Setting the Scene for Thailand’s Political Landscape in 2032
Setting the scene for Thailand’s political landscape in 2032.
On June 13, 2023, Thai PBS, in collaboration with FNF Thailand, organized a post-election event titled 'The Future after the Election.' This event took place at the Bangkok Art & Culture Center (BACC) and aimed to initiate a discussion within the social sector about the concept of a 'Political Safety Net' to support the transition period following the election.
The questions raised during this event revolve around two primary concerns: How can we ensure that individuals continue to actively participate in democracy beyond elections? How can we establish inclusive public policies that prioritize the well-being of everyone, rather than being solely determined by those in positions of power? As we move forward, the next phase in policy development requires the active involvement of the people themselves.
Recognizing the significance of these questions, diverse sectors of civil society have joined forces to collectively address these issues and seek answers together.
The enhancement of democratic quality stems from the public's engagement. It is crucial for the media to actively contribute to shaping the course and collaboratively establishing a safety net for a democratic society. They should serve as a guiding force, determining the path of future transformations in unison. By influencing political parties to attentively listen, adapt their perspectives, and formulate policies that align with the people's aspirations, the media plays a pivotal role in Thailand's transitional phase. This serves as a significant foundation for progress in the country.
Amidst discussions, an important question emerged: "What role will the people play beyond their participation in the Thai elections?" In order to facilitate an inclusive and diverse exchange of ideas, a brainstorming session was arranged. Several proposals were put forward, such as decentralization to empower individuals in shaping their communities' future, creating secure public spaces for voicing opinions, and receiving government assistance for community integration. Additionally, exploring constitutional amendments offers possibilities for experimenting with enhanced democratic freedom of expression.
Giving paramount importance to the preservation of a collective communication space and proactively addressing a wide array of challenges is crucial. By safeguarding freedom within this space, we can propel ourselves towards a more promising future. In addition, fostering collaborative networks becomes essential to sustain ongoing advancements. Embracing this opportunity enables us to expand our horizons and delve into unexplored possibilities.
Civil society acknowledges the significance of establishing secure online and physical spaces. Furthermore, there is a need to gather comprehensive data on public opinion, with special attention given to marginalized groups, vulnerable individuals, and those with dual identities who are frequently overlooked. To ensure that no one is left behind, it is crucial to actively listen to diverse and contrasting viewpoints, thereby creating a political safety net. The media plays a dual role as both impartial observers of events and influential agenda-setters. Safeguarding freedom of expression becomes paramount, along with consistently and fairly amplifying the voices and ideas of the people.
The next step is building a policy for the people, by the people.
At present, we find ourselves at a juncture marked by shifting political and social dynamics. Alongside these changes, it is imperative to acknowledge the transformation occurring within the realms of technology and media. It is common for individuals to feel uneasy when confronted with change, regardless of its nature - be it positive or negative. Nevertheless, if we embrace understanding and readiness to confront these changes, we can navigate through any circumstances and adapt accordingly.
While the post-election political trajectory may remain uncertain, what the event clearly demonstrates is that there is an awakening of the social sector in shaping policies and influencing the future of their local communities. This forward-looking approach is currently unfolding in our society, which builds towards the advancement of freedom of expression and the establishment of safe spaces.
This article is written by Prim Maneechot, Program Assistant and Communication Officer at the FNF Thailand.