Growing up in a communist state, I really didn’t care that much about politics. (No! They didn’t brainwash me. I was just not that into it). However, since I came to the states, I became more and more interested in the subject. (It’s kind of hard to ignore politics with all the stuff the media play on TV everyday).
So I will give my two-cents here about some of the claims on the politics of Vietnam. But I have to warn you that these are just my personal opinions and in no way reflect the general view of the public back home. Also, my points of view might not be politically correct, so read on at your own risks:
*First, Vietnam is a single-party state and the only party in control of the country since 1975 is the Communist Party. Many Vietnamese living abroad (especially in the US) want the country to change to a multi-party system. Some even go to the extreme of suggesting a domestic war to bring down the Communist Party.
What do I think about this? I believe what we need right now is stability. (Mind you, I’m just tired of wars!) Changing the system will be the job of the young generation of Vietnamese in the future; and any outside forces will just cause more harms than helps
*Second, Freedom of Speech – I hear it over and over again that there’s no freedom of speech and the press is just a propaganda tool in Vietnam. This is becoming more and more inaccurate in the recent years. Many corrupted government officials are put in jails because of the press. Of course, lies, bribery, suppression, and corruptions are still there in the system. However, is that what politic is all about ? (For me, I have learned not to listen and trust politicians)
*Third, people are not free to worship their own religions in Vietnam. I consider this a myth from many Vietnamese living abroad. The Vietnamese government neither “endorses” or “rejects” any religions. Article 70 of the Vietnam Constitution also states:
“The citizen shall enjoy freedom of belief and of religion; he can follow any religion or follow none. All religions are equal before the law.
The places of worship of all faiths and religions are protected by the law.
No one can violate freedom of belief and of religion; nor can anyone misuse beliefs and religions to contravene the law and State policies.”
You can read all the articles here: http://www.vietnamembassy-usa.org/learn_about_vietnam/politics/constitution/chapter_five/
*Lastly, because I was living “in” the system, I might be biased in my opinion. I don’t deny that there are still many problems with the Vietnamese government. But I don’t recall that there’s such a thing called a perfect government in this world. Each system just has different problems and challenges; and in the end, it’s the people that live in the system who decide on whether they should keep the system or let it go.
To make my post even more dull, you can watch this heated debate on Vietnam in one of Bill Maher’s show: