The government is planning an all-party meeting to make governance inclusive. How helpful the meeting proves to be, when it happens, is upon us to witness. But the idea must be appreciated and its fount duly lauded. At a time when politics is playing a major role in dividing the society, the ruling party’s effort to heal the differences and pains inflicted by corrosive language and mien of party politics by bringing all the registered parties on board to chart the nation’s outlook is a welcome development.

The roles and responsibilities of the political parties do not end after elections. Sadly, however, so it has been for so long. After the elections, when all the hurly burly’s done and battle lost and won, some political parties just disappear as though they were never there. Often the ruling party’s delusional grandeur subdues and smothers the voices of other political parties. There is nothing to be gained but only to lose from such futile posturing and wanton display of imbecility. The risk of going it alone is that we tend to lose our sense of place and proportion. A platform for the political parties outside of the parliament to push their development vision and agenda is, therefore, critically important

Although what issues would be discussed when the political parties convene for the first time is yet to be revealed, we can be sure that the drafting of the “Vision 2045” will be among the key agenda. Because the drafting of the “Vision 2045” means charting the nation’s future, it is right on the part of the government to include the voices and visions of all the political parties and wise to call them to this all-important enterprise.

Making Bhutan a self-reliant and thriving developed country by 2045 is a bold ambition. Although this dream comes from the electoral promise of the ruling government, we partake of this vision irrespective of which political party’s development alternatives we subscribe to individually. It is, therefore, in the interest of all the registered political parties to participate in the all-party meeting, which is expected to be a biannual event, and to make meaningful contributions to Bhutan’s long-term future.  Silence and apathy from the political parties is what we can ill afford.