The Rise of the Bhumjaithai Party

My new piece for the Thai Enquirer: In November 2017, amidst the political drought of long military rule, Reuters ran an article on Anutin Charnvirakul, leader of the Bhumjaithai Party. Many, it reported, were now speculating that he could possibly be the next prime minister. Anutin, for his part, did nothing to play down expectations, […]

Future Forward Is the Future's Foreword

“The laws of physics”, Stephen Hawking once wrote, “conspire to prevent time travel on a macroscopic scale.” Time travel, both forward and backwards, were not possibilities to be ruled out, but the physicist made it clear that it was highly unlikely. He had, after all, once hosted a party for time travelers, the invite to […]

The Politics of Epidemic Immunity

My new piece for the Thai Enquirer: “It won’t take long for Thais to develop immunity from coronavirus”, the post read, “but if we don’t deal with the nation-hating virus, a crisis will ensue.”  Dr. Warong Dechgitvigrom is not a politician known for pulling his punches, and this Facebook post was true to form. ‘Lutti chung-chard’, […]

Thailand Has Five Deputy PMs. That's Dysfunctional.

The vice presidency of the United States, a particularly unhappy occupant of that office once said, is “not worth a bucket of warm piss.” Second in command is a prestigious title, but politicians throughout history have often approached it with a degree of caution. Playing second fiddle can imply great responsibility or none at all. […]

Thai Conservatives Should Embrace Democracy

My article in the newly-launched Thai Enquirer:  …Just because pro-democracy conservatism did not work the first time does not mean that it cannot work in the future, under inspired leadership and a more credible commitment to democratic ideals. With the ongoing implosion of the Democrat Party, is there room for such a party to emerge? […]

Dueling Rallies

Bangkok’s smog makes outside physical activity a little less than an inviting prospect, but tens of thousands braved the pollution today for a curious Sunday morning activity: exercise with a heavy political tone. ‘Run Against Dictatorship’ (#วิ่งไล่ลุง, literally ‘Run to Oust Uncle’) and ‘Walk for Prayut’ (#เดินเชียร์ลุง, or ‘Walk to Cheer Uncle’) were the most […]

Thai-US Relations in the Spotlight

Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai is not regarded to have a tendency to create headlines. Yet this week, the longtime diplomat found himself in the spotlight after an epic gaffe. The United States, Don said, had informed Thailand of its intentions regarding Iran one day before the strike on Soleimani. Surprising remarks, to be sure, given […]