December 21, 2009 — Thailand continues to struggle for political stability three years after the September 2006 coup. To ensure that opinions from Thai citizens are represented during this time of political turmoil, The Asia Foundation conducted a nationwide opinion poll in 26 provinces to gauge the national mood toward election reform, participation in politics, amending the constitution, and more.
The survey, Constitutional Reform and Democracy in Thailand: A National Survey of the Thai People, reveals that the Thai electorate is pessimistic about the overall direction of the country, with less than a third saying the country is moving in the right direction. At the center of the national debate is the current Constitution, which voters approved in an August 2007 referendum, replacing the 1997 Constitution.
“The survey results shed light on emerging trends and changing attitudes of Thai voters, including compelling insights into controversial issues surrounding the calls for revisions to the 2007 Constitution, as well as hot button topics like political amnesty and impunity,” said Dr. James Klein, the Foundation’s Country Representative in Thailand. An overwhelming majority (84 percent) believes that a new or revised constitution should be ratified through a referendum.
The survey also asked respondents their views on decentralization, vote-buying, influences in the voting process, their allegiance to political parties, and their level of trust in institutions. The complete findings are available in on our website in English and Thai.