In politics when people say begging for votes during election, nobody imagines that politicians are roaming streets with begging bowls. Actually it means , you are asking earnestly for voters' trust. The King of Bhutan has shown no hesitation in requesting for the trust and allegiance of the People when he was crowned the King.
The President of DPT Political Party declared that to quote " I will never beg for votes if people don't understand why they have to vote and appreciate the value of their votes". This was followed up with supporters explaining that their President was a noble man. So DPT President thinks that he is noble and people should realise the noble value of voting for him and his Party.
There were charges and allegations during 2013 General Election and after, that DPT Party leadership only wanted to Rule as Masters and not serve as Leaders. I largely took such political statements as election rhetorics. However, this has been now confirmed unequivocally.
I am apolitical. I owe no allegiance to any Political Party but I had respected each Party for their part which I assumed was the strengthing of democratic system. And yes , I have honestly expressed my opinions about the decisions and activities of both the Ruling Parties during the 1st and 2nd democratic Government. And sometimes even on issues beyond the Government.
I have keenly observed this North Thimphu bye election from the day it was declared by the Election Commission. I believed it could give an indication of the existing vitality of the two Parties and also a look into possible 2018 scenario. I felt sorry for DPT when it's initially proclaimed candidate backed out. A Party always has a wider choice of capable candidates during the first round of selection. But when that candidate backs out then the option really narrows because the other initially interested capable candidates may not want to be the second choice. And I was glad for reasons of having a strong Opposition Party that the Party got another candidate. A walk over would have been disastrous for DPT Party and our type of democracy.
I never expected the Prime Minister who is also the President of PDP to put his own credibility on line by personally campaigning with his Party candidates. When that happened, I commented that " this bye election contest has been taken to another level ". I still did not expect him to campaign door to door with his Party candidate but he did. Even then, I was definitely surprised when the PM with his Party candidate knocked at my door.
Most people of Haa rightly look up to him as the first son of Haa Dzongkhag and feel very proud that he was so soundly elected to become the Prime Minister of Bhutan. I, too, am proud of him and respect him for his achievement. However, in my political observations, I never ever gave even an inch of allowance to him or his Party for his birth origin. Among many observations, I crucified the Government on the decision to cancel the South Bhutan Highway and recently steadfastly opposed the new Thromde proposals. I went to him, then to the Speaker of the Parliament, the Chairman of the National Council and the Leader of the Opposition to express my opposition.
The PM came to my home in the responsible role of the President of his Party. Not to humour my ego. His Party had got that young man Taba Tshering as their North Thimphu candidate and he was there to give his full support. That was the reason why I told that candidate that he was fortunate to be a candidate in a bye election in Thimphu because the Party President was personally able to campaign with him. In a General Election such privilege would not be available due to time constraints.
It is the customery duty of our home to welcome any visitor as guests. And in times of elections, we are careful never to differentiate in the warmth of our welcome to Party candidates. The warmth of our home must never be compromised and like wise the sanctity of our home will be protected at all costs if anyone has hostile ideas.
The fact was that after we greeted them, the first remark of both the President of PDP accompanying candidate Tshering and the MP of DPT accompanying candidate Kessang upon entering the compound of our home, was so strikingly similar. Dasho Rinzin of DPT said, " It is so nice here " and Prime Minister said, " You all are living our dream". They were not polishing us up for votes. Many visitors get that impression from our informality and untidy natural sign of homely living. All carelessly attired, bare feet and basking in the warmth of sun and our happy home.
I am not a registered voter of north Thimphu but my children are. I do not direct who my children should marry or who they should vote for. I expect them to to be capable of making their own decisions. If they cannot do that much then I have wasted my efforts put in nuturing them. But those who I meet outside home and make request for votes, I dutifully pass on each request to them. When Lyonpo Khandu phoned, I passed the request to my children. They know that I have deep respects for Lyonpo. Several DPT ladies made similar requests and again I related the incident during our family dinner. When Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho phoned, again I passed on the gist our our conversation. My adult children know that Lyonpo has kept an open channel of communication with me. In fact Lyonpo Pema has always sent his regards to me whenever he met one of my children. I dutifully gave to each of my children the name cards of the candidates that each visiting campaign team gave me. I respected Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho's position and damn him for not reciprocating in kind.
I did think that each young candidate would be more buoyed up by total endorsement commitment from especially the Lyonpos and their other Party stalwarts. And by virtue of their experience and communication skills and the social respect that people hold for them, the Lyonpos definitely would impact voters.
In my case, I never offered any advice to PDP candidate because he had the best accompanying him. But I did offer my fatherly advice to Kessang. I could not help imaging what if my own daughter was visiting homes of other people like she was doing. I told her not to seek votes just on being a woman but rather be a daughter committed to serving all. Maybe I should have advised her in the fashion of her Party President. Tell people that they should feel fortunate to have a choice in the bye election.
I hardly ever met Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho in person but as said earlier there was a open line of communication. And I do respect him as a former Lyonpo and now as the Opposition Leader. I never realised he was so shallow and so haphzardly anxious in finding someone and anyone to blame for DPT poor showing. Maybe at that time, he was in deep political grief. And considering that possibility and my respects for members of DPT that include school colleagues, I did not respond in kind ( look through the fb exchange between us on the Election night).
What he should know about me is how I treated him as a ruling Party Lyonpo and as the Leader of out of power Opposition Party. I do not get impressed with ranks and I never ignore those out of power once powerful figures. I never feel less of a man no matter who I deal with. But as a Bhutanese I do try to be the first to greet respectfully all those especially honoured by the Kings.
I will continue to express my opinion. And this time I do honestly believe that PM did win for his Party the seat of North Thimphu Constituency. To bad for democracy that the turn out was low. I call it voter fatigue. Just few days back, it was Local Government vote. And possibly this time money was not the luring candy as it was often alleged in General Elections of 2008 and 2013.
And if DPT Party Leadership thinks my observation was made on the basis of PDP being the ruling Party and PM visiting my home, then it's their desperate stupidity ruling their ' noble ego'. And if DPT does not believe in going door to door with their candidate when it was so convenient to do so this time to seek the trust of the people, they should never have lured this sweet innocent daughter of a commoner to save Party face from an election walk over. Shame on DPT greats for feeling out of place in canvassing for votes in the company of their very junior lady candidate.
The father and the daughter dud not deserve to be put through such pilitical grinding without the heavy weights providing her their shoulders to lean on. The humble father and his innocent daughter are not serfs of a noble man though the daughter is an employee of DPT supporter. At least some solace in this fiasco in that there is a good chance for the lady candidate to continue in her old job. Otherwise DPT has taken out a fish from water and thrown it in the hot sand.
Nothing personal. Just to set the record straight. Cannot wish DPT the best when the goal is not service through leadership.
I shared my thoughts yesterday at a promotion Party with Lyonpo Khandu who insisted on talking about the issue. I told him I will post my thoughts but he said no call for that.
I wish I could feel the no call. But this obnoxious attitude of DPT President continuous to irk me. And I also think I have provided adequate time space for him to get over his political grief period. It is better that for the peace of our minds or tempers that we lay it out in the open for whatever useless debate may follow between fanatics. I will not be a party unless legally forced where a neutral authority can decide whether he is a noble person and he can find out what I really am- a political chamcha as he alleged or my true identity. The absurdity of some political characters.