Posts By Tim Meisburger

In The News

Observing Thailand’s Tense Elections

February 5, 2014

Despite months of protests by anti-government demonstrators, and an election boycott by the main opposition party, the Democrat Party, Thailand held a national election on Sunday. The protesters, known as the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), were demanding that the current government led…

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In The News

Is Thailand’s Political Turmoil a Sign of Positive Societal Transformation?

July 13, 2011

Thailand’s political landscape throughout much of the 20th century was populated by numerous regional or personality-based parties, and characterized by weak coalition governments. Alliances and coalitions were made and broken easily, as parties sought the best deal for their constituents and members.

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In The News

Will Automated Elections in the Philippines Increase Public Confidence?

May 5, 2010

In the past, Philippine elections have frequently been marred by allegations of widespread cheating and other electoral malpractice. The most famous (or perhaps infamous) method of cheating is called dagdag/bawas (add-subtract), when votes are subtracted from the opposition candidate and added to a favored candidate, and vice versa. Concerns over election credibility have been exacerbated […]

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In The News

The Misunderstood Thai Voter

October 7, 2009

For close to two decades, I have worked in Asia and Africa on programs that support elections and democracy, and nowhere but Thailand have I heard democracy itself disparaged so frequently. It is common in Bangkok to hear prominent academics question whether the average Thai is educated enough for democracy, while pundits in the media […]

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In The News

Getting Back on Track in Thailand

April 14, 2009

Thailand was once Asia’s rising star, and its 1997 constitution was the standard for democratic development that other Asian nations sought to emulate. However, over the past eight years the country has become increasingly polarized, and its institutions politicized, beginning when Thaksin Shinawatra and his Thai Rak Thai party ran for office in 2001 on […]

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In The News

Whither Democracy in Thailand?

April 8, 2009

As red-shirted protesters continue to block access to the Government House, just as their yellow-shirted foes did a few months ago, one wonders where democracy is headed in Thailand. A dozen years ago, Thailand drafted a constitution through a participatory process seen as a model for other emerging democracies. Thailand was a rising star, the […]

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In The News

In Thailand: The Complexities of Vote-Buying

December 19, 2007

As Thailand approaches national elections, the government and election commission express increasing concern that the process will be subverted by massive vote-buying. Based on my experience in previous elections, that concern is probably justified. Over the past decades, there have been numerous attempts to combat vote-buying in Thailand, but none have been very successful. In […]

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In The News

In Thailand: After the Constitutional Referendum

August 22, 2007

On August 19, eleven months after Thailand’s democratically elected government was overthrown in a military-backed coup d’état, the Thai people went to the polls for the national referendum ostensibly to accept or reject a new constitution drafted by the military’s Council for National Security(CNS). For most people, the details of the draft constitution hardly mattered. […]

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In The News

Shaping a “New Nepal”

July 11, 2007

The people’s movement that dislodged King Gyanendra and led to the reinstatement of Parliament in April 2006, followed by the signing of a peace agreement between the government and Maoists, dramatically changed Nepal’s political landscape. As part of a fragile peace process in the wake of a protracted and brutal civil war, Nepal is now […]

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