I am tired of the whole Question Time issue.
It is such a petty and nonsensical issue; it is an embarrassment to us all that the most important people for our democracy cannot work together for a solution.
The most important people, yes. Our decision makers and the people who have taken it upon themselves to review the laws of our country. The people who will decide what our lives will be like, more or less, in the coming years.
Yet, they are not able to resolve this one issue, these bright people who believe that they are capable of deciding what our laws should say.
I heard all the arguments, the Ministers, the NC, the Opposition Leader, the MPs, the people who think the DPT government is the worst thing that ever happened to us, the people who think the NC is acting too big for its boots, and the people who just don’t care.
And I think that the Ministers should have attended Question Hour. Why?
Because they are the people we elected to run our government, the questions, however unimportant they may think it is, are not going to be about their private lives. It is going to be about National Importance. About the policies, from the people whose lives they said they would change.
The Ministers say the written answers should suffice. Maybe. I know, as a reporter, that a face to face interview is always preferable to written questions and answers. Then I can ask more questions based on their answers, and get a clearer picture. But even so, even if indeed the NC members’ questions were not all that important, the ministers should have left this decision on them.
By saying that the written answers should suffice and that they will not attend the Qand A, knowing that an hour has been slotted for this purpose, the ministers are saying that they can do whatever they want, ignore the law as well as the upper house.
It is a dangerous sign. It will be difficult to trust a government to puts its own ego before courtesy, law, and the other components of democracy.
Our politicians did not have the birthright to run our country. We chose them. We chose them believing that they will do a good job, and with the expectation that they will be answerable to us at all times.
The ministers had nothing to lose by being present. Their individual rights will not, in any way, be compromised when a house of review seeks to question them.
But the rights of every individual in Bhutan is being violated when the ministers refuse to answer to us.
The ministers say that there is no difference between oral and written answers. If that is the case, why are they not present? What are they afraid of, exactly? Unless they are needed for saving the country at that very moment when it is question time, they shouldn’t be indispensable.
The NC says that the oral answers are different form written, because of the possibility of establishing a dialogue. If physical presences were not necessary, there would not be any diplomatic travels, everyone would be writing to each other.
But the worst thing about this whole issue is how our ministers and NC members do not seem to have the ability to sit down and find a solution to this like we would expect from the ‘think tanks’ of our democracy.
PS. I got a lot of mails saying I need to write more frequently. I know. I have been pressed for time, but I will try to be more regular, thanks for the mails.