Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 - 2:24 PM
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The perils of purse strings politics

After the primary poll last month, which ended the race to parliament for two parties, politicians attributed their loss to a number of reasons. One cited was money power.  Whether it was money or other reasons that shaped the primary results is difficult to say, but there was a lot of hearsay on the use of money. People talked about fund sourcing, money being paid to party workers to influence voters, and substantial salaries to candidates so that they don’t jump all over the place, [... Read More]

A paragon of politics

Ours is not the only election taking place this year. There have been many that already took place and some are still happening in nations within the region. Most of these elections, as have revealed international media reports, were characterised with violence and internal ructions. In Pakistan where, in the heat of the process of its election, more than 100 people died, in the Philippines about seven people were killed, particularly at local and provincial levels, where political parties and their supporters are willing to [... Read More]

Whose baby

In recent days several media reports have brought up an issue that is not quite on the campaign agenda – abandoned newborns. In one case, some villagers heard the cries just in time to save him.  Two days ago, children playing near a housing colony in Thimphu mistook the head of a newborn to be that of a doll.  It is assumed that strays might have eaten the body. This is not the first time babies have been abandoned and it is definitely not the [... Read More]

What global warming boils down to

20 June, 2013 – Climate change is a hot topic as it should be, considering its about mother earth warming to a level that can no longer support life.Erratic climatic patterns and frequent natural disasters are, according to some climatic experts and economic scholars, warnings that mans ruthless exploitation of the environment to feed an excessive and wasteful lifestyle can no longer be supported. Even for us in Bhutan, where the sanctity of the natural environment has been preserved to a large extent because of [... Read More]

The not so good about common forums

Candidates of both political parties in one of the constituencies of Samtse have written to election officials seeking cancellation of common forum for them. Besides being well-intended, in that the candidates wished not to come in the way of the rural voters’ farming activities, they also thought it futile to hold such forums that, they believe, serve its purpose less. Save for those, who are really eloquent speakers, knowing which they look forward to such forums, for most, including candidates and their voters, perhaps such [... Read More]

To win voters over

Amidst the mudslinging and allegations being bandied about, which is only to be expected in an election campaign, one thing that emerges is how candidates are going around campaigning to net voters. Party candidates are finding novel ways to get to rural voters, who are busy with farm work as it is the height of the farming season. Instead of trying to organise a meeting during the day, where nobody is likely to show up, candidates have adjusted their campaign times to when the rural [... Read More]

Not peaceful enough?

When the Global Peace Index (GPI), a research done by the Institute of Economics and Peace that measures peace globally, rated Bhutan as the 20th most peaceful country worldwide, the general reaction at home was how come not first? Given the turbulent and volatile region we live in, the peace and quiet at home stands out.  As some regular travellers say, just negotiating the traffic beyond the borders is enough to get stressed out. In fact, it always feels good to be back home after [... Read More]

The absentee vote bank

In the run-up to the 2013 elections, the youth, the future, were expected to play a more active role, compared with  2008 elections. There were several reasons for such optimism and expectations. In numbers, youth aged between 18 and 25 years were almost a fourth of the eligible voting population, and more than 70,000 were first time voters. Unemployment and crime among youth were recurring issues in the past few years that many wanted addressed.  This time round, the youth were much more aware of [... Read More]

The rule of law

Even as political parties finalise replacements for the two candidates who were disqualified the way one got rejected because the No Objection Certificate (NoC) was revoked has become a talking point. Many are confused the NoC got revoked after the police suddenly decided to update their database pertaining to a battery case in 2008 involving the candidate. Some explanations are coming through. It is now being said that when candidates file nominations they must have a NoC, which has validity for the next 12 months. [... Read More]

The two that didn’t male it

The deadline to file candidate nominations is over, but the search for candidates is still on. Yesterday, a day after filing nominations, the two parties contesting the general elections on July 13 were still meeting to decide on candidates. This has happened because the returning officers of the respective constituencies have rejected two candidates, one each from the Druk Phuensum tshogpa and the People’s Democratic party. As of last evening, the spokespersons of the two parties were not saying much, except that they will decide [... Read More]