As BBS’s Dawa continues to exercise his powers as the most visible media face in the country, and the more biased he becomes, it is necessary to extend a reply to him after every program worth replying to. Thus we start this new column.
Sunday’s session on whether many political parties or fewer are better for the country clearly showed he was advocating fewer parties. He was also providing valuable airtime to DPT’s Gado Tshering (ex-health secretary). Did you notice how Gado could speak on and on with no interruption while callers and other panelists were repeatedly cut short?
Dawa’s monologues were redundant. He spoke of a small population getting too many parties and candidates. How many parties or candidates are needed is not something for him to decide. If parties are formed and can pass the stringent Election Commission of Bhutan’s (ECB) criteria, they get registered. Simple as that. New parties and candidates will think they can do a better job or serve the people better than the existing ones. The existing ones such as PDP and DPT will think they are good enough and Bhutan doesn’t have space for more parties. For example, DPT thinks the government is rich enough for State Funding for Political Parties but not rich enough to support new and young parties and candidates?
Ultimately who gets elected will depend on the people. How many parties start the race is up to the laws in place and at the moment, the laws allow anyone to try and set up parties or stand as candidates based on certain criteria.
It is not upto Dawa to state one way or the other. He should allow proper debate. Not monitor it in a biased manner. He was insistent that callers should not be allowed to speak about their disappointment with the DPT government. That’s crazy. Is it not critical that a person make up his mind on whether he wants more choice on parties and candidates by judging the performance of the existing parties? New parties and candidates is not a stand alone debate. It’s very existence depends on whether people are satisfied or happy with the DPT and PDP!
Note – Meanwhile, Bhutanomics shall devote much time and effort to ensuring Gado does not glide so easily from corruption stifled health ministry to a beautiful future in politics. Even though (in fact because) we know the ruling government wants it, the RCSC allowed it and the BBS promotes it. He must answer for his decades in health ministry as a senior official and the utter mess it is in, for which he must bear some responsibility and participate in any investigations.