Bhutan underwent the election of its national council (the upper House of review) members for the second time on 23rd April 2013(yesterday). By evening, I was very active on twitter where there were quick updates about the result of day’s election. And the result was both interesting and surprising.
Out of 14
incumbent members who resigned before their first term to re-contest, only six
of them got re-elected, which really means that Bhutanese people are matured
enough to exercise their own rights and responsibilities; that they had the
taste of so-called democracy; that they are silently and constantly watched, judged and scrutinized; that one can hardly rely on the advantage of incumbency.
The result also shows that it doesn't really matter how much one is qualified or experienced at some particular profession. If you are unable to deliver and live up to the expectations of the public, there isn’t any warranty that such traits will be upheld. This is evident by the loss of contestants like Dr Jagar Dorji of Trongsa and Aum Pema Lhamo of Zhemgang, who were but amongst the least secured votes.
The second election of the national council also has one very interesting fact; the women voter turnout was reported to be more than men, while during the result declaration time, there wasn’t even one woman who got elected! So the second national council will have to go without women candidate and this really contradicts the very vibe of Bhutanese society about empowering women and equalizing gender differences. I even joked about this on twitter: "Perhaps it was the application of the physics law of attraction for unlike charges and repulsion for like charges!" But on the other hand, this speaks Volume about the citizens making their own choice following their own heart and instinct, as to who really will benefit at the end of day. This is really the talk of equity and justice; it’s important to have equal participation of both gender, but more important is to have participation of equally competent, capable and loyal ones, maybe this time the women contestants were short of these traits in the eyes of the voters.
This election also foretells the very nature as to how the 2nd election of National Assembly will look like. People might (or might not) have made mistakes in the past, but now it seems it won’t be repeated, they are ready to mend. And this only means a better participation, a better democracy.
With the 2nd national council elections successfully completed, thanks to election commission of Bhutan, the media, and Voters, hope there will be new and better ideas from the new faces. Congratulations and Trashi Delek to all the elected members.