Election Time

I have found it quite interesting to see the election process in different countries. In Seoul we knew that there was an election coming up. For weeks prior to the actual day the politicians would fill the streets with supporters, dancing and singing about how great their candidate was. There were signs posted everywhere and you couldn’t walk down the street without being reminded of the upcoming election. Election days also meant the day off for government workers (it meant that no one had an excuse not to vote… I loved it!)

In Mongolia the process (at least leading up to the election) seems very different. The only real indication (at least to me, a foreigner who doesn’t watch Mongolian TV – not sure if there is an English Monglian news station – and doesn’t have the opportunity to read the Mongolian English newspaper every day) of the upcoming election was that there were some people waving some flags in the main square on Friday. There are no loud trucks driving around with video feed explaining to people why they need to vote for each candidate. Posters aren’t splashed all over the city – I think I’ve only seen one, and that was on the one guy’s headquarters. The main reason that lets me know that there is an election happening is the fact that no alcohol is sold on election day. So today the stores had all their booze sections closed (and I believe that bars weren’t allowed to serve alcohol either…). Hypothetically this will result in voters being sober and actually turning up to vote. I’m not sure how effective it is, but it certainly says a lot about this country!

On a different (though somewhat similar) note, this city also has a rotation of days when alcohol is not allowed to be served in certain districts. Depending on where you are, there are some days when the bars will be fined if they serve people. I’m not entirely sure as to why they do this, I believe that they hope to reduce the number of people who are drinking in the city. I doubt this is effective, as the cold winters cause many people to consume more alcohol in order to feel warmer in the minus fifty weather.


~ by dawseng on May 24, 2009.

2 Responses to “Election Time”

  1. Apparently the ban on booze on election day is to prevent a repeat of last year’s election (vodka fueled rioting post election results)….but let’s go with more people sober=more voters

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