ELECT is a civic tech platform for Thailand’s election and democracy, founded in late 2018 by a group of journalists, designers, and developers, aiming to provide useful data and information about the electoral system and the democratic ideas to the public, especially the young generation. For almost 2 years, adopting our expertise in data, technology, storytelling and design, we have created new data-driven media to strengthen public understanding of the country’s up-to-date political and democratic events, while encouraging civil engagement in constructive debates equipped with accurate information and context. We also support organizations and individuals, who are also working on the same topics to strengthen civil movement. As a civic tech, we strongly believe that the ideal democratic mechanism should get participated, contributed and owned by people.
Description of portfolio:
In 2020, we have launched several projects relating to Thailand’s constitution which is a vital issue in our country, as well as a legacy of the coup that was in power for a long time in the history. Here are some selected projects.
Since May 2020 marked the 6th anniversary of the 2014 Thai coup d’état, we have launched 2 projects relating to the event : Coup Democracy and Before the Coup. We have researched, digitised and analyzed piles of information about the coup d’état from the beginning of Thailand’s democracy. We have portrayed history as a timeline going forward, when democracy took place, and backward, if the dictatorship gained power. Then, all Thais realized that we haven’t moved that far from the beginning.
Another aspect that may be linked to NCPO’s or the coup legacy is the overwhelming roles and powers of the military. After the 2014 coup, the key policy of the state enterprise reform under the leadership of PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha was to appoint new former-military committees in state enterprises with so-called announcement. So we have gathered and analyzed data relating to this issue and featured in The Coup and State Enterprise.
Then, 24 June marked the 88th anniversary of the bloodless Siamese revolution, led by the People’s Party, making Thailand transformed into a constitutional monarchy. Not only democracy, but also many cultural heritages have been left by the People’s Party. But some have been forgotten, some have been demolished, while most are not protected by the law. The heritages have been listed in documents, not often seen by the public. So, on the anniversary, we decided to digitize and visualize them on The People Party’s Legacy Map, making the heritages more accessible and relatable. Also, we have opened the platform for additional information from the audiences, encouraging them to be a part of the legacy.
Besides, due to the cabinet change during the middle of the year, we have digged into historical and personal data of the cabinet members, dating back for 20 years, starting from the great economic crisis in 1997. We have analyzed them based on different groups of power and featured in The Cabinet Dynasty. So many times the cabinet seat becomes a bargaining tool in politics allocated between groups of power, which affects the government’s stability and this dataset possibly proves that idea.
Apart from tracing the politicians, in October, there’s an anniversary commemoration of the 6 October event, or the Thammasat Massacre. With the information from Documentation of Oct 6 (doct6.com), we have created the campaign #Oct6onthisday (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Oct6onthisday, https://web.facebook.com/hashtag/oct6onthisday) to make this memory not forgotten. With the concept ‘what if there were social media on October 6, 1976,’ then we posted every single event in real-like time. Moreover, we have also visualized key locations where events took place on Oct 6 Story Map to make them related to real life.
And during the last months of 2020, the Constitution became the main focus of Thailand’s politics, so we developed and launched 2 projects. The first is Live Con Vote Count to see how the senate and the MPs vote about the consitution amendment. The latter is Re-Constitution to digitize, simplify, analyze and visualize Thailand’s 20 constitutions into a digital platform where audiences can learn, understand and compare them more easily, leading to better and inclusive discussion in the society.