Counting on gentlemen

Bhutanese golfers

Several of you have complained that Druk Star’s voting process is flawed.

Yes, you are right. Voters are permitted to cast multiple votes. But, they have to pay good money for each vote. So the candidate with the most money, or with the richest supporters, will, in all likelihood, get the highest number of votes. And win the coveted title.

The voting process, however, is purposely flawed. They are a business. Their primary aim is to make money. And what better way to do that than by turning a blind eye at the otherwise glaring fault.

But all elections are not flawed. In fact, that’s why we conduct elections: to select winners though a fair process.

And where would you expect to find the fairest elections? In the golf course, of course, among golfers, who dedicate their time to mastering the gentleman’s game – so called, because in golf, players expose their own transgressions, enforce their own penalties, and report their own scores.

So recently, when 36 gentlemen – yes, all of them were men – assembled in the Royal Thimphu Golf Club to elect a new president, not a single one of them doubted the process. The gentlemen cast their votes. And they counted them. The winning candidate had secured 16 votes. And the closest challenger had registered 15 votes. One vote, just one ballot, had determined who the next president of their prestigious club would be.

But one hacker – an incorrigible accountant, no doubt – totaled the votes. He counted 40 of them.

36 gentlemen had somehow cast 40 votes!

Lucky Sonam


Sonam Tshering beat 135 participants to win the India House Golf Tournament on 30 November. For his efforts, he received the keys to a brand new Maruti Zen Estilo during the tournament’s prize distribution ceremony this evening.

Not bad considering that Sonam, who is only 17 years and in Class VIII in Zilukha LSS, is currently doing his Common Examinations.

Coach Karma Lam introduced him to golf barely four years ago. While he enjoyed playing the game, he quickly discovered that there was pocket money to be made by working as a caddy. (Incidentally, last year’s winner was Karma Wangchuk, 20 years, also a caddy.)

Sonam made about Nu 300 a day carrying golf clubs during the weekends. This weekend his earnings increased a thousand fold! “I’ll sell my car”, he told me, “and save the money in the bank to pay for my further studies.”

With this sort of attitude, he can expect to continue to get lucky.