Who wants to hear something funny? The Communist Party of Vietnam is holding a ‘democratic’ election this week, letting the people cast their votes on potential candidates capable of running for office. However, there are some catches: the candidates are chosen by the Communist Party, they represent no one else but the Communist Party, and all issues and agendas must resonate with the VCP. Multiparty elections remain strictly prohibited and the mere mention of such an idea can still get a person thrown in jail for long periods of time.
Why are they doing this exactly? Nowadays, the Vietnamese Communists like to talk about ‘openness’ and ‘transparency.’ simulating democracy to appear more humane and fair before the eyes of potential investors. Some may argue that what they’re doing is somewhat democratic, that the country is slowly changing itself into a real democracy. Idealistic, but unrealistic. There is nothing democratic about this election, not even the candidates.
All of the people running for Vietnam’s National Assembly are specifically chosen by the Fatherland Front, a powerful organization within the Communist Party. The candidates’ platforms and stances on social issues are all chosen by the Party, which means that genuinely hot-button issues such as economic inflation, government corruption, and relations with China are banned from discussion. Simply speaking, those running in the election don’t really speak for themselves. Either they are catering to the Party, or are outright puppets in this fictional display, shamelessly branded as a ‘democratic election.’
It is disappointing, but this election, and I use this term loosely, is just a show for the people of Vietnam who are still kept in the dark. There are a few in Vietnam who know the true meaning of democracy. Sadly, these knowledgable ones are unable to bring it their visions, due to the brutality of the Communist system. Even those that become members of this National Assembly will still be subordinate to the Politburo, the supreme ruling circle of the VCP. There will still be no checks and balances, and no change will truly come. Therefore, the type of democracy these dictators claim to practice is just a sham, another trick that a Communist is trying to pass off as something substantial.
Pictures: “Towards prosperity, a strong nation, fairness, democracy, and civilization!”; VCP General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong drops a ballot into the ballot box. Why the number one leader in the country is casting a vote for his subordinates is beyond this blogger’s understanding.