Coronavirus and the Constitution

My new article for the Thai Enquirer: What does coronavirus have to do with the constitution? In October, I argued in a piece that to convince people of the pressing need for a constitutional revision, it is imperative to make a clear link between the constitution and bread and butter issues. With the Covid-19 disease [...]

In Thailand, Politics Back Outside Parliament

Tony Benn, the great British parliamentarian, said that there were five powerful questions that must be asked of a government. "What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And finally, how can we get rid of you?" The last question [...]

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 [...]

Two Questions for Korn

Former Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij recently set up a new political party, after leaving the Democrats. "Kla", Korn had christened the new party: translated to English, it means something like 'the party of courage' — to dare. It was time, he declared, for a new political party that dares to do the work, and to [...]

The Day That Shocked a Nation

It is difficult to describe the events that transpired in Korat today. A reprehensible and senseless act, the tragedy took the lives of ordinary people for a reason none can ascertain. The crime is without precedent in living memory: that a sergeant would steal from his armory, kill his commanding officer and then rampage through [...]

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. [...]

This Government Is Lost

Tianming, the citizens of ancient China called this concept; "heaven's will", or as translated to English, the "mandate of heaven." It was the philosophical underpinning of the imperial regime. The Emperor, the Son of Heaven, ruled not merely because he had proved able to exercise an effective monopoly on the use of force. No; it [...]

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