Public split on who's to blame for repeated lack of House quorum: poll

Public split on who's to blame for repeated lack of House quorum: poll

MPs attend a House meeting on Thursday. Numerous sessions have been abandoned recently due to lack of quorum. (Parliament House Photo)
MPs attend a House meeting on Thursday. Numerous sessions have been abandoned recently due to lack of quorum. (Parliament House Photo)

The general public is divided on which MPs and officials should be held responsible for the repeated lack of quorum in the House, resulting in the abandonment of many sessions in February, according to an opinion survey by the National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll.

The poll was conducted via telephone interviews between Feb 8-10 with 1,310 people aged 18 and over of various levels of education and occupations throughout the country.

Asked who they thought should be held responsible for the no-shows of so many MPs, with each respondent allowed to give more than one answer, the results were as follows:

  • 43.44% blamed it on government MPs;
  • 42.37% said the government was to blame;
  • 37.94% blamed it on opposition MPs;
  • 32.60% said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was to blame;
  • 14.66% pointed to House speaker Chuan Leekpai;
  • 12.60% cited government chief whip Nirote Sunthornlekha;
  • 11.83% blamed it on opposition chief whip Sutin Klangsaeng;
  • 2.29% said no-one should be held responsible; and
  • 7.10% did not answer or were not interested.

Asked to choose from a list of underlying reasons for the repeated lack of quorum,

  • 49.85% said it was a political game played by some groups that wanted to see the government fall;
  • 31.98% said it was irresponsibility on the part of some MPs;
  • 16.03% said it was the government chief whip's lack of efficiency;
  • 11.91% said some MPs were lazy;
  • 8.17% said the government wanted to delay some legislative drafts;
  • 4.89% said some issues on the House agenda might not be interesting;
  • 4.35% said the opposition chief whip was inefficient;
  • 2.82% said the lack of quorum was accidental and nobody wanted to see this happen; and
  • 2.29% said some MPs might have had something more important to do.

Asked to suggest ways of solving this problem,

  • 30.15% suggested a salary deduction for MPs absent without a proper reason;
  • 22.82% said MPs absent for no good reason should be deprived of some political rights;
  • 22.29% said MPs absent without a proper reason more than a specified number of times should be sacked;
  • 17.71% said MPs should be fined for each absence;
  • 16.03% said the absentees should be named and condemned publicly;
  • 14.20% said a political party whose MPs are absent without a proper reason more than a specified number of times should be dissolved;
  • 12.60% said there was no way to solve this problem; and
  • 2.98% had no answer or were not interested.

Related: 'Irresponsible' MPs blamed for collapses

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