Poll 'game' won't work

Poll 'game' won't work

Rumours of another attempt to amend the constitution -- which will see the next election revert from the current two-ballot system to the one-ballot system that was used in the last election -- have been rife in parliament over the past couple of days.

The talk irked the opposition bloc, especially the Pheu Thai Party, which was not awarded any party-list seat in the last election, despite winning more constituency seats than any other party in the race.

The whispers emerged following an ongoing attempt to change the method of calculating party-list seats in the next election -- which saw politicians spar over whether to divide the number of constituency seats won by each party by 100 or 500.

There is more to the rumours, as on Tuesday, parliament endorsed by a majority a proposal to scrap primary elections.

Not only are primary elections enshrined in the current constitution, but they are meant to give party members more say in choosing the candidates they want to represent the party in elections -- instead of party bigwigs and business barons dictating their picks.

These events weren't coincidental -- in fact, they appear to have been engineered by a power-hungry individual with no respect for the constitution.

When the junta suspended primary votes in the 2019 general election, it claimed most parties weren't ready to implement such a complex system. But four years have passed, and there is no reason whatsoever for the system to be ditched before it is put to the test, just as there is no reason for the constant seesawing over the method for calculating party-list seats and which electoral system to use.

The reason behind this shameful political game is simply because our politicians -- especially those from the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) -- hold the constitution in contempt, just like the junta which came before them. That the charter is supposed to be the supreme law of the land is nothing but a farce for them.

The rumoured attempt to amend the charter for the vested interests of certain parties has upset MPs from both the opposition and government camps. Some PPRP MPs in the North and Northeast have even hinted that they may defect to other parties because they have less chance of winning against their Pheu Thai rivals if they were to stay put.

Chief opposition whip, Pheu Thai's Sutin Klungsang, said the rumoured push for the one-ballot system is nothing but a game, meant to give the government the upper hand in the next election.

But the PPRP should realise that reverting to a single-ballot system won't give it the upper hand, nor will it translate to more seats for the party. The Northeast, which has the most constituency seats to be won, appears to be dominated by Pheu Thai -- a fact that some PPRP MPs themselves have admitted.

After eight years, it is clear that the people have had enough of the current government's chronic underperformance, to say the least.

The party has to realise that people are yearning for a fresh start with someone who can deliver a better future for everybody -- not just someone who is pulling all the strings to stay on for yet another term in office.


Bangkok Post editorial column

These editorials represent Bangkok Post thoughts about current issues and situations.

Email : anchaleek@bangkokpost.co.th

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