Bhutan: A New Day Has Come

The country of Bhutan, with a population of 600,000 people, held its first democratic elections today. This must be seen as a step in the right direction. The idea to hold the elections was initiated by Bhutan’s monarch, 28-year old Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, who is the world’s youngest head of state. In the past decade or so, Bhutan has moved from being a depressingly poor, isolated country, to a model democracy for the region. In a country where television was banned until 1999, this is seen as a major leap. They are famous for actually measuring their “Gross National Happiness,” an idea which stems from Buddhist values. I certainly hope that the United States supports countries like Bhutan who take their own initiative in moving towards democracy and prosperity.


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