Sunday, 26 August 2018

The debate that set the tone of discourse

Bhutan is into its third parliamentary elections. Today, there was the much awaited presidential debate between the four political parties. This was a historic debate and will be remembered for what and how it contributed to strengthening the process of democracy in Bhutan.

This presidential debate helped present two unique aspirations of the people of Bhutan and set the ‘tone’ of discourse.

First, the monarchy is sacred and well beyond and above politics. In the institution of monarchy lies the common aspiration of the people. Sometimes, not talking too much about what we truly respect is a sensible and a mature show of respect. In this debate, there was no taking chawang from the portrait of His Majesty and no overt use of the theme of royalty.

Second, the debate was centred on the functions of the Government as an executive branch. It was a talk of only internal matters of the country. There was no mention of foreign relations and it sends out a clear message that Bhutan has a stable foreign policy under the Royal Government. This takes away the chance of foreign powers playing pawns with political parties in Bhutan. The distinction between the ‘Government’ and the ‘Royal Government’ was something which I learned recently.

Democracy is taking its shape and form in Bhutan. Palden Drukpa Gyelo!

Thimphu, 26 August 2018

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