One of the biggest arguments for changing article 237 of Thailand’s constitution is it punishes the entire party for the acts of one or more people. Looking at this at face value, most would agree this is wrong. But when you start to analyze it, you may find yourself changing your mind.
First we must accept that nothing is perfect and we always seem to settle for second best. Punishing a group of people for the acts of one is what we tend to do naturally. So why should we criticize legislation that does just that. Perhaps it is knowing it is morally wrong to do so but we can not stop ourselves from doing it. Perhaps somehow it is tied to our survival instincts or sheep mentality. There could be any reason or combination of reasons why we tend to scrap the entire lot for one bad one.
If you take a look at industry and quality control, the goal is to eliminate bad products by taking corrective action. There is a global program that is tied to this called ISO. Simply put say what you do and do what you say to standardize procedures. There is no need to scrap the entire lot, only the parts that are bad. There is no built in prejudice with this method, but the persons who’s wallet is taking a hit may have other opinions.
In real life that is not what we do. Possibly the biggest example is how we view the Muslim faith. It goes without saying the vast majority of terrorist are Muslim, and they have little regard for others who do not see their way. However that small percentage of Muslims is causing the entire world to see all Muslims in that light. As a result they are more subject to scrutiny.
The whole of Thailand suffered when Thaksin’s red shirts took to the streets and rioted. People changed plans even if they knew they would be no place near the hot spot. So the actions of a few punished all.
The entire pork industry is taking a hit from the swine flu even though getting the flu from eating properly cook pork or any food for that matter is impossible as cooking kills the virus. The list of examples goes on and on.
So now getting back to article 237, you may still see it as two wrongs do not make a right. So lets continue. Article 237 will only be a problem if one or more politicians wants to cheat. If they do not cheat then article 237 continues to sleep quietly in the corner bothering nobody. It will only wake when someone cheats. So essentially it is a non issue for honest politicians.
So what that means is the politicians who plan or want to cheat or fear someone in their party would cheat would take up issue with article 237. However in each case it encourages self policing so the party will survive. So essentially article 237 is encouraging the same quality control measures as found in industry. Internal quality control measures will need to be taken to see that the potential cheating politician is not allowed the chance to cheat. So the party must adapt something along the lines of an ISO quality control program. The ultimate beneficiary of this is the whole of Thailand as they are the end user of the product produced by the elections.
So as you can see article 237 is a bit like a surgeon operating on a cancer patient. Even the best surgeon must cut away some healthy tissue to get all of the cancer. If the cancer is not removed eventually the patient will die from it. So when you look at it that way, article 237 does not look that bad at all.