16 June 2013

Voters, Vows and Vouchers

A typical Election Campaign vow would be like, "Please vote for me. If I win by the grace of your vote I will make sure I put myself at your service and help find solution to all your problems, big and small."
There are rural voters who take the vow very seriously, not quite innocently though. Recently I was talking to a friend who got elected to National Council, who shared about his experience after winning the election. 
He was overwhelmed by the phone calls and messages he received from his voters. He went on thanking callers for hours after hours and after sometime he hesitated to answer, he badly wanted to switch off his phone, not because he was tired of those calls but because many calls were strange. But he didn't want to be rude, and didn't want to welcome filthy remarks by doing that.

What do I mean by Strange calls? While there are so many calls for shameless personal favours claiming that they voted for him, he was shocked by the number of calls and SMS asking for mobile vouchers. He went to share this strange story with other members of NC only to find that they have their share to share on the same. Are these voters innocent? Have they misunderstood the meaning of 'help' promised in campaign promises of the candidates? 

In no way these voters seem innocent to me, they are either taking advantage of the democratic process where they are pimping their votes or they are trying to pull legs for political reasons. One clear evidence of how cunning some people are was seen during the campaign period in one Dzongkhag, where a surprised candidate showed an SMS asking for voucher to his opponents, and discovered even his opponents had received same SMS from the same number. 

There are too many fingers pointed at politicians and some of those fingers carry stains of dirt on them, which are responsible for making politicians dirty. Clean voters will never produce dirty politicians. Trading vote for personal favour is the biggest risk to democracy that must be slapped on the face right now and here. I would like to urge all contesting candidates not to fall prey to such cunning voters. Tell them straight that you are going to earn votes not buy them and if possible report them to police.

We are all one vote powerful, it's this one priceless vote that makes us all equal in democracy, it's not something that should be joked about for a voucher.


  1. Nice observation passu. Way back in 2008, villagers did the same with the MPs, out of innocence mostly. When they went to Thimphu, they even asked to pick them up from the bus stops! Pay back time. He he

  2. Just heard that an NC has been used as transporter of dead bodies for villagers, while it's a good help NC is providing, people must understand it's not his job and therefore it's not their right to ask that of him.
    Sonam, it's still the same if not worse... the section of voters which we call innocent is actually something to ponder.


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