Parliament is Messy. Rightfully So.

"Democracy is messy, and it's hard", Robert Kennedy once said. "It's never easy". Autocracies, on the other hand, are fast and efficient. No wonder the so-called benevolent dictatorships are so attractive; why risk the messiness of democracy when you can get things done at the stroke of a pen? With the commencement of the new [...]

Principles and Parties

Watchers of American politics will be familiar with Texas senator Ted Cruz's statement that he is a Christian first, an American second, a conservative third and a Republican fourth, which led to much derision about whether that order actually holds true. The question of whether one holds party over country is one that continues to [...]

What Thailand’s Democrats Must Decide

I have finals coming up and so I don't have much time to write, but given that the Democrats will soon be electing a new party leader, I wanted to offer a few thoughts. That the Democrats performed catastrophically in the most recent election is a well known point. The extent of the electoral collapse [...]

After Coronation, A Return to Political Reality

(MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images) May your unity in expressing to me your goodwill augur that everyone, and all sides, shall take action for the further prosperity of our nation.King Maha Vajiralongkorn The coronation of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn was, politically speaking, a moment where everything in Thailand paused. All eyes were focused on the official [...]

In Thailand, Pessimism Once Again

"If voting made a difference", Mark Twain once wrote, "they would never let us do it." In Thailand, this has more than a hint of being true. The election was never going to resolve many of Thailand's problems. The power of the pen, as a popular hashtag went, was never going to be enough to [...]

Democratic System More Than Just Popular Vote

My new article in the Bangkok Post: Sontirat Sontijirawong, secretary of the Palang Pracharath party, recently complained about the media labeling different parties “pro-democracy” and “pro-dictatorship”. PPRP, Sontirat argued, had run in an election and won 7.9 million votes. It has engaged with the democratic process and as such Palang Pracharath is just as pro-democracy [...]

Takeaways From Thailand’s 2019 Election

I just flew from Washington D.C to New York City with no laptop. Originally, I had planned on commenting on the Thai election after I fly back to Berkeley, but I couldn't resist the temptation to write a quick post. The election, already famous for its unpredictability, has took an even stranger turn: the junta's [...]

The Future Thailand’s Junta Fears The Most

My new article in the Asia Times: As Thailand edges closer to March 24 elections, the first to be held in the kingdom in nearly eight years, the upstart anti-military Future Forward Party is increasingly under siege.Among the parties competing for seats at the upcoming polls, the progressive party has arguably been the most outspoken [...]

Fight the Election Fairly

In an election that continues to be complicated by increasing twists and turns, the Future Forward leader Thanathorn Jueangroongrueangkit has been threatened with prosecution and a possible five-year jail term, which would disqualify him from standing in the election. The grave crime that he committed, it appears, is criticizing the junta and the disputed claim [...]

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