Political reform in Thailand is desperately needed and is front and center in Thailand’s political unrest. Needing to tailor the reforms to deal specifically with Thai corrupt politician’s behavior is a must. So just putting some thought into what that may entail is actually a bit of a fun project.
Connecting the Dot’s is not shy about hitting the nail on the head. We have seen what is needed and what general changes need to be in place. We have talked with a psychologist about what things would encourage good behavior and at the same time discourage bad behavior. So we decided to give our version of what we think is needed and what will work best. This is far from a full list, but we do touch on things that both make sense and deal with the present problems.
The very first problem that needs to be fixed is the amount of time it takes to run the legal process that now is giving a lot of corrupt politicians time to flee the country and enjoy the fruits of their bad behavior. So on addressing that, the first change would be that once indicted the politician would be removed from office the same day. There would be no more holding on and dragging it out for years on end while they tried to cover their tracks with bribes or whatever. They would be banned from any political positions or consulting until there was a final ruling by the court. Seeing that normally takes years, this change would encourage speeding up the process and not dragging it out.
Although that may sound like guilty until proven innocent, the corrupt politicians simply do not want to go. They will find every excuse to not leave and even invent some. But if a good politician was caught up in some mess and were indicted, they do tend to step down on their own to show responsibility as no doubt significant resources will be going to fight the charges and that would tend to reduce the quality of work leaving the Thai people short changed on quality.
Certainly in the method described above the politician under investigation would be given the chance to provide pre-indictment information to clarify things that may accidentally lead to an indictment. So it becomes their choice and whatever consequences come of it.
The second change would be a point system that would look to punish the superiors of said corrupt politician. This would be for Ministers on all levels. For example if a Deputy Minister was indicted, the Minister in the same ministry would get 1 point. If 5 points are received then that Minister would be automatically removed from office and banned from politics for 5 years or the court ruled that the Deputy Minister was found not guilty by the courts. The lesser time would be used. This is to encourage internal policing as ultimately the top person is responsible for everything that happens on their watch. That also means that if a Minister was indicted, it would be the Prime Minister that would get the point. This is very similar to dissolving the party and banning party list politicians for 5 years if one has been found guilty.
The third change would be to the structure of local Government. They would be elected and not appointed. This is needed to keep too much power from being consolidated under any one person or party.
The counter corruption body would need to be up sized significantly as the workload is obviously way too high at the moment. It would need internal structuring that allowed it to quickly reach down into local Government and not only focus on who is in Bangkok. They would be given the power to remove any politician despite all their kicking screaming and threats that will likely be spewing from that indicted politician.
These changes we feel would be the foundation needed to choke corruption in Thailand and to allow the money that was originally designated for the Thai people to actually reach them.