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Elections and Political Parties : Lessons from Germany

Title : Elections and Political Parties : Lessons from Germany
Author : Boonsri Mewongukote
Price : 120 Baht
Publisher : Institute of Public Policy Studies
Distribute : Chulalongkorn University Book Center

It is not exaggerating to mention that both elections and political parties are key elements of modern democracy. However, only a fair election can legitimate the elected ones. An unfair election cannot be the ground of legitimacy for anyone. As for the political parties, which are linking organs between the people and all highest State organs, it is of highest necessity for them to commit themselves wholeheartedly to democracy, or else they can only represent their very own group interests, and in the worst case they may lead their own country to despotism, as already occurred in many countries.

According to these topics, Germany can boast of their rich experiences in her modern history. After a long process of trials and errors, Germany succeeds in learning from her own experiences and creates her basic law, i.e. German constitution, which has proved to be one of the best constitutions of today and made out of Hitlers Germany a respectable democratic Germany. These worthwhile German experiences can help countries struggling for democracy to achieve their goal easier.

In case of Thailand, which has already passed through her own process of political reform, it can also be of interest to study from German in these matters. Through German experiences Thai lawyers may better understand their new constitution influenced by German basic law. In comparing with the original they can gain an insight into the similarities and the differences as well as strong and weak points of their own constitution before they put these constitutional concepts into practice.

According to the constitutional provisions on elections which impose a mixed electoral system, in contrary to the German personalized proportional electoral system, these are also new aspects concerning to the election commission which is now independent from the executive and so powerful, that it can order a re-election in a suspicious constituency or in all constituencies. Such a new power may eradicate the old image of paper tiger belonging to the former Poll-Watch Organization.

A new aspect of the constitutional provisions concerning political partied is to introduce democracy into the organization of the political parties. This should enormously change the intra-party behavior and should bring along a substantial change to Thai political scenario.

If the formerly mentioned change come true, the Thai political system will be more transparent which will meet with the objectives of the Constitutional Drafting Council as well as the political will of the heroes and heroines who sacrificed their lives for democracy in Thailand

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