Thursday, March 8, 2007

Bengali politics...

You know, I was discussing politics with my dad yesterday, and I realized something… I’m really, really cynical when dealing with politicians. It’s not exactly the greatest trait in the world, but, then again, I live in Bangladesh, and anyone who’s NOT cynical when dealing with politics is an idiot, all politicians (okay, okay, not all, most) in Bangladesh are in it for the money. What money? Well, graft, graft, graft, I mean, they skim on everything and then illegally import a couple of Hummers and Mercedes SUVs.

But now, we have good news, you see, we have 5 year terms, and at the end of that term, the current government hands power over to a “neutral” non-political group of people headed by the Chief Advisor to the government.

But, well the first “neutral” government wasn’t neutral, the Election Commission (the guys who are supposed to get the polls ready) didn’t do much, except try to rig the polls. And on top of this, when the government handed over power, they had this guy who was former BNP (Bangladesh National Party, the party that was in power, their rivals are the Awami League, also known as the AL, and I’m not sure that the leader of the government was BNP, but he wasn’t neutral), the AL didn’t like this, so the president (BNP guy) illegally took power (okay, so it wasn’t totally illegal, actually, he just skipped about 5 people who were in line).

Then came the strikes. The AL wasn’t happy, they knew that if the President was also Chief Advisor, and he didn’t fix the polls, they would lose. So they brought in the gangs and starting attacking the BNP. The President banned sticks, bats, and, funny enough, oars, the AL symbol. So, the AL shut down the capital, many, many times.

Finally, the President relented. He resigned as Chief Advisor, and the power was turned over to a totally different Interim Government, which was backed by the Army.

Now, that’s what’s happened around these parts… whilst it may sound really scary, actually, its been for the better, the current government has pledged to fix the polls (its gonna take a year) and root out corruption (the BNP made Bangladesh the most corrupt nation for 4 years in a row, until Haiti bet us).

So they’re rooting out corruption, big time. Tons of people are going to jail, for all that graft that they enjoyed. You know all those Mercedes I mentioned? People are hiding them and trying to get rid of them, because they know that they’re signs of their corruption. And recently, Tarique Rahman, the son of the leader of the BNP, who was more or less in charge of all the corruption and stuff, was arrested. My dad went out today and he said the bus has a party atmosphere.

No comments: