Call me a skeptic, but I do not really see the point of upcoming constitutional assembly election. There are two, valid I think, reasons I dare say that.
Why did last constitutional assembly fail to deliver the much anticipated book of laws, even while its term was extended, four times? Well, they say it was about the ‘type’ of federalism, they could not agree upon- so after a series of disagreements, they finally gave up shamelessly, to appear again to forever forgetful forgiving people of Nepal, each one of them (major parties) hoping maybe, could salvage a majority this time, and make a constitution like they want.
And if we really believed in that, and if were clever enough to conspire to make one party win (but there are oh, so many parties), then this election might fulfill its aspirations. Otherwise, without the major parties (while a major chunk of a major belligerent party remains anti-election) agreeing on a common ground, or at least willing to, this whole election will be a mere fiasco. And what if the parties agree, negotiate and work towards the goal? Then, we simply don’t need the election! Revive the old committee, and publish what is almost drafted already.
When we were young, while playing cards, if none of us had a good set in hands, we used to unanimously agree to a rematch, and each one drawing cards again hoping to get something better this time.
Election costs lots of money- not just government’s. One candidate spends a minimum of 5 million, and one can easily guess what kind of money that is. Huge sums pledged by businessmen, and agents of various sorts, will be thankfully refunded, with hefty interest in terms of undue favors when the bloke makes it to power. It’s a vicious cycle of corruption and crime.
Second reason is more pertinent. We are heading to an election that would dictate ways of our life, without proper preparation. Without discussing the grave issues like Federalism, the prospects of sustainability, the economic viability, the risk of collapse and danger of disintegration, we are upto it, like it is some magic wand that will take all our woes away. No, Federalism is just a fancy word here, to give people a false sense of achievement.
We have a communist party who looks to secure votes in name of ethnicity, a 180 degrees of deviance from what Marx said in ‘religion is opium of society’, rather juxtaposed to the British ‘divide and rule’. Parties’ manifestos are overburdened with bogus terms, and do not even bear a clear insight of the situation or society, let alone deal with the problems in a sensible manner. Corrupts and incompetents constitute the standing committees. Convicts, murderers and goons are contesting. Do we really want these people sketch our dreams, design our destiny? We do not yet have the political maturity, in public or the leadership good enough for the purpose. That is why it aborts, maybe for right reasons.