Being a vibrant democracy, Nepal has always had a trick or two up its sleeves that it can teach the world about how to make this system work even more vibrantly. And I have to grudgingly admit that Americans are the quickest learners. After 200 years they’re finally getting the hang of it.
I would even go as far as to say that American voters are very asstute, and we needn’t have worried needlessly about the outcome. Nepal uses election symbols like Cow or Rooster to make it easier for voters to decide which party they want to vote for, and the Americans copied this to simplify their own ballot by allocating one party the Donkey symbol and the other the Elephant. Understandably, the Donkeys lost.
There are some cardinal rules that Nepali politicians swear by (some of these swear words are unprintable in a newspaper also read by minors) which are copyrighted, highly classified and a closely guarded secret, so readers are requested, in the national interest, to use their discretion and make sure they don’t blurt these out in public:
Cardinal Rule #1
: Announce during the election campaign that you will never accept the result if you lose. And if, by some fluke, you do win you hole-heartedly endorse the result and immediately pronounce elections free and fair.
Cardinal Rule #2
: Blame a large country with 1.2 billion people for your trade deficit, taking away jobs, flooding your country with migrants. Threaten to blockade the border, or build a wall.
Cardinal Rule #3
: Misogyny and citizenship are two sure-fire ways to win elections in Nepal which has gone from absolute monarchy to absolute patriarchy. Having three wives is a plus for prospective candidates.
Cardinal Rule #4
: Gloat. In Nepal it is regular practice for the winner to take all and revel in triumphalism.
Cardinal Rule #5
: Nepalis exhibit their disgust with the winning party by voting with their feet and emigrating to Canada.
It is good to see that the Americans have followed many of these cardinal rules to the letter. Which is why, just as in Nepal, democracy is alive and kicking in the United States. But there are still things in our democratic arsenal that the Americans have yet to master:
- Nepalis value our freedom to burn tyres at corner meetings. Not only are these sooty bonfires great ways to keep warm in winter, they also incinerate rubber rubbish that would otherwise clog up our landfills.
- Lockdowns. In the past 26 years of democracy, politicians have closed down the country for most days in a year. If there were more than 365 days in a given year, we’d close them down too.
- Declare national holiday for high-level state visits by leaders of all countries with more than 1 billion population.
- Grants to ex-presidents and daughters of former prime ministers to receive medical treatment in a country of their choice.
- Chukka jams. Notwithstanding the fact that our chukkas are stuck in traffic jams most days anyway, Nepal’s freedom fighters have found ways to enforce spontaneous ways to gridlock traffic so that we can burn the greatly more expensive fuel in even greater quantities to protest the shortage of fuel.
- Valley Band. This is something the Americans can pick up from us right away: announce a strike in Silicon Valley and block the information superhighway.
- One-day Nepal Band. This is when the whole country is forced to voluntarily enjoy a national holiday and a car-free day so that our distinguished foreign visitors can breathe clean air while they are in Nepal.
- Two-day Nepal Band. If one day is not enough to clean up the air, we close the country down for two days from sea to shining sea. After all, no price is too great to protect our democratic way of life.