Friday, August 03, 2007

The 'no' vote

One of the side effects of political upheaval in Thailand is that my wife - who usually has just passing interest in politics like most normal humans - actually has her interest aroused enough to discuss it with me. Instead of the usual pleas for me to refrain from discussing the finer points of constitutional reform, my better half actually discusses, debates and reasons with me. She does it rather well, too.

So after the arrival of the new draft constitution in the mail, I waited a couple of days for my spouse to reach her verdict, then I asked her to explain.

My wife is going to vote "no" for the following reasons:

1) She felt the constitution was basically a re-hash of the 1997 one. This was a good constitution but she wanted more improvements to be made. She believes a genuine attempt at a new constitution would be greater in its enhancements. She doubts the sincerity of the drafters.

2) She felt the CDC and CDA selection was tainted. The fact that a virtual unknown who happened to be a close friend of General Sondhi received the most nominations was highly dubious. She feels that a 'yes' vote condones this.

3) She also mentioned that a large number of voters in rural areas would be unable to understand the constitution and would be easily manipulated. If the draft were to be accepted, it would legitimise a referendum on a document that some people cold not or would not wish to read.

4) She disliked what she believed be veiled threats from the junta that a no vote would delay reform.

She wasn't all critical. She liked the idea of an appointed senate, the abolition of a required bachelor degree for all politicians and media protection, though she felt the latter didn't go far enough.

I was actually hoping my wife would vote 'yes' but she made an excellent argument for her decision, as you see above. If you disagree with any of the above, complain to the wife, not me, and she'll probably ignore you as she does me! :-)

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