Commission of Bhutan, in their notification of 31 January 2009, has already made it clear that “State financing shall not be forthcoming under any circumstance.” And, more importantly, the ECB, in that same notification, directed “the parties to clear all financial liabilities … by 30 June 2012.”

Unless something goes terribly wrong, we still have another three and a half years till the next National Assembly elections. And that’s enough time for concerned citizens to get together and form several viable political parties.

 

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  1. Wow thats a good news, seriously!

  2. More number of shops, better bargaining

  3. Oh thats good news. i think this new party has enough fund to survive for long term.to my analysis any party cannot survive if there is full support of political funds from internal and external.ECB and Govt. do something for political parties to survive.As per ECB rules every political parties should have office in all dzongkhags. With this current situtaions(huge loans) i predict one day political parties of bhutan will not be there to contest election.

  4. Wang Dungyel says:

    I feel two parties are just enough for a small country like Bhutan. Look at USA, Great Britain, Japan, and other countries. They just have two parties from inception of democratic system and it is working best. Having too many parties in Bhutan at this stage will simply confuse the villagers and will only create more tensions among the community as observed in the last elections. Majority of the member for the third parties if that come up should also come from the civil servant fertinity after resigning. Civil servants are now aware and understand that resigning is suicidal as experienced in the past elections. Where are the leaders then? Picking unemployed graduates for the parties doesn’t make sense, as these people are not worth enough to get a job. Sound harsh but sorry I can’t help in expressing my view. Anybody there who share my views.

    • Dear Wang Dungyel,

      You raise very interesting and very important points of substance.

      But, first, about the facts. USA, UK and Japan all permit more than 2 parties (and independents) to contest elections and they do so in fact. Election results in these countries have tended to generate 2 dominant parties, but with a coalition of two or more parties needed to form a government from time to time (as demonstrated more recently in the case of Japan and a number of European countries).

      You speak of confusion and tension among the people. This is indeed a very important observation, on which we should not lose our focus…

      But, I think they have nothing to do with the NUMBER of parties contesting, but everything to do with HOW they contest the elections. It’s about the behavior of party workers at the grass roots. It’s about their respective party’s professed “corporate” principles not permeating deeply into how they work where the machinery hits the road.

      So, as in many things, it’s all about the corporate management – how well political parties are managed, to reflect their corporate vision, values, ethics and operating rules throughout the organization in very REAL ways that TOUCH the people.

      Frankly speaking, neither parties did well in this management work. I hope they have learned their lessons well, because their management excellence has an enormous and real impact on the wholesome development of our democracy.

      On the number of parties themselves …

      Monopoly is bad and so is duopoly. Just look at the quality of customer service by any of our large corporations, be they in banking, insurance, electricity, telecommunications … Concentration of power in marketplace tends to end up taking advantage of the very people the very “power” is meant to serve. Ditto, in politics.

      But, a number of suppliers in a marketplace alone won’t lead to customer satisfaction. Consumers have to be well informed about their choice. This is why one finds consumer organizations in mature market economies all over the world. Ditto, again, in politics.

      Citizens have to be well informed about their political choice. A number of parties alone won’t solve the imbalance of power between the organized politicians and disorganized citizens, UNLESS information about the political choice is easily made available to the electorates in ways that is credibly independent of politics.

      What we need, badly, is politically independent civil society organizations that work to create a well-informed citizenry.

  5. Tshering Lhendup says:

    This news is welcome.
    DPT will be defeated in next Election because of PM Jigme Thinley’s inaction and indecision.

    • If it depended on just your vote, then perhaps you would be correct in saying that DPT will be defeated in the next elections. As of now I don’t see any party challenging the DPT in the next elections, sadly for some people that is the truth.

  6. well,i too feel that two parties should be adequate for a small nation like bHUTAN where the population is less than 7 lakhs….

  7. Political parties will become unstable if there is no state funding. If parties have to depend on private, corporation, individual, or business donation then vested interest groups will influence the partie’s decisions. The ultimate sufferers will be ordinary folks, both in the urban and rural areas. Then where is the excitement??

    Cheers

  8. Don’t worry, a third party will remain a wishful dream. In fact, I am worried that we may not have enough credible people to sustain two parties.

    Even if the third party does come, I can guarantee you that you wouldn’t want to vote for them. Just pray that the PDP members do not resign from the party and politics on the grounds of their last defeat. PDP does have good people and may be if the DPT keeps repeating things like the CDG, PDP is destined to be your next government.

  9. News of third party is welcome. We need more parties for better competition. Only through competition do we get better people.
    Having said that, we need to find ways or means to fund our parties. With no funding from the government, not many people will be encouraged to form a party with the dismal funding situation of the two existing parties.
    Why don’t govt and opposition amend Constitution if it is good for the democracy and Bhutan.

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