Thailand’s fight over article 237

Everyone has their own opinion about Thailand’s 2007 Constitution. Some say it is great, and others have other less that flattering opinions. Article 237 is possibly one of the most powerful articles as it can send an entire political party into oblivion if one person steps out of line.

Article 237 of Thailand’s Constitution without a doubt is loaded with psychological motivation for self policing. After all we have already seen what Thai politicians will act like if left without a leash. Buying votes is just part of it. So it goes without saying the politicians that don’t want to play by the rules, or fear they can’t get elected unless they cheat somehow are opposed to article 237.

There are also some typical Thai behaviors at work here too. Anyone that has spent any time at all in Thailand will note that if a job is too hard or stressful, a Thai will just up and leave for an easier or more fun job. Very few Thais have a taste for western style work ethics that means bust your ass to get ahead. On the flip side of that, that is what makes Thailand such an attractive a place to get away from all of that for many tourists.

So because article 237 demands behavior and indirectly quality, it tends to mimic Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest and not necessarily the richest. By doing this a better quality of government will be in place and that in the long run spells better prosperity for Thailand as it opens doors to money from the west.

In short there is nothing wrong with article 237. All it does is keep want to be self serving bad boys or under qualified politicians out off office. The Thais that look to make a good name for themselves will easily find their way into seats of power, as the ones that are self serving will not. That is how democracy works on election day.

Article 237;

Section 237. A candidate in an election who commits an act or causes or supports another person to act in violation of the organic law on election of members of the House of Representatives and acquisition of senators or regulations or notifications of the Election Commission which resulting in the election not to be honest and fair, his right to vote at an election shall be suspended under the organic law on election of members of the House of Representatives and acquisition of senators.

If it appears convincing evidence, through an act of the person under paragraph one, that the President or an executive board of director of a political party connives or neglects at such commission or such commission is known to him but he fails to deter or revise such commission for the maintenance of honest and fair election, it shall be deemed that such political party doing an act for the acquisition of the power to rule the country by means which is not in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution under section 68. In such case, if the Constitutional Court orders to dissolve such political party, the right to vote at an election of the President or the executive board of directors of a political party shall be suspended for the period of five years as from the date such order is made.

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