Monday, December 31, 2007

Bhutan elections

The Kingdom of Bhutan holds today its first democratic elections. I don't know the results and I have no idea about the local politics. (For those interested, the results can be found here).
My interest in the country stems from the fact that the former king adopted as a measure of prosperity of the country, not the gnp or any other similar economic index, but the index of happiness! The index is called Gross National Happiness (GNH) and it is an attempt to define quality of life in more holistic and psychological terms than Gross National Product. The former king of Bhutan Jigme Singye Wangchuck coined this term in 1972. He wanted to build an economy that would serve Bhutan's culture based on Buddhist spiritual values. Like many moral goals, it is somewhat easier to state than to define. (Wikipedia provides a detailed article on the subject).

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