Nigel Gould-Davies, professor at Mahidol University and Associate Fellow at the Chatham House for Asia and Russia & Eurasia, has asked an intriguing question of his students and shared it on Twitter. If a democracy is dysfunctional, should it be radically reformed, even in ways that are anti-democratic?

The question proposes theoretical changes including outlaws on “unhelpful” criticism, policy by committee, and intelligence tests for voters.

Being that Gould-Davies is a professor in Thailand, the recent constitutional referendum there that approved the junta-written constitution adds underlying connotations. But there are deeply troubling questions about democracy emerging around the world, even (maybe especially) in Western countries where radical populists, who espouse their own anti-democratic values, are having influence. With an election coming up in one week in the United States, it may be the right time to consider the questions, at least theoretically.

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