Thai electoral system fails the grade - Bangkok Post, March 1, 2005
[Any article critical of Thailand that begins by referring to international
conventions, etc. is likely to be out of touch with local conditions
and history. The author clearly has no clue to local sensibilities
or the context of Thai electoral laws, offering Thais Abraham Lincoln
as an example of an unschooled politician.
While the non-degree holder rule is under attack, one of the reasons
for barring non-degree holders from office was to begin to purge uneducated
big men and their mini-parties from political life.
The author suggests that monks conduct voter education. Temple life
is already highly politicized and the last thing Thai civil society
probably wants is further secularization of the monkhood by politicizing
Thai law denies Buddhist monks the right of suffrage. Likewise,
a person must have a university degree and be a bona fide member of
a political party to run for public office. While international observers
try to evaluate election laws in the context of a nation's history,
culture and politics, the restrictions in Thailand are not in accordance
with internationally accepted norms and standards...
Observers of the Feb 6 election in Thailand noted not only the inadequacy
of voter education in the lead-up but also the absence of groups to
conduct voter education either from the government or from civil society.
Monks are revered religious figures and can provide this need. This
role fits the monks perfectly well by reason of their moral authority...
- The little people are corrupt
- Michael Ball recalls Man City ‘madness’: Thaksin Shinawatra gave us a team talk
- Helping the rice farmers
- Trump in Thai editorial cartoons
- Do you know how to live?
- Thailand caught in the middle
- Help out or win out?
- While keeping a votive tablet in the mouth
- Words won’t stop the attack
- Profiting from being military
- We will straighten this out