Friday, December 7, 2007

ECB-BBSC JV: please don’t laugh at them

By: Kashyapji

It was unfortunate that I could not attend the function but as I read the event through Kuensel today, I could not stop laughing at the public debate organized jointly by BBSC and the Election Commission for Zhemgang politicians.

For a 14 minute conversation between the candidates, the organizers pulled on people fro the villagers, many seemed told to walk for hours. Like the Kuensel reported, ‘It was with excitement and high expectations that the residents of Zhemgang town, Trong and Dangkhar villages gathered at the Dzongkhag Yargye Tshogdu (DYT) hall on the chilly morning of December 2’ to talk with their candidates.

But the proceeding, I imagine was the most lazysome.

I like to ask the organizer what can they say in five minutes time. Or else it was arranged so because there is no one in the BBSC team who can edit video.

By nature, politicians must be talkative. Unless, they go this way, it would be impossible to make speeches for them in public functions. Besides, speeches and debates ahead of elections must go lengthy, explaining the people in depth what they would do, what they plan and how can the people cooperate with the candidate to execute the proposed plans.

The Zhemgang-pas have heard the public speeches of their candidates for several times by now. And candidates’ appearance to TV station should not only meant to reverberate what they say in masses.

It was named a public debate, yet the people are restricted from asking questions to their candidates. In many instances around the democracy practices, it has been observed that leaders rarely interact with people while in campaigns.

In the first instance of the public debate that our immature ‘experts’ at ECB and BBSC arranged for the two National Council candidates Pema Lhamo from Nangkhor gewog and Pema Dendup from Trong gewog, was to give speeches and asking each other questions in a debate or tseodpa.
The candidates asked each other, the people gathered watched as if they are fooled.

By practice, it was either the journalists who gather questions from people and ask the politicians or the people themselves participate to ask the questions to their candidates if their candidates really understand what people are in need of. Questioning from the people helps not only narrowing down the gap between people and politicians but also to candidate better understand the sentiments of the people who he or she might not have encountered.

To effect the impacts, the candidates must ensure the people not his or her rival at the election. We have various experiences from large number of Indian TV channels running public debate series.

The politician must be accountable to people not their chiefs or head of the government of the state. It is the spirit of true democracy. To be accountable to people, the politicians must answer the questions from the people. And for politicians, allocating timeframe is foolish-some. It is not an extempore speech that a student gives in debate programme in his school. At least two-three hours required if all questions raised by the public has to be answered in details, understandable to all, even the illiterates.

The public debate of the ECB-BBSC is a good start but to continue in the same design henceforth is worth not to go ahead. You will be laughed at, not praised with.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The write-up is good. keep up! congrats mr kasyapji