This Sunday, some of us will finally get the chance to vote in the local elections after two decades. What was our government thinking? Well, they did manage to run the local system without any elected representatives for twenty years but it also led to the so-called all party mechanism looting the funds.
Our ward and village secretaries had no choice but to get along with the chor netas and distribute the funds for their pet projects while the people did not see much development in their region.
Let's hope things will be a little better once we have our own local representatives heading the village, wards and municipalities. But of course, there will be sharing the loot amongst the netas as usual but at least we can hold them accountable and the elected representatives will have to worry about at least fulfilling some of their promises instead of just embezzling the funds.
Yes, those in the first phase of the local elections should feel lucky because we really don’t know if the second phase will really happen. But let's hope for the best and hopefully our brothers and sisters who have to wait for the second phase will get to vote for their candidates next month.
Our incompetent government should have at least arranged a drinking water station for most of us who stood in line for hours to get our Voter ID. But of course, who really cares about the people? We are used to standing up in line for hours for everything.
It would have been a lot easier if our Election Commission (EC) wallahs handed out laptops to their folks to check the voter list as well instead of flipping the pages and taking their time while everybody in line kept wondering why it was taking so long. But everything seems to have turned out well and we are all ready to cast our votes for our favorite candidates.
And our EC folks were busy driving around the valley in their new vehicles gifted by our friends from India. And we may have had the 'no horn' rule in place but I guess nobody thinks that loud music from speakers is also noise pollution as well. Our political parties were busy with their nataks. Yes, spend the money on flags, pamphlets and hire taxis to disturb the neighborhood with loud music.
Our politicians were busy with the Ghar-Dailo programs. Yes, we don't know them until they show up at our homes, asking for votes. This is the only time you get to meet your politicians. They shake your hands and smile and promise you everything. And we should also smile back and promise to vote for them as well.
Yes, promise all the candidates your vote and you don't have to feel bad about it because all the chors will not carry out their promises either.
It seems that most of us who live in the cities do not have to worry about violence but folks in our villages are getting threatened and even killed during election campaigns.
I think we should remind our politicians and their cadres that they are not going to war and killing your opponent or cadres from other political parties will not help to win them votes at all. We hear about bombs going off in rural areas. I guess, some of our netas in the villages seem to think that this is war and you need to get rid of your rivals to become the new King in the village.
It seems that in many neighborhoods in the valley, the same old folks who had become ward chairperson twenty years ago are still in the game. It seems that our major political parties are not interested to field new and young candidates. Well, we have a young woman who wants to be the Mayor of Kathmandu. Let us wish her well but without money and muscles, it is pretty difficult to win any elections in this land. We really don't expect any major upsets in the local elections.
Some of us are in a dilemma as we really want to vote with our conscience and vote for the best candidate who will do good for the neighborhood and our municipality. But we also know that our best candidate might not get enough votes to win. The local chiya pasal is now the main news center for the local elections.
We hear about a candidate standing up for election while his own nephew is also standing up as an independent candidate just to make sure that he gets a dozen less votes. We hear about byaparis who had paid tons of money to the so-called top leaders of their party so that they can be the party's candidate for mayors and even ward chairpersons.
A local drunk has even filed his candidacy for ward chairperson in my neighborhood. Some of the folks will vote for him because they think that the candidates fielded by the major political parties are all crooks. Well, the drunk will not win but it would be better if we all helped him to get admitted to a rehab center after the election.
I am not voting for any independent candidates this election. I like them and think they can do better than the rest of the chors but a few thousand votes for mayor and a few hundred votes in the ward election will not help them win anything.
Like most of the folks who are voting this Sunday, I too will cast my votes for the candidates who will at least help to maintain our roads and street lights and make our neighborhood green and beautiful. We do not expect much for our ward representatives but just get the funds to make our toles livable and make sure that they provide the basic services that we citizens are entitled to without having to pay chiya kharcha.
Guffadi is a grumpy old man who blogs at guffadi.blogspot.com. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org