Ðằng Vân


Point of View

Week Ending 26 November 2006


A House of Shame


Nowadays, it is more and more embarrassing as time goes by to be Vietnamese on the face of the earth, for our people both overseas and inside Vietnam.

As we watch with intense interests the process of true democracy being displayed openly for the whole world, such as the November 06 mid-term election in the USA when the American people exercised their democratic right, delivered control of both houses of Congress to the opposition Democratic Party, and deprived President George W Bush of a powerful tool to formulate American policies.

In Australia, despite the fact that the Liberal-National Coalition has been in power federally for more than a decade, at the election in Victoria, which is the second largest state in Australia, the Labor Party (which is in opposition federally) won that state’s election by winning majority seats in the Parliament, and thus won power in the state.


Both houses of Congress in the USA, both houses of Parliament in the State of Victoria in Australia, deserve to be political institutions truthfully representing the will of their peoples respectively. Their peoples are not only free peoples, but peoples with dignity, self respect and confidence in the power conferred upon them by law and protected by the integrity of the whole body politic.


How about the Vietnamese people? Don’t we also have a House of Assembly, or House of Congress or Parliament of some type?

The answer is:

Yes, we do, but it should be more appropriately called by its real name as the House of Shame because shameful things are being done by the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) in the name of this institution.


Indeed whenever we read on Government-owned and controlled electronic media such as Vietnamnet, Tuoi Tre Online, Lao Dong Online etc…we are inundated with articles on the “vigorous” debates in the so-called House of Assembly or Congress such as:




-“Such is the explanation of the Minister for Education and Training Nguyen Thien Nhan when examined by deputies of the House on the road map to 2010, whether teachers could live on their wages”. As part of this article we could see the picture of a serious bespectacled minister, in formal attire, answering with utter seriousness the no doubt extremely difficult cross-examination of deputies on behalf of the voters. Or


-“Opinions of the voters-During the last few days, examinations by the House of Assembly have generated massive voters’ interests. Many have expressed opinions through Vietnamnet.


-“Cross-examination right to the hot points. The crucial points.” We can also see here the photograph in color of the bespectacled Minister for Resources and the Environment Mai Ai Truc with his thumb up and smiling to the voters.  


Lao Dong Online:


-“Cross examining the Minister for Finance Vu Van Ninh: Many deputies are not yet satisfied”.


Tuoi Tre Online:


-“After the break, Deputies have resumed their examination of Mr. Justice Nguyen Van Hien of the Supreme People’s Court. There were 7 specific questions and 5 general questions on procedures at court.” Here we can also see a Mr. Justice of the Supreme People’s Court, in formal attire, gesticulating as though he had to deal with extremely tough questions in a truly democratic process within a democratically elected institution.


An American born American citizen, an Australian born Australian citizen and a French born French citizen would be entitled to ask me or any other “whingeing Vietnamese” the following legitimate question:


Come on chaps! What are you complaining about? You seem to have an extremely democratic institution and your deputies are working hard at asking the tough questions for you of your government? They are trying their best “to keep the bastards honest” as the saying goes. You should stop whingeing! By the way, all your ministers and judges must be extremely respectable individuals, judging by their attires and spectacles. They must be reading a hell lot of books and well learned in order to serve your people. They seem to be even superior to ours.


To the above questions, what can an average Vietnamese citizen reply?

I will try my best. Given the immense veil of hypocrisy under which the whole social fabric has been covered, I am not confident the people in the outside world would easily understand.


Here is the unfortunate truth:


Article 4 of the 1992 constitution provides that:


” The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), the vanguard of the Vietnamese proletariat, the loyal delegate of the working class, the working people and the whole nation, followers of Marxism-Leninism and the thoughts of Ho Chi Minh, constitutes the leading force of the government and the society…”


Then Sections 25 to 36 of the Congressional Electoral Act 1992 expressly provides that the presidium of the Central Committee of the Fatherland Front (the front organization of the CPV) decides finally the names of candidates for Congress to be included in the official list of candidates for elections, and only those candidates on the list could stand for election.


Thus the truth is apparent: for all the debates, brouhaha, questions and cross-examinations in this House of Shame, all the deputies and ministers are members of the CPV and/or loyal stooges. They play the so-called democratic gimmicks in which they are actors, scripts writers, directors and their own adoring spectators.


The people know that this is a farce but must keep their peace because the secret police and armed forces are in the hands of the CPV. Those dissidents who dare to voice their disgust of the farce have to face punishments and incarceration. Meanwhile the CPV continues the charade with impunity as though the Vietnamese people are so stupid that they could be taken for a ride for eternity.


Not so fast Messrs. Dzung, Triet, Manh and Trong! One day and that day will come sooner than expected; the people will be so enraged at such insolence and flagrant insult of their intelligence that they will rise up and wipe the CPV off the face of the nation, in order to open a new page in our history.


Ðằng Vân

27 November 2006