Thailand is now witnessing a new spate of interest in non-electoral forms of political representation. Last week Bangkok Pundit provided a brief, but important, post on the PA(S)D’s proposal for “sufficiency democracy”. It is a proposal for 30 percent of parliamentary representatives to be elected and 70 percent to be appointed. Those making the appointments would, presumably, be wiser and less-self interested than the electoral masses.
In this spirit of nouveau-elitism New Mandala would like to invite innovative suggestions from readers on alternative ways of selecting political representatives. Elections have clearly fallen out of favour in some influential quarters (perhaps they were never in favour!?), so let’s move with the spirit of the times and come up with some new options.
I have previously proposed a “New Sakdina” system whereby votes would be weighted according to a voters level of education. Here is a brief extract from my proposal:
With the lowest weight, of course, would be the completely uneducated. Some may be shocked to learn that there are still people wandering the remote regions of Thailand who have never been to school. In fact, I have even seen some of them casting a vote (and signing their name beforehand with a crude thumb-print). Shocking! Their weighting should clearly be so low as to make voting hardly worth lining up in the queue. …
At the peak of the system would, of course, be the peak of educational attainment – the honorary degree. I would propose a maximum New Sakdina rating for the rare class of individuals who can receive a degree without even studying for it!
I still think my proposal has merit (and not just because I am contemplating my own hefty New Sakdina rating). But it was ignored by the drafters of the 2007 constitution. So put your thinking caps on and come up with some alternatives. Elections are well and truly old-hat, especially given their tendency to produce politicians.
As the PA(S)D protestors have shown us, there must be a better way!
I may even be persuaded to offer a prize for the best alternative. We won’t vote for the best, of course. I will chose!