Hoping to encourage voting in the forthcoming Constitutional Referendum, the Thai Government has been distributing picture books explaining why people people should vote “yes”. The booklets have been sent to schools for the benefit of teachers most of whom can not read Thai or English.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Education explained: “The salaries for teachers in Thailand are so low that nobody who can read will take on the job. Any Thai that can read and write will get paid much more working at a 7-11 or as a petrol pump attendant. We are, therefore, forced to hire illiterates.”
Copies of the booklets are also being given to young students so that they explain the referendum to their parents. The new constitution is 137 pages long and most Thai parents are incapable of reading anything longer than a twitter post or a text message with lots of stickers. Also, the Ministry of Health has warned that anyone reading the Constitution itself, will die of boredom.
Private Tye agrees that a picture book is the best way to explained the fundamental legal document of any Nation State.
The real story from Khaosod:
Schoolkids in Korat are given booklets Friday urging their parents to vote in the Aug. 7 referendum.
And more from Khaosod:
To understand how it is all supposed to go down Sunday, we asked two people who should know best, Election Commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn and Wanchai Jakikusol, who runs the commission department responsible for the voting logistics...
The Election Commission only has 2,000 staff, so virtually all polling station workers will be a mix of paid and appointed volunteers, mostly drawn from local administrators under the Interior Ministry and teachers from the Education Ministry.
There will be two security guards at each polling station and at least one of the two will be a police officer, Wanchai said.
One may be a military officer if necessary. The two insist the military under the command of the junta will not be allowed inside the polling stations. “They have nothing to do with it. They have no duties inside, and they will be outside the stations,” commissioner Somchai added.
Somchai shrugged off the possibility of the junta sending soldiers inside polling stations and hypothetically compromising the vote counting or creating a climate of intimidation during the vote.
“That’s too imaginative,” he said, adding that the counting method will be no different from other elections organized by the EC in the past.
Wanchai was more forthcoming about the possibility of a “military intervention” at the polling stations and beyond, however. “[The junta] has no right. They won’t be let inside. But I don’t know if [junta leader Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha] will use Article 44 or not?” he said, referring to the absolute power Prayuth granted to himself, ex officio, after seizing power in 2014. “Well, they have taken over the country and they can do whatever they like… but we won’t let them stand inside,” Wanchai said.
Somchai swears the junta cannot tell him what to do and he will try to make sure the counting will be fair and transparent. “I don’t know if they can point a finger and tell someone to do this and that or not. But they can’t point a finger to me and tell me what to do,” said Somchai.