Happiness prime minister speaks

In: Uncategorized

21 Nov 2008

Today’s Wall Street Journal has an interview with Bhutan’s first elected prime minister. Inevitably it touches on the Himalayan kingdom’s much lauded emphasis on pursuing Gross National Happiness rather than GDP. What Jigmi Y Thinley says is pretty anodyne. What is more notable is that he became the first democratically elected prime minister only this year. The country so loved by happiness gurus for many years only got the formal trappings of democracy in 2008.

Even now its embrace of democracy is only partial. Like Britain it retains a dubious status as a “constitutional monarchy”.

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