Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Anomaly of Constitutional Proportions

In the run up to the second parliamentary elections due in the next few weeks, one of the greatest threats facing the country today is that the wrong people may get voted into our Upper and Lower Houses of the Parliament.

The recently announced NC election results give me the shivers! What possible explanations can there be to justify the preference of a young growing buck over the vastly experienced, mature, wise and competent candidate like Dr. Jaggar Dorji? Obviously, the voters had very poor understanding of the competence level and the job description of a National Council Member.

In an effort to understand how such an abnormality can be allowed to be perpetrated, I sat down to re-read the Constitution - the mother of all laws. And therein lay the mystery! Read the following provisions in the Constitution:

The Constitution provides that any Bhutanese who is 25 years of age and has a college degree can become a Member of either the Upper, or the Lower House of the Parliament. To be elected to the highest body of the Legislative and the Executive, EXPERIENCE is not prerequisite! Any greenhorn, all of 25 years of age will do, THANK YOU!

By contrast, certain job markets in the country advertises job vacancies with the following requirements:

As you can see, Shearee Square Super Store will not give employment to a sweeper unless she/he has 3 years of sweeping experience and is aged between 30 to 45 years! Similarly, M/s Kelwang Pvt. Ltd. requires that any one wishing to apply for the post to drive one of their Vibratory Road Rollers or Tractors should have a minimum of 3 years’ experience.

What were our lawmakers thinking when they decided that a person aged 25 years and with experience less than that of a sweeper can be elected to our Parliament to legislate laws that will help govern the country?

This country is in serious trouble!


  1. Oai Yeshy Sir (I am uuing sir after Yeshy mai, meaning this is Bhutanese's term). I fully agree with you. It means a green pea can be substituted for a cooked potato, ena? Now how to rectify this LAW?

  2. Well, may be the lobbying by the young buck was more effective, but in general, am sure the people will choose maturity and experience over greenhorns. It's a good point though about the pre-requisites. There should be a clause in there regarding requirement of some experience to stand as a candidate instead of someone straight out of college.

  3. I don't think there is anything to be alarmed about, I come from the school of thought which says, that whoever has been elected deserves to be there. After all, in a democracy, the will of the people is all that matters and far from belittling the greenhorn as you put it, you should actually be singing his praises. For all you know, this Greenhorn may just prove very capable.

  4. For once, I will beg to differ with the author.

    25 years, to a person my age, would think is too young a age for almost anything, let alone political participation. However, we ought to give credit that a person of 25 years (give or take a few years) is mature enough to understand the issues laid on the table. With a degree education I must say he/she should have seen and heard enough to understand the situation that governs his/her surroundings.

    Yes, not all 47 25 years olds could form an effective government. Yet again, 47 65 year olds would not be a great choice either.

    You give me a man with 100 years sweeping experience, but I will still follow that 25 year old chap who has got a degree.

  5. I still think a candidate should have certain credentials to stand as a candidate. You can't have someone running an office through trial and error just because this one has a degree. If a 20 or 25 something year olds have dabbled in politics in college, it would also constitute as an "experience".

  6. Why only amend laws. Let people learn to make their own decision and live by it. The choice is now in the hands of people. Let them choose and let us not restrict the range of choice that law permit. Rather educate the public on importance of the role of such institution so that public will chose wisely. That is democracy!