Any attempt by a future government to abolish the system of the Interior Ministry appointing village representatives up to provincial level - and replacing it with the election of local leaders - will be vehemently opposed, the influential Governing Officer Association of Thailand (GOAT) said yesterday.PAD and their New Politics Party - the citizen are too stupid to choose their right representatives, so any decentralization and democratization at local levels will bound to fail. Better stay with the well-known and claimed-to-be successful bureaucratic polity, the system already described by Fred W. Riggs in his 1967 book "Thailand: The Modernization Of A Bureaucratic Polity".
Surasak warned that Thailand would disintegrate and be replaced by "many pockets of small states" if governors were elected along with others like village headmen.
The Nation, 2011-06-16, Elected village leaders could lead to 'disintegration of the country'
It is of course not surprising to read such a conservative statement by someone from within the provincial administration bureaucracy, it would be interesting to see if the winner of the forthcoming election will dare to change anything in this system, implementing some or all of the proposals of the National Reform Council. Too bad I haven't yet found a good English description on what the actually propose for the provincial and local administration. It already took me quite some time to find the Thai name of this association with the strange acronym - สมาคมนักปกครองแห่งประเทศไทย.
But there is one thing I real wonder about in the article, and especially the headline. The article suggests that right now all of the administrators - from provincial governor, district head officer, subdistrict headman and down to the village headman are officials sent from the Ministry of Interior. While this is true for the two higher levels, the headmen are and always were a thing in the middle. The Ministry has to approve them, and they are under strong control of the Ministry and the higher administrative levels, but they are and as far as I know always were elected by the local population. And since 1997 every five years, and not for life (till retirement age actually) as in the past. I can only guess that the article was written by a Bangkokian, who never lived in any village outside the town and thus never experienced the election of a village headman.