Ji on Thailand’s democracy

14 04 2014

Readers will find Ji Ungpakorn’s Thailand: Democratic Audit 2014 of some interest. He begins with a very obvious and important point:

Thailand used to be a beacon of democracy in South-East Asia. Its democratic system was never perfect, but decades of struggle by social movements had limited the powers of the military and un-democratic elites. However, today, Thailand has slipped backwards, nestling comfortably with the various despotic regimes of ASEAN, with only the Philippines and Indonesia having some degree of freedom and democracy.

His “Democratic Audit” examines “a number of factors which are fundamental to a thriving democracy”:

1. The right of citizens to choose the government of their own preference in free and fair elections.

2. Freedom of expression.

3. Basic standards of justice for all citizens and measures to prevent state crimes.

4. The integrity of public institutions.

5. The strength of pro-democratic social movements and citizen participation.

6. Respect for the dignity of all citizens, gender rights, racism and self-determination for minorities.

7. Trade union and labour rights.

8. Economic equality.

9. Corruption.



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