Good ideas

Reports by BBS have confirmed recent rumours that Dasho Penjor Dorji and Dr Tandin Dorji are each starting a political party. That is good news. The next parliamentary elections will take place in 2013, in less than two years. So if we are to have more than two political parties by then – if we are to have a primary round of elections the next time around – it’s time to start openly working to establish new parties.

The reports about new political parties in the offing should also be received as very good news, as new parties will offer that much more political choice to our voters. Our country still has only two parties – DPT and PDP – and, so far, both of them have refused, and failed, to set themselves apart ideologically. The entry of new political parties will, hopefully, provide clearer and more substantive ideological alternatives to our voters, alternatives that are essential for our fledgling democracy.

Dasho Penjor and Dr Tandin have both been politically active. Dasho Penjor had tried to start the Bhutan National Party in 2007. He also played a key role in the merger of BNP, BPUP and APP to form the current ruling party, DPT.

Dr Tandin was PDP’s candidate in the 2008 elections representing Lingmukha-Toewang constituency. After the elections, he co-authored “Drukyul Decides”, a book in which he chronicles the events of the 2008 elections.

I wish them, and their new parties, success.

 

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  1. It is indeed encouraging to see the emergence of more political parties for democratic Bhutan. At this stage of infancy, our democracy is in need of variety to maintain its vibrant and unique stance in the world. I wish all forth coming political parties the very best in all their preparations towards the election in 2013.

  2. Dawa Dakpa says:

    This is a welcome news. Voters need to choose from the pool. And the pool needs to be big, which we were lacking till now. After all ruling a country need to have a good government a helm with confidence of public. Thanks OL for bringing on your blog.

  3. I didn’t vote in the last elections because I was still at college. If I had been here, I would probably have voted for DPT because I was young and had no idea about why I should vote for anyone, and would have been swayed by the decision of family members and people in my community/village. Obviously not a good reason to vote for anyone, as I have realized in the ‘growing up in democratic bhutan’ years.
    So it is great to hear about more political parties. I don’t know if the parties will all have a distinct idealogy, going by the current trend in Bhutan I would think not- but atleast I will have, among 4 candidates I can vote for (If PDP and DPT also manage to reform), one person, I am sure, who i will be able to put my faith on as the right person to represent my views and speak for the benefit of people like me, in the Parliament. Looking at parliamentary proceedings in these 4 years, I would definitely like to make sure that I have contributed to electing someone reasonable in the parliament, to provide useful inputs into policies that would then result in meaningful and good laws and policies. So this is definitely great news.

  4. Motor Mouth says:

    great.

    now the game will get even more dirtier.

    are you sure the PDP welcomes this new development la? taking on DPT was headache but if the new parties decide to align themselves with DPT, you will have your work cut out.

    i can see accusations, betrayals, mud-slinging, name calling, hair pulling, etc in the near future.

    let the games begin. now where is my popcorn?

  5. No matter how many political parties we have ,the end result will be same, because our election law allows only two parties to be elected for the parliament. I think that part of the election law needs to be changed. Why can’t we have more than two parties in the parliament? Our current electoral law says that if we have more than two parties there will be primary party to determine two parties to contest in the main election.

    Having more than two parties in the parliament has lot of advantages, it means all capable people will be elected no matter which party they belong to, instead of forcing stupid candidates to us, just because their party won the primary. Lot of others countries allow more than two parties in the parliament.

  6. more the merrier, or not, i’m not sure.. personally for me, the pm has been overrated..his performance is lackluster..I find him so full of himself.. the mps, including all ministers, have been mediocre.. unable to enact good & practical laws; lacking the capacity to even interpret legislation..they have been enthusiastic only when it came to their personal salaries, privileges & benefits..as for the nc mps, they have been passive & unable to deliver..come to think of it, I’m happy with the performance of the 2 pdp mps..their objectivity & well meaning intentions are appreciable..
    btw, i believe stone quarries near khelekha in wangdue owned by pm jigmi thinley & his family are the reasons for a very bad stretch of some 15 kms of the highway – can jigmi thinley & his family forego some $$$ so that people can travel a little more comfortably???

  7. as for bhutan’s foreign minister.. we are not in a position to even comment on his performance..the reason being he was mia immediately after elections..gnh for him – get the foreign minister’s post, pay, perks but don’t need to show up for work (for years now) & have all medical expenses & travel cost picked up by public funds..while we need schools, water, health care, better roads..the tshogpas even don’t get a pay raise for lack of money but there’s plenty to meet the mps wants..

  8. Please stop your mudslinging, when you say I believe the stone quarries owned by PM and his family, what message are you trying to convey. If it for a fact that he does own the stone quarries, say it, you can’t accuse someone of something you yoursleelf don’t seem to be so sure about.

    With the present poltical scenario, I don’t see any party beyond the DPT and the DPT government has done a commendable job in many areas, even if some people don’t seem to agree.

  9. Four parties in the primary rounds:
    1.I represent from one party and stand in election from my constituency.
    2. From my constituency, I got major votes from the primary election and people are happy they got their representative
    3. But their representative (me) is not so happy because the result does not confirm my seat in the parliament either as ruling or opposition. Why?
    4. Because, in the primary round of election, although I got the highest vote from my constituency defeating other candidates from other parties, I am still not qualified to be in the parliament. The total counting of all the results around the nation shows my party got the least overall votes.

    5. And hence, people like me, who trusted so much by the people and got highest vote are not able to reach the general rounds.

    6. And in general rounds, my people in the constituency have to once again make up their minds to select the candidates from other two parties who got maximum votes from the primary rounds.

