By Bulgan B
In general, S Ganbaatar’s election platform is short (6 pages only) and written in simple language. It addresses “Mongolians” as the victims of unruly politicians and political parties and calls for action to set social justice and improve accountability to bring employment, income and eradicate poverty.
The change theory that the platform proposes is 1. getting accountable government so 2. the social justice could be restored, and this could bring 3. employment and income to everyone and 4. eradicate poverty. The change agent described in his platform is the public (“Mongolians”, “a Mongolian”, and “citizens” were the most frequently used words), calling them for action to change, declaring their rights to the ownership of natural resources and better treatment by the government.
The tone in the platform appeals to “nationalist” sentiment. In addition to attending to the entitlements of Mongolians, the 9-part document separately speaks of true Mongolian, having pride in being born Mongolian, improving the worth (value) of Mongolian and owning the natural resources.
Summary on Key Issues
Below is the summary of the platform stance on some issues identified by the writers of this blog.
On social issues: Mr. Ganbaatar signifies unemployment and poverty caused by the loss of justice in the society. The issues of healthcare, education and migration (Mongolian youth working abroad) were briefly mentioned as side effects of unemployment and loss of accountability (justice system). In addition, the perspectives of history, current condition and future vision were anchored in the identity of Mongolian.
On nationalism and mining: The nationalist stance is very strong in the platform. Mr. Ganbaatar is named as the “King of Populism” in political discussions and media. He certainly owns the “common Mongolian” role and has a strong stance on the Oyu Tolgoi agreement, demanding more of a share for Mongolians. Although he is criticized by many, he rates very high in the public, which could be one of the reason that MPRP is running him as their candidate. In other words, the platform does not have references to mining.
On foreign policy: The platform is centered on domestic governance (accountability) and does not mention foreign policy. On the other hand, his statements about Mongolians owning the natural resources could translate into more emphasis on ownership of natural resources deposits by the state which could have negative impact on foreign investment (thus could translate into weakened foreign relations).
On judiciary: There is a sentence demanding fairness in legal and judiciary organizations and another charging the public officials holding the name of the government and having access to resources. He calls for a just system by prioritizing interests of the public.
On corruption: The only reference which may mean corruption is the mention of offshore account.
The Platform Overall
In summary, the platform does not substantially cover any policy issues in constructive manner. The narrowly defined social issues and actions to mend centers heavily on the what seem to be whatever people want to hear focusing on the emotion rather than intelligence.
To speculate, the platform does not seem to be created with the anticipation of winning the election. Although it is not possible to evaluate how much of resources dedicated in putting together the platform, it is sufficiently simplified thus could be speculated that it has not tapped into the two-term president, and the father of the party. From here, I also want to speculate that party strategy has more than obvious agenda – vote splitting. The conspiracy I dwell on is that Mr. Ganbaatar can share the nationalist votes with Kh. Battulga, DP candidate. The winner of the election would be the MPRP as its negotiation with its brother party MPP then would secure the party resources in the next term of presidency of MPP.