Over the last half a century or so Bhutan, often cited as one of the happiest nations in the world, has undergone some serious structural changes politically. These changes started back in 1952 when the country started to break with the traditional, benevolent monarchy that has governed for centuries, and move towards a modern democracy. The citizens of Bhutan cast the deciding vote in a referendum and the country's first parliamentary elections were held in 2008.
But that doesn't mean it's been easy. Bhutan’s citizens may have voted for democracy, but initially it was difficult for them to evaluate whether they truly liked the changes that brought. In short, they were (understandably) institutionalised to living in a benevolent autocracy – so they had no benchmark of democracy against which to compare their new situation. They only knew rulers who held absolute power – how should they now relate to political leaders who were accountable to them personally at the ballot box? Quite a mind-set shift for anyone to make!