Junta’s flunkeys gerrymander the voting system to favour the Democrats

Giles Ji Ungpakorn

The various flunkeys and apologists for the junta who have come up with the new draft constitution, are disingenuously claiming that the combination of constituency and party list voting systems for calculating the total number of MPs from each party in parliament, is modelled on the German system. This is a lie.

The German system involves citizens voting for two lists: the constituency list and the party list. An equation is then applied to try to make sure that the number of MPs from each party in the Bundestag reflects the proportion of votes for those parties. But this is done on a state by state basis. Parties will increase their number of MPs from the party list if they poll a higher percentage vote while failing to win a corresponding number of constituency MPs in any particular state. An important element of the German system is that all the Bundestag seats are allocated among the Länder (local states) in proportion to the size of their populations.

By a slight of hand the Thai junta’s flunkeys have distorted this system to favour the Democrat Party and discriminate against Pua Thai. Another way of putting it is that the proposed system gives more electoral weight to the middle classes and discriminates against the working class and small farmers.

Under the Thai system there is no devolution into local states. Although the party lists will be divided into 6 regions of different population sizes, the number of party list MPs will be calculated as a national total with some other minor adjustments.

The Democrat Party is a regional party of the South. The middle classes also vote for the party nationally in other regions, but their numbers are often far too low to win significant numbers of constituencies. The vast majority of the national electorate is registered in the north and north-east. Under the German system, if we imagined that each region was a Länder, the vast majority of MPs in the national parliament would be Pua Thai members because of the weighting towards the north and north-east. The high Democrat Party vote in the South would not have any effect on the number of MPs from other regions. But under the junta’s system it would. Also the number of MPs allocated to Pua Thai in the north and north-east would be reduced because the formula for calculating the proportion of MPs for those regions would involve national voting percentages in all regions, irrespective of the size of the electorate in those regions.

We can safely conclude that the Junta’s flunkeys are trying to gerrymander the voting system to favour the Democrats.