Archives

Month: February 2019

People’s Democratic Party

Spring Edition , On 1st September 2007, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) got registered as the first political party in the country. As we celebrate our 10-year journey and service to Tsa-wa-Sum, it gives us an opportunity to reflect on our past and look at our present and the future: where we came...

Druk Phuensum Tshogpa

Spring Edition , Introduction Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) was founded in 2007 and is one of the two oldest political parties in the country. DPT is dedicated to realising the vision of our Kings. It is committed to the creation of a unique democratic culture, the fabric of which is woven from...

Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa

Spring Edition , The Birth of Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa When democracy came to Bhutan in 2008, it began on a hopeful note. It came as a gift from the Golden Throne to the people of Bhutan. As was articulated by His Majesty The King to the newly elected members of the National...

Social Media in Elections: What have We Wrought?

Spring Edition , Social Media — a group of online tools that enable users to create and share content and to participate in social networking — has made citizen participation in determining their future a real possibility. But in a very short period of time social media, most associated with Facebook and...

Social Media and Democracy: Is Something Missing?

Spring Edition , Much has been written about the impact of social media on democracy, especially in recent years. In part, this explosion of commentary on the role of social media came about as the result of several very high-profile elections, among them the presidential election in the United States, that some...

Dr Karma Phuntsho On Bhutanese Democracy

Spring Edition , After two successive elections and governments, Dr Karma Phuntsho shares some of his reflections on Bhutan’s democracy and electoral practices with The Druk Journal. The Druk Journal: How would you rate the introduction of democracy to Bhutan in the past 10 years? Dr Karma Phuntsho: Democracy was not introduced...

Some Impact of Democratic Politics in Bhutan

Spring Edition , Democratic transition is usually a process of successive developments. Such was the case in Bhutan. Taking into account the context – the point from which it took off and the environment in which it took shape – where every initiative to modernise the country has emanated from the Kings....

How the Bhutanese Vote in Elections: a Broad Mindscape of the Bhutanese Voter

Spring Edition , The Family Factor As the 2008 general election loomed, a family of six in Baynangra village in Pemagatshel was forced to flee their home to a nearby cowshed. Seventyyear-old Lungten and his 66-year-old wife Phurpa had to take shelter in the cowshed, along with their four children, when their...

Bhutanese Women in Politics: Myths and Realities

Spring Edition , Policy and Legal Framework (At National and International Level) Bhutan has given due importance to increasing women’s participation in development activities, elected offices and decision-making positions. A review of the five-year plans indicate that, while a gender-neutral position had been maintained by the Government in its policies, plans and...

Youth and Politics in an Evolving Democracy

Spring Edition , The Implications of Politicising Youth Come November this year, an estimated 432,000 Bhutanese citizens are eligible to go to the polls to elect the party which will form the government for the next five years. It is difficult to gauge how many will actually do so but the question...

The Bhutanese Politicians

Spring Edition , It was almost typical in the past for a family in the backwoods of the country to occasionally greet “government people” at their doors. It was either the agriculture extension officer communicating about the use of fertilisers, or the village health worker conveying health and sanitation tips, or the...

National Interest Versus Party Interest: What Former Chimis Think of Parliamentary Discussions

Spring Edition , Norzang, after returning from Thimphu, tells the farmers in his remote village that members of ruling and opposition parties “argue like a married couple” during the live broadcast of National Assembly (NA) sessions. The villagers, who do not have television to watch the deliberations and news, say that since...

Socio-economic Status and Electoral Participation in Bhutan

Spring Edition , Bhutan transitioned to a Democratic Constitutional Monarchy in 2008 and conducted its first parliamentary elections. In the words of former Chief Justice of Bhutan, Sonam Tobgye, the chairman of the then Constitution Drafting Committee, ‘Democracy in Bhutan is truly a result of the desire, aspiration and complete commitment of...

The Thromde Elections: an Inadequate Constituency?

Spring Edition , Whose City? Whose Thrompon? Last summer, like in most summers, numerous potholes appeared in the stretch of road below the Kuensel office at Changzamtog. When it rained, water overflowed from the storm drainage and poured onto the road, filling the potholes. It became a trap for motorists. Those plying...

The Micro Effect of Democratisation in Rural Bhutan

Spring Edition , Introduction Bhutan made its transition from an absolute Monarchy to a Democratic Constitutional Monarchy in 2008. Since then, I have noticed a change in the community relations among rural voters in my own community in Radhi-Sakteng, in eastern Bhutan. The Radhi-Sakteng constituency has four gewogs1: Radhi, Phongmey, Merak and...

Dhar from the Throne: an Honour and a Responsibility

Spring Edition , The 203 gups (heads of county) who received the Dhar (scarf symbolising confer of rank) from His Majesty The King in October 2016, are negotiating a new era in Bhutanese politics. As one gup, a veteran of more than 20 years as a village headman, described it: “The situation...

Democracy in Bhutan

Spring Edition , Too much has been written about democracy. Still, many in Bhutan (both before and after 2008) crave a closer understanding – an education – of the relevance of this new approach to public policy. In this life, and in this age, we need to hone our abilities for change...

Editorial

Spring Edition , Bhutan is approaching its third general election under the Constitution, which was adopted to establish a Democractic Constitutional Monarchy. The election being scheduled for late 2018, the Spring 2018 issue of The Druk Journal aims to contribute critically and constructively both to the 2018 elections and to the process...

Political Parties in the 21st Century

Spring Edition , How to Address the Challenges? Once upon a time My mother was born into a social democratic family, just like her father. She had been a party member since she was old enough to vote, and she voted for the party in every election. I once asked her if...