    7. My people then think, We have trusted him and as wished he got through but because his colleagues from other constituencies could not do well, he is out now. So we have to make a choice between to parties or candidates who will be our ruling and opposition in the parliament ultimately.

    ****It is a hypothetical case but every discouraging if such things have to happen.

  10. Paro Penlop says:

    Good to hear that la. Congress to up coming parties from my sides.

  11. Phuntsho – well thought about. It could be like this then. You won from your constituency but your party lost in the primary round. As a winning candidate from your constituency the other highest winning two parties will approach you to join their party since they don’t have their candidate from your constituency. So in this case you can resign from your party and join any of the two parties, who could offer you better bargain, to contest for the general round. That way your people will have elected you again to represent them in the Parliament which ultimately is a Win-win situation for you, the party and your people.

  12. More parties are welcome. I hope dedicated and devoted people join politics. And I wish there was a system to contest as ‘Independent’ candidates.

  13. Brokpa, but the defeats the whole purpose of forming a new party. If you belong to the ruling party you will be forced to support them and their ideas which defeated the whole purpose of forming a new party. Look at current DPT for example, they all support their party ideology no matter what they believe in.

  14. Talking of democracy, what has happened to Tensing Lamsang and Bhutantimes.com.

    As soon as Gyelpozhing land scam was revealed both disappeared.

  15. Pema Tenzin says:

    Poor Tenzin Lamsang and bhutantimes.com. This is democracy under our PM?

  16. They must be busy digging yet another old case!

  17. truth,

    I agree with you, someone, somewhere is systematically trying to stifle social media in Bhutan. First Bhutantimes.com got shut down and the lame excuse given for closing shop by the owners of the site was pathetic to say the least. It is very obvious to people like us that somehow the powers that be that were not too pleased by the contents of the free for all discussions on BT forced the site to be shut down through intimidation.

    Also, like you say, after the Gyelpozhing land grab case, investigative journalism stories from Tensin Lamsang seems to be have stopped too. Coincidentally, for the past week or so I have not even been able to access the KOL forum, though I have not lost much sleep over it, in many ways, maybe it is better that KOL is shut down for good too.

  18. I think kuensel should get its act together and at least maintain kuensel online web without disruption. It is suffocating when you have no means to know what is going on and also contribute to nation building process by contributing ideas and critique happenings around.

    True meaning of democracy can be realized when citizens have avenue to write, express thought, appreciate or criticize policies, programs, news items etc. without censorship and breakdown of world wide web.

    How can Bhutan boast of IT literate society when the society can not maintain its only public space–kuensel discussion forum???

    Cheers

  19. I agree, the lame excuse given by bhutantimes.com was so stupid they think Bhutanese are dumb people. Their website was was not sophisticated to begin with and they don’t have to write any content for that web, everything is either searched by software from the web or contributed by users, so maintaining a website like does not take some Sillicon valley genius to maintain. Even a beginner web designer can maintain it by spending 5 minutes a day on it. As for forum moderation, lots of forums gets moderated by volunteers and you don’t need any skills to do that.

    My thinking is either they were bribed or forced to shut down the site.

  20. truth

    if it is so easy, why don’t u start one…..we will be happy to support u……

  21. Obviously bhutantimes.com was moderated by some of our Lhotshampa Ngolops based in the US. These Ngolops are but what they are – betrayers on all sides. They first betrayed their motherland and finally betrayed themselves and their cause. How? This time they have accepted bribes – most probably from those big shots implicated in the Gyelposhing land scam. Any simple investigation would reveal this truth.

  22. Dengpo, if bhutantimes.com were indeed moderated by lhotshampa ngolops as you assume, why would they shut it down, don’t make a fool of yourself by making such a dumb statement.

  23. Dear founder of http://www.bhutantimes.com, I am an ardent follower of your forum.
    I must admit that people like us have been well informed by your forum about all matters of concern and sometimes even big news and events which our media like Kuensel and others fail to inform the general public.

    I am an software engineer by profession over the last 10+ years.
    If my service to maintain your forum helps educate general mass and helps in building strong democracy, I am ready to offer my free service to you.

  24. Dear truth,

    That is why we call our democracy unique. Two parties for the general election is okay for a small population like ours. If we have multiple parties for the GE, then our country will be in chaos. You have seen already that with the government who has almost 100% majority is finding it tough in the assembly sessions while passing bills. If the parliament is filled with MPs of multiple parties, no laws can be passed. Besides,we may have to resort to elections after every few months since the government will have to be formed by the collection of these parties who may want to withdraw their support after a few months of government formation if their desire is not met. Therefore, with the vision of K4, this type of unique democracy was born in Bhutan. Pelden Drukpa Gyalo.

  25. dam-tsi chen says:

    While I fully agree that other Bhutanese people are capable of showing good leadership, so far I have not seen anyone raising his/her head other than the present PM and the Chief Justice of Supreme Court. No matter what people say or speak this is a fact that no one can hide what they are capable for and what they have done. We certainly need to replace many other MPs and key posts in the govt., especially those that have benefited from the relationship. We need to have meritocracy and not based on relationship and favouritism. Time has come for us to change the way we do certain things, especially appointment for key posts.

  26. Yes, we need to replace those weak key post holders who have reached there not out of merit but on relationship and other fronts.I consider practising merit based appointments as the first sign into embracing true democracy.

  27. There are very few dynamic guys who have come up on the basis of merit in the country. People who deliver quietly with hard work get squeezed out because of some nexus somewhere in a very Bhutanese ways, pretty incomprehensibly. Even the yardstick applied are not in consistence with the best practices methods like elsewhere.

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