The Weekend Politics Thread goes vertical

Hi all, Anna is predisposed, so I’ll be tackling this alone.

Realistically, I should be talking about Serbia’s parliamentary election, which the EU is decrying as a sham, but as someone born in 1989, I do not feel that I could do it justice.

Instead, I want to talk about the parliamentary election in Mongolia, which is taking place this Wednesday.

Mongolia is a country of about 3 million people wedged right between China and Far Eastern Russia. As I’m sure you know, it has a rich and noble history that is very distinct from either country, and that can be seen in the fact that this year its government voted to revert from the Cyrillic alphabet to Old Mongol– which is written vertically. This is partly to break from Russian influence (a trend that has been widespread in that part of the world) as well as an acknowledgment of the fact that the majority of Mongol-speakers actually live in China, where the Old Mongol script never went away.

After abandoning Communism in 1992, Mongolia has been described as an “island of democracy” between its two much larger and more authoritarian neighbors, but Mongolia itself is no stranger to flirting with authoritarianism. The biggest issue in the country is the fight to begin mineral extraction, though it is more of a fight between the nominally non-partisan President and the parliament, which by the way is called the GREAT KHURAL.

Currently there are two major parties in Mongolia: the ruling social democratic Mongolian People’s Party and the centre-right Democratic Party. Though which if any of these parties continue to exist after this election is in question, as Mongolia has decided to switch from party-list proportional representation to the worst electoral system that is still democratic, multiple non-transferable vote. Basically, there are multiple constituencies with multiple representatives, each of which is elected separately to their own unique seat. It’s a system designed to produce massive supermajorities of a sort that aren’t generally seen as products of a healthy democracy.

But I suppose we’ll see how it goes, as a bunch of new parties have been approved to run. Ideally splitting the vote so the MPP can stay in power forever.