Posted by Tshewang Lhamo on May 6, 2011 in Governance | 3 comments
A law which is in form of bill is hosted on the website of the NAB for public discussions – TV captures every presentation and discussion and Newspapers as well. I think we should have a better public consultative system – how do we do that?
Radios must pick it up for those who have no opportunity on TV and broadcast several days. There should be a public gather where MPs take the bill to the people and collect the consensus – I think our democracy is unique and we should find unique ways as well.
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One way is to use online sites – designed in a manner to get people’s attention. Radio and community dialogue will do much to promote wider discussion. The media, needless to say, have a critical role in analysing some of the proposed laws and calling out attention to areas that need more consultation.
Tshewang has raised a very critical issue here.
My own attempt at trying to engage and raise awareness on a particular law (Right to Information) is proving to be a big learning experience. Newspapers, television and radio modes have helped in communicating with the public in raising awareness. I have tried to reach through my personal weblog (www.sangaykhandu.com) too and other social media platforms. I have also interacted and talked on RTI on a few occasions with a few civil servants and local leaders too. There have been responses but not enough to make me feel that enough Bhutanese people have been engaged.
I sense the Government on the other hand is in a much more comfortable position with larger resource at their disposal. The civil service machinery is a very powerful support who through public consultations engage as many members of the public as possible. Yet there too we have instances of variances of feedback on these consultations.
I sense it is not so much to do with not having mechanism but most probably a case of poor response which maybe attributable to a myriad of factors. We need to look into it and build enough awareness of the importance of these public consultations and also, garner enough confidence of the public in these mechanisms to engage the public genuinely.
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