Blogdai's Big Election Primer
I'm beginning to think the Maoists and Party politicos agreed to hold Constituent Assembly (CA) elections simply because--in the back of all their minds--they feel confident they can manipulate voters, polling places and results to their individual liking.
Well, after almost 10 years of dodging the issue, it looks like our boys in Parliament may just hold their Constituent Assembly (CA) election.
One wonders why now and why it took so long. blogdai opines that the disappearance of any form of National election over the last decade in a supposedly democratic Nepal was the result of too much citizen apathy, which gave Girija and his goons a free ride on the table of corruption. We didn't really care and the politicians were not about to offer any encouragement. So what if voting in a free election is the single most important duty of any citizen in a democracy.
Surprisingly, the international community and all its minions finally got something right. The reason Girija is holding elections is that everyone from Mukherjee to Jimmy Carter is telling him that he and his government are worthless if they don't pull this off. So, after years of pressure finally coming to a head, we may, just may get CA elections.
But that's where the trouble starts.....
---Madhav Khumar Nepal and his cronies are already manipulating the process in some districts by offering (unspecified) benefits to those who vote UML.
---Never to be outdone, Prachanda and his thug wing: The Young Communist League (YCL) are beating up UML cadres and disrupting legitimate political rallies. Prachanda himself says that he will be the leader of Nepal regardless of the outcome of the election. Great.
---Ian Martin, always eager to prove his relevance, maddeningly says that the security situation is good and that the Army, the one group capable of keeping order at the polls, is not necessary for security. Ian will not be able to pathetically beg for his job like he did a few months ago if he is found to be responsible for the almost inevitable security problems that will arise during this election.
--- Madhesis--ever in India's pocket--have already started their new disruptive agitation. They seem to be losing passion and steam this round: New Delhi must be very disappointed.
Post Election Scenarios
blogdai can almost guarantee that these elections will be disputed. Everyone that doesn't win something will bitch about it. That's Nepal. That's what happens when you don't know about the give and take of democracy. That's what happens when the only way you know to get social results is to take to the streets in protest: Thanks yet again, Girija Babu.
And take to the streets they will. First, Prachanda will rally, riot or whatever claiming he and his goons rightfully won the day. Then, student cadres of the NC and UML will take to the streets claiming YCL thugs intimidated voters and the whole election is a fraud. Finally, let's not forget that the Tibetans have promised to start their anti-China agitations up again the day after elections. A nasty time, that, as the Olympic torch will be passing through Delhi and supposedly crossing everest a few weeks after.
Can we even be assured of any kind of accuracy in these elections? In Kathmandu, mock elections were held in woefully inadequate numbers; and what did we learn from such exercises? We learned that a majority of those wishing to cast their first ballot in years were not able to comprehend either the choices or the mechanics of casting a vote. How representative of the will of the people this election will be!
This leaves cadres, politicos and party operatives to cast or help cast votes. With only a token presence of election monitors from the world community (do you think any one of them will observe a polling site in Rolpa?) there is nothing that will substantively check widespread voter coercion and electoral fraud.
Messy old democracy getting it's wings? Don't fool yourself, we're far from that.