Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Abhisit: Let's make it two, not one, for each province

Opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva says each province should have two, instead of one, representative to join the new constitutional amendment assembly (CAD) so that no political parties could influence the outcome of the process.

The ruling Phue Thai Party has proposed a 77-member CAD, with each province electing one representative to the panel. The Democrat leader said today that despite the suggestion that "independent" candidates would produce representatives who aren't attached to political parties, it must be admitted that in reality candidates with political affiliation would stand a better chance than others to win the election in this case.

Abhisit therefore proposed that two representatives be elected from each province so that the influence of political parties could strike a proper balance.

"For example, if a certain party has 60% of the influence in a certain area, it's not going to be easy for it to get two representatives.The other party with a 30% popularity would get the second seat. Or if two major parties share a 30:30 influence in a constitutency, the one with 40% will get the seat instead," he said.

Observers see Abhisit's proposal as a strategy to ensure his Democrat Party stands a good chance to win the majority in the elections of representatives to rewrite the charter. In the North and Northeast, judging from the last elections, Democrat candidates came second in many constituencies. In the South, the Democrats believe they could sweep the first and second seats rather than ceding the ceding the second best to Pheu Thai.

Of course, Pheu Thai isn't naive. They could easily see through the Democrats' game plan. The name of the game is "democracy," of course -- but when it boils down to the bottom line, the real battle is all about how do you define "democracy" in suc a way that you will win the next elections.

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