Lame excuses

Re: "Parties buck EC poll pact", (BP, March 30).

I read with interest that the two parties associated with our current prime minister -- the Palang Pracharath Party and United Thai Nation, have given lame excuses or no excuse at all for not signing the pact that lays down the protocol for politicians to follow during the upcoming election.

Among the items they are not signing is a promise to "refrain" from direct or indirect poll fraud and vote-buying. To ordinary people, this is called following the law and people who break the law risk being punished. But not politicians, it would seem.

It's a farce.

Howard Stark
Trap set?

Re: "Parties buck EC poll pact", (BP, March 30).

If Khun Paiboon Nititawan is correct that signing the EC pact violates Section 28 of the Political Parties Act, then he should immediately initiate action to have the parties that signed the pact dissolved. The fact that members of the PPRP and the UTN were primarily responsible for choosing the members of the EC should not impair the EC's impartiality in resolving the case.

It appears that the EC cleverly set a trap to see which parties would respect the law and that most of them were so eager to agree to principles of fair play that they walked right into it.

George Rothschild
Not so gloomy

Re: "World faces prospect of financial tumult", (Opinion, March 23).

Despite several negative yet interesting articles by Chartchai Parasuk, which warn us again, I, for one, believe things are looking up in Thailand due to: (1) Thai elections announced for May 17, (2) Covid all but over (3) oil prices back down (much against what Chartchai's earlier prognosis) and (4) just today SCB upped its economic forecast for this year to 3.9%, from 3.5% previously.

Also, reported inflation is likely lower in Thailand than in the US/EU. Not least, Thai banks/economy are well removed from Western bank troubles/scandals, even bankruptcies. Which so likely makes global investors and institutions question their over US-centric bias.

Paul A Renaud
Keys to happiness

Re: "More than a forced smile", (Editorial, March 27).

In view of the facts coming to light, it must be wondered whether the "Land of Smiles" was ever anything more than an "Amazing Thailand" trope invented by the Tourism Authority of Thailand to better sell the nation. More seriously, perhaps Finns and others in the top tier of happiness are there because they are allowed to reflect freely and honestly on themselves and their nation because they have the liberty to question, experiment, and determine how they live their own lives. These are things that laws like sections of the Criminal Code and other repressive laws deny Thai people, dictating instead that all pretend to have perfect faith and be untouched by critical thought, honesty, or evidence of reality.

Is it to be believed that the clear correlation between happiness and commitment to liberal democracy is an accident? As Thailand has been made less free under Prayut and his allies opposing democratic principles, so too have the Thai people become less happy. It is also unlikely to be a random accident that the most economically successful nations are liberal democracies, while the authoritarian countries are most plagued by thriving corruption, which naturally flourishes best when honest speech is socially sanctioned or legally criminalised.

Felix Qui
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01 Apr 2023 01 Apr 2023


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