Democracy of the Vietnam’s electoral system

02/11/2014
                                                             Photo: Election propaganda


As Hong Kong protests are demanding their own voting rights, we just take a look at our electoral system. How do we choose our leaders? And does it take place democratically? In my opinion, Vietnam’s voting system is quite democratic in its own way.
 First, let see what the West countries, who always consider themselves democracy, talk about us. They say Vietnam is a communist state, right, a single-party state, one-party state, one-party system, or single-party system. It is a type of state in which a single political party has the right to form the government, usually based on the existing constitution. All other parties are either outlawed or allowed to take only a limited and controlled participation in elections. Sometimes the term de facto single-party state is used to describe a dominant-party system that, unlike the single-party state, allows democratic multiparty elections, but the existing practices or balance of political power effectively prevent the opposition from winning the elections. Maybe they are right, I must confess.
Vietnam elects on national level a head of state - the president - and a legislature. The National Assembly  has 498 members, elected for a five-year term. Vietnam is a single-party state. This means that only one political party, the Communist Party of Vietnam is legally allowed to hold effective power. The president is elected for a five-year term by the parliament. More than 99% of all candidates were selected by Communist Party and most of them were from the party.
 Perhaps one of the most important ideas to go global over the last century has been “democracy”. The simple idea that every adult has the right to vote on a regular basis for those who they wish to govern them is a powerful one. For example, the current turmoil in the Middle East in part reflects the desire of populations, long afflicted with the rule of a corrupt elite, to have a say in the choice (or rejection) of their leaders.
After all, Vietnam is one of the last remaining communist one-party states. But of course there is more, or perhaps less, to Vietnamese elections than meets the eye. Candidates can put themselves forward – but are vetted by the Party – only those with acceptable credentials are able to stand. Voters are presented with a list of 5 or 7 candidates – of whom they can only cross out two. So in effect, voters are being asked to remove the least acceptable of a set of candidates pre-selected by the Party. And this is only the National Assembly; executive power lies mostly with the Central Committee and the Politburo, appointed at the five yearly party Congress where all the serious political horse-trading takes place. This is how we play at democracy. The West, they have their own way of voting, and we have our owns, why they consider theirs more democratic than us, base on what, I don’t know.
 Let see how our voting system is still democratic dispite all allegations from hostile forces. Article 6 of Vietnam's 1992 Constitution states: "The people make use of state power through the agency of the National Assembly and the People's Councils, which represent the will and aspirations of the people, are elected by them and responsible to them."
The most striking feature of this system is that there is almost no popular clamour for change. No riots on the streets here – no one occupying Ba Dinh square demanding change. The reason for this political apathy seems clear – Vietnam grows at almost 7 per cent every year. Our economy has been storming along at a pace only outstripped by China. Ordinary Vietnamese are doing better and better – why change a system that is manifestly delivering the goods? Perhaps the more interesting question is why the Vietnamese system is effective. Why does it not appear to be hampered by the problems that have beset the Middle East and elsewhere, where growing corruption and cronyism have contributed to economic stagnation and unemployment?
There are two answers for that: First, Vietnam’s government, despite its wholesale conversion to capitalist production, still holds to a strong developmental ideology. Leaders not only repeat the mantra of helping the people, many of them appear to believe it. Although many are deeply involved in, and benefiting from, their control over key economic assets, political promotion does appear to depend on having done something good for society more broadly. Second, Vietnam’s political system has sufficient contestability among the political elite to ensure that the top positions are occupied by people who are both competent and at least not destructively corrupt.
 Next year, we will hold general elections for the 12th Party Congress and 14th National Assembly, which continue to confirm our revolutionary way of development and the leadership of our Communist Party and State. And believe me, we are free and democratic to choose our leaders, no need for helping us to attain what you call freedom, human rights and democracy in chaos, thanks a lots but get lost, ok!
Chia sẻ bài viết ^^
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All comments [ 10 ]


Huy Quốc 2/11/14 18:24

A communist state, a single-party state, one-party state, one-party system, or single-party system, what's wrong with that, we still have a stable politics and developing economy, that's all!

Hoàng Lân 2/11/14 18:26

Our Party and State represent the will and aspirations of the people, are elected by the people and responsible to people.

Vân Nhàn 2/11/14 18:27

Yeah, what democracy brings if not stability and development and we've had it all.

Hùng Quân 2/11/14 18:31

I also agree that our voting system is democratic and people take their pallots voluntarily and freely.

Quân Hoàng 2/11/14 18:35

Don't be fooled by hostile forces, what they could bring for us, protests, unstability and chaos, unemployment and crises.

Lê Tín 2/11/14 18:38

The most important ideas to go global over the last century has been “democracy”, a tool that the West use as weapon to invade and westernize us in a new and sophisticated way.

Quốc Cường 2/11/14 18:40

Ordinary Vietnamese are doing better and better – why change a system that is manifestly delivering the goods?

Huy Lâm 2/11/14 18:41

Go with your democracy and let our country and people live and develop our own ways.

Quốc Kiên 2/11/14 18:43

Although many are deeply involved in, and benefiting from, their control over key economic assets, political promotion does appear to depend on having done something good for society more broadly.

Phạm Hiếu 2/11/14 18:46

It's so funny that when we, Vietnamese people don't ask for so-called democracy which the West claim, hostile forces are so eager to offer help, but for their own benefits.

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