Pundits the world over have long lamented what they view as diminishing public interest and participation in the political process, but this trend is far from universal or irreversible and certainly does not have to be the case in Thailand.
Indeed, during the recent general election on March 24th, the country saw extensive public involvement in politics, especially through the use of online platforms and social media.
Nevertheless, although the advent of the Internet has had a major impact on political discourse and participation by offering new ways to express and exchange ideas, faith in the Thai democratic process has suffered significantly, as heightened political awareness among citizens has also stoked further distrust and cynicism.
According to the Bangkok Post, this past election was rife with complaints about ballot errors and technical issues as well as a lack of transparency, prompting many to ask how the system can be improved in the future.
To this end, a blockchain-based voting system has many key advantages over conventional methods. The very nature of a blockchain database, which constantly distributes and reconciles over a network of computers, ensures transparency by keeping records public and easily verifiable.
While paper-based voting leaves massive room for security breaches, fraud and graft, votes tallied on a blockchain system can be tracked, counted and correlated by multiple sources, while also maintaining voter privacy. Decentralized networks also prevent information from being tampered with while securing data with online backups, thereby reducing the scope of corruption.
What blockchain essentially offers is a means to facilitate political participation at a much more direct and effective level, serving as a platform for providing a stronger connection between voters and their representatives.
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