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Thanathorn, give us a clearer path forward [Editorial]

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Thanathorn, give us a clearer path forward

By The Nation

 

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The Future Forward Party leader must move beyond condemning the junta – and hedging on Thaksin

 

With the election now evidently looming at last, the leader of the Future Forward Party has taken a firm stand against military intervention in politics, but what remains unclear is how he intends to deal with perceived flaws in Thailand’s wayward democracy.

 

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit’s criticism of Thaksin Shinawatra in a recent interview seemed half-hearted, concluding that the self-exiled former premier may well have done wrong but he was part a democratic system too immature to cope with his way of governing. Thanathorn needs to be bolder than this if he wants to take Thailand forward into the future.

 

He radiates youth, which for better or worse evokes the “democracy at all costs” attitude that has had a decidedly mixed history in this country. Thanathorn’s task is to convince the electorate that the fight for genuine democracy is worthwhile.

 

Anyone can condemn military coups for shunting aside basic freedoms. What’s far more difficult is identifying and bringing about the changes that will be necessary to create the system that all of us, fundamentally, want to see.

 

In the interview, Thanathorn reiterated that, if coups actually curbed corruption, as is always professed at their outset, then Thailand would be the “cleanest” country in the world by now.

 

What he failed to acknowledge is the fact that our efforts at democracy have never succeeded in curtailing corruption either. If he accepted that this is true, it would be clearer what he believes needs to be done.

 

He cannot assail military “opportunism” without proposing viable means to protect democracy against future interventions.

We need to move beyond the rote tendency to demonise the generals and instead cultivate and support – through conscientious voting and other means of overt expression – responsible politicians who will serve the nation and their constituents rather than themselves and their cliques.

 

If Thanathorn truly wants to safeguard society against military coups, he must offer us a way to cleanse democratic politics and render it inviolable against corruption. He must give democracy, which is our shared, yearned-for goal, genuine immunity.

 

No one would expect him or anyone else to accomplish this promptly. It will of course take time. But a democracy would be worth waiting for if it delivers, for example, a capable education minister dedicated to dragging Thai schooling into the 21st century so we can progress as a society.

 

We want a democracy in which ministers accept responsibility and resign at the slightest hint of scandal rather than being merely rotated to another post. We want a democracy of checks and balances, not self-serving tilted scales.

 

Thanathorn has yet to demonstrate that Future Forward is indeed the way forward, but at the moment it appears to be one preferable choice to the established rival camps that flank the political divide, for whom biases irrevocably shape policies. Voters best look for new blood in the coming election – as long as the fresher candidates can first show they might be up to the challenge.

 

Youth, for all its precarious posturing, need not be a bar to trust. Today’s young politicians will be veterans after two or three more elections. Thanathorn, if he is to warrant our trust, must now give us a mature vision of what is possible and how it can be achieved.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/opinion/30358802

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2018-11-19

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14 minutes ago, webfact said:

Thanathorn reiterated that, if coups actually curbed corruption, as is always professed at their outset, then Thailand would be the “cleanest” country in the world

And, if Thai elites who knew all the right buzzwords to say actually improved the country, Thailand would be at the forefront of ethics, morality, law abiding, economy, ect. 

 

K. Thanathorn is the latest flashy gadget that promises to revolutionize Thai governance, and I hope he is genuine. But, we have all seen this show before... 

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1 hour ago, webfact said:

Youth, for all its precarious posturing, need not be a bar to trust. Today’s young politicians will be veterans after two or three more elections. Thanathorn, if he is to warrant our trust, must now give us a mature vision of what is possible and how it can be achieved.

Well there are all manner of laws in place that prevent people from doing exactly this, you can't call out certain parts of the problem in a constructive way as it is spun by the recipient as being defamatory (even though it is true).

 

The system is broken, and it seems that the amount of gerrymandering going on by those holding the reins of power now has basically rendered the election result meaningless anyways, and with another coup not being ruled out, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that the next chapter won't look much diferent to now

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1 hour ago, webfact said:

perceived flaws in Thailand’s wayward democracy.

face it, thailand is not yet ready for anything approaching western version of democracy; if coups are the best they can do....

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1 hour ago, Fex Bluse said:

 

And, if Thai elites who knew all the right buzzwords to say actually improved the country, Thailand would be at the forefront of ethics, morality, law abiding, economy, ect. 

 

K. Thanathorn is the latest flashy gadget that promises to revolutionize Thai governance, and I hope he is genuine. But, we have all seen this show before... 

Yeah...

I've been closely following the ongoing writings, speaking engagements, online interviews, etc of Khun K. and increasingly comes across as a corporate blue-blood and not a representative of the working class or "the people", in which they subliminally promote slickly. I'm of the nature that the whole of the FFP movement, and it's monied promotion, is nothing short of a flash-in-a-pan. 

 

Yet, the popular bandwagon seems to be overflowing. 

New and fresh promises that are rather misleading, even deceiving. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, robblok said:

None of the politicians is poor so how can they be of the people.

 

 

The typical leader(s) of the sort of movement(s) that have radically changed political systems over the last few hundred years rarely have been.

 

They have tended to be middle class, minor gentry and/or professionals (teachers/lawyers) with a sincere belief in, before anything else, social justice.

 

First and foremost they were leaders who inspired, not politicians who promised.

 

 

 

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There is something sneaky about this article. There is a subtle attempt to criticize FFP and elevate the junta into some sort of political solution. The way forward is to outlaw coups and make military subservient to civilian control and to parliament. They should never be allowed to be involved in any political solution except in war time. Everything will improve when you don't have regular coups and regular military governments who tear up constitutions and re-write to benefit them. 
I see it differently, the writer is spot on that it is not JUST the junta that is a problem the abuse of democracy to enrich politicians is a large part of the problem too.



Sent from my SM-G955F using Tapatalk

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12 minutes ago, MikeN said:

 If Thais want to get rid of the cheaters they have to learn it works both ways.

It will take some time with the right leadership, constitution, laws, independent institutions, education, equality, transparency to change the people ‘s perception of corruption. Can this be done? Of course it can if you look at the examples of Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. No secret that they achieved that accolade because of uninterrupted democracy. 

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A post with an altered quote has been removed as this is against forum rules:

 

16) You will not make changes to quoted material from other members posts, except for purposes of shortening the quoted post. This cannot be done in such a manner that it alters the context of the original post.

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Personally I think this is a complete nonsense. The junta government had a superb opportunity to rid Thailand of corruption when it seized power illegally and at the point of a gun, demonstrating the kind of puerile 'I've got more friends than you have and they've got bigger guns' politics which is inevitably the consequence of a puerile society and culture. The reason they did not address corruption is they know exactly where any such exercise will lead, and they don't want to go knocking on bigger doors than they themselves have got. The same reason Prayuth and his band of robbers didn't and don''t want their assets audited.

 

So instead, the article blames a new-ish polly for the endemic corruption in Thailand, which in reality has been going on for much longer than Thanathorn has been alive.

 

Cowardly and without merit.

 

 

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The journalist should find a new career. 

His a champion of a man and the only real hope Thailand has. The rest are educated in a banana tree. Future Forward for us thanks.

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