As the sun sets on the third democratically elected government of our beloved nation, Bhutan, we stand on the cusp of a new beginning. The forthcoming general election looms large, a crucial juncture in our democratic journey. With the race for power set to intensify, we find ourselves inundated with the promises and criticisms of aspiring political parties. In this pivotal moment, it is imperative that we, the mature and wise citizens of this great nation, rise above the fray and uphold the ideals and values that define Bhutan.
The democratic process is the bedrock of our nation’s governance, and it is through this process that we, the people, exercise our collective will. We must remember that democracy, while a powerful force for change and progress, can also be divisive, especially in the heat of an election campaign. It is in times like these that the true spirit of our unity is tested, and we must strive to protect it. The power of our democracy lies not only in the hands of our elected representatives but also in the hearts of each and every citizen.
The election season often witnesses political parties making grand promises, some of which may seem too good to be true. It is our responsibility as voters to scrutinize these promises, to distinguish between genuine intentions and political posturing. We must not be swayed by empty rhetoric, but instead, delve deeper to understand the policies and plans each party offers. Our ability to make informed decisions at the ballot box is vital to the health of our democracy.
However, we must also be wary of the darker side of politics, which includes derogatory remarks and personal attacks on rival candidates and parties. In the fervor of competition, it is not uncommon for political discourse to take a negative turn, and this can have a divisive impact on our society. It is important that we, as citizens, reject such behavior and demand a more respectful and issue-based dialogue. Criticizing policy positions is fair game, but resorting to personal attacks only weakens our democratic institutions and erodes the trust that binds us together.
One of the most unfortunate consequences of divisive politics is the way it can lead to the division of families and friends. We must remember that our political preferences should not come between our personal relationships. Politics may be a matter of conviction, but it should never be allowed to break the bonds of friendship and family. It is essential that we engage in civil discourse and respect diverse opinions, even when they differ from our own. After all, we are all Bhutanese, and our unity should transcend political affiliations.
Our unity is all the more important because of the challenges our nation faces. Bhutan is a country with unique values and traditions, guided by the wisdom of our beloved King. His Majesty has always been a source of inspiration, leading by example, and fostering the well-being and happiness of the people. It is our duty to uphold the ideals and values that His Majesty stands for. We must have faith in our King and the country, as His Majesty continues to provide the steady hand that guides us through both good times and adversity.
In the midst of political maneuvering, we must never forget the greater purpose we serve. Our nation is not just a collection of individuals pursuing their own interests; it is a collective entity where we must protect the national interest. We must be vigilant to ensure that the political intentions and actions of any individual or group align with the best interests of the country and its people. We should never allow ourselves to become pawns in the hands of vested interests that may seek to undermine our nation’s stability and harmony.
Our democracy is a precious gift, and it is our duty to safeguard it. We must use our votes wisely and responsibly, ensuring that the government that emerges from the upcoming election is one that truly represents the will and aspirations of the people. A government that upholds the principles of good governance, transparency, and accountability. A government that works tirelessly for the welfare and happiness of the people.
As we approach the general election, it is important that we engage in informed discussions, and that we scrutinize the candidates and parties standing for election. We should evaluate their track records, their policy positions, and their commitment to serving the people. We must be vigilant in discerning the genuine intentions from mere political posturing. It is only by being informed voters that we can truly fulfill our democratic responsibilities.
Furthermore, we must remember that our unity is our greatest strength. As citizens of Bhutan, we are bound together by common values, traditions, and the overarching aspiration for the happiness and well-being of all. While political affiliations may vary, our commitment to these shared values should remain unwavering. We must reject divisive rhetoric and personal attacks, and instead, encourage respectful and constructive political discourse. We should be able to disagree on policy matters without letting it damage our relationships.
As we stand at the threshold of the fourth general election, we must remind ourselves of our responsibilities as mature and wise citizens. We should protect the unity of our nation, ensure that our votes are cast with a deep understanding of the candidates and parties, and uphold the values and aspirations of our beloved King. Our democracy is a precious gift, and we must use it to further the welfare and happiness of our people. Let us not be swayed by empty promises or divisive politics, but instead, be guided by our shared commitment to the national interest and the greater good of Bhutan. Together, as one people under one nation, we can navigate the challenges of the future and emerge stronger and more united.
Tashi Penjor, Thimphu