Monday, May 12, 2008

Mongolian Elections

Parliamentary elections will be held June 29th in Mongolia. The campaigning has already begun, although I am under the impression this is about two weeks before the legal starting date. I suppose there is a fine line between marketing oneself and campaigning for office, but the literature I have been receiving at my apartment over the last week from the candidates in my district are not really walking that fine line.

I was in Mongolia for the 2004 elections, and it was quite a display of democracy at work--not least of all the fact that the ruling party lost its 72-4 seat domination in Parliament in spite predictions from many pundits (i.e. ex-pats at Millie's Cafe) that Mongolia was once again edging towards one party rule. Rumors on the street seem to indicate that no party feels secure this election either, and many of the seats are toss-ups. If you are a political scientist, this is the place to study what happens when nascent democratic values meet the politics of hard reality and a skeptical electorate. Completely fascinating if you are political junkie.

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