Voting, elections and budgets

7 09 2009

PPT can keep this post short. The Nation has two stories that should be read together.

The first is about local elections (7 September 2009: “Vote rigging rampant in local polling: EC”) and suggests that there was a huge and enthusiastic 70% turnout and rampant vote-buying and other forms of election malpractice. This is not unexpected. First, political debate and conflict has seen voting become a measure of “off-street” participation. Second, several commentators have pointed out that the fiddled 2007 Constitution demands this kind of politics (see here for a link).

The second article is an editorial in the unabashedly pro-government  Nation (7 September 2009: “A grand opportunity for political profiteering”) where the editorialist expresses concerns about how the huge  fiscal stimulus funds – 300 billion baht – might be siphoned off for political purposes.

So this is, potentially, the “natural” outcome of the coup and constitution playing out in a “reformed” by the military and their allies in appointed parliaments and committees working for their political patrons higher up. The political parties – all of them – have little option but to be participants in this corrupt process, as they were before the 1997 Constitution was promulgated.

Update: For another potential linking story, see here.



One response

13 09 2009
New: Inequality, state welfare and politics « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] conservative ways that have encouraged corruption of various kinds. Indeed, the 2007 Constitution requires corruption (if there is ever to be an […]

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