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Readers' Comments on "The Final Step in a Democracy"
With due respect for the Athenians for initiating the early democratic structure in their society and ushering in a new way of governance, the idea of democracy has evolved considerably over time to be more inclusive and comprehensive than its early manifestations. Throughout the centuries, it had fallen, regrouped, broaden its definition of citizenship and equality, especially in terms of race and gender, and finally emerged in the forms we see today around the world....
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Location: MN
Subject: a bit more ...
Jan 31 2013 10:39 PM

Thanks Tempta for stirring up discussion on this topic.
It would be interesting to pick a few democratic countries in the world - US, India, Norway etc and see how the political parties in those countries function, specifically how they are financed. What challenges did they face in the initial stages and how are they doing now? What about the Tibetan political party? Since I'm not a political science student, I'll open it to others. Such a discussion would be very practical.

Location: NYC
Subject: Improving Tibetan democracy
Jan 29 2013 08:23 PM

Political parties are certainly permitted under the Tibetan Charter & int'l law. We already have a Tibetan Democratic Party & there is no reason not to form others.

We should also have a one person, one vote rule. Right now monks are permitted two votes, one for their lay representative & one for their monastery representative. Monks should have one vote just like everyone else.

I'm certain there are other ways we can improve Tibetan democracy in exile.

Location: Berkeley, CA
Subject: Political Parties within the Tibetan Society
Jan 29 2013 09:53 AM

Take a close look at any form of democratic countries around the world, does anybody see a single democratic country without a multiple political parties? Countries such as China, Cuba, North Korea are the non-democratic form of government ruled by a totalitarian party. Therefore, I'm afraid we can call our system a fully democratic system as yet because we do not have opposition parties as required in a healthy democracy to function. As indicated in this article, check and balance is the indispensable part of the democratic system.

Location: The True North
Subject: Top-Down To Bottom-up
Jan 28 2013 08:17 PM

Thank you very much for this is very succinct and important piece by T. Gapshi la. This article is a timely call to the Tibetan people to take the next logical step towards maturity of our democracy, i.e. the step from regional and sectarian based democracy towards an ideologically based democracy.

However, it is important to keep in mind that regional and religious representation will still be reflected within the political parties. That is how all political parties around the world are. Party members will represent their own constituencies / region / sect. The number of seats in the legislature are divided according to demography and geography - and in the special case of Tibetans, according to religious sects as well. That doesn't have to necessarily change, at least not for the foreseeable future.

This "Final Step" will truly transform our democracy from a top-down version to a bottom-up version, which all great democracies of the world are.

The question is, can we Tibetans do it. I believe we can.
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