As the reckoning draws

We have less than three weeks to go before the general polls.

The decision will be the reckoning. People have a great responsibility on their hands. To select the government of the day. And decide the course of democracy in the country.

It is not only our duty to exercise our franchise but our moral responsibility to write the country’s history in a way that will leave a great, lasting legacy for the generations to come.

Bhutan’s democracy has evolved in the past ten years with quite a speed and the Bhutanese have become politically mature in a way that is rather surprising but good.

The primary election results this year proved it. Bhutanese voters are thinking for themselves and doing their research and back grounding well. We can expect more political shrewdness and astuteness in the future if everything goes well.

Now, as the general poll day approaches, we have to decide between two parties: one is relatively new in the game while the other has served as both the government and Opposition.

While one boasts heavyweights, the other has less experienced but capable candidates.

While both the parties have definite advantage in certain regions in Bhutan, we cannot say how the people will vote.

Predicting votes is akin to over simplifying a complex human being’s psyche. Of course, sometimes the situation can be predicted but not with cent percent surety.

It is therefore very important for Bhutanese voters to think ahead. Have a vision for your motherland. We want a peaceful nation. We don’t want to be at constant conflict among ourselves. We would want to respect the sentiments of all involved.

Which calls for us to exercise wisdom and judgment while deciding the party to vote for. It is imperative that the country’s security, sovereignty and stability be taken into account by the electorate.

We have seen the ugly side of democracy as well: how divisive or extreme it can get. Sometimes, we can get caught up with communalism and jingoism. The danger is that everyone is prone to it: even those who proclaim neutrality and harmony.

Hence, during this election period let us come together and exercise our franchise responsibly, knowing fully well that all individuals are different, entitled to their respective choices and we must respect differences in opinion and decisions.

We must tide through this crucial period together using common sense, wisdom and respect for everyone including ourselves.

Democracy has finally taken roots in Bhutan and we as dutiful citizens are bound to nourish and sustain it.