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Thailand's Return to Democracy May Raise Tension

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31 minutes ago, heybruce said:

" Conjecture! I obviously am more adaptable to particular situations and am not sharing your view that the Thai military government is /repressive/; "

 

Adaptable, apathetic, whatever.  When you are going along with a military government that came to power by toppling an elected government in order to prevent new elections, I think the best thing that can be said about your attitude is that you are apathetic.

 

"they have never ever bothered me in any way yet give me the opportunity to live here as long as I wish which is translating into a wonderful lifestyle coupled with free movement!"

 

Yes, having money to spare in a country with poor, obedient peasants grasping at any opportunity for a better life can be 'pleasant'.  I take it you haven't made friends with any Thais and don't care about how this government is holding them and the country back.

 

" I preserve the view that idealists are dreamers and high-mindedness is unrealistic. "

 

Another rationalization for apathy.  I am a retired USAF officer who is appalled by the military coup. the ongoing military government, and the number of westerners who should know better but support this government.  I don't think it's unrealistic to expect democracy in Thailand, I think that's the best hope for the country's future.

BTW, what was wrong with life in Thailand during those brief periods of elected government?  I recall people being more relaxed, less paranoid, less whispering and looking over one's shoulder before discussing government and other topics.

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35 minutes ago, sawadee1947 said:

well, well this forum is always a place to learn. Today I learned to compare Thailand with Canada, UK and even Ireland....All the same, even UK is a Kingdom. Thank you, Beerboxer for that lesson

 

You do understand that Canada, the UK, Ireland and many more countries have appointed upper houses. 

 

But you stated that it's not a democracy if senators are appointed not elected. 

 

It's a bugger when reality doesn't fit your agenda, especially when it's so simple to check.

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4 minutes ago, heybruce said:

BTW, what was wrong with life in Thailand during those brief periods of elected government?  I recall people being more relaxed, less paranoid, less whispering and looking over one's shoulder before discussing government and other topics.

 

I don't disagree with a lot of what you post, which may surprise you.

 

I don't see all this paranoia, whispering or looking over one's shoulder - apart from reading it on here! 

 

Democracy isn't a off the shelf solution. The US has elected upper and lower chambers, and an elected president, state governors, city mayors, sheriffs and public officials. The UK has an elected lower house, appointed upper house, elected local government but mostly appointed officials. Canada and Ireland I know also have appointed upper houses. German has a federal constitution and proportional representation. Other European countries have their own variations.

 

So the democratic organization and process is different in different countries. In Asia, South America, and Africa, adoption of democracy has often led to corrupt governments, polarized wealth differences, poverty and poor services. A phenomenon in these countries also being the rise of powerful family political clans, based on old feudal power, tribal loyalty or a strong man leader. 

 

Although I agree that democracy is the answer and way forward I do wonder which model can be best used to help Thailand develop a model that suits Thailand. Not sure that sending various groups of politicians and academics on overseas trips to study other countries has actually been productive. Certainly doesn't seem to be any progress on that.

 

Democracy also means having a robust justice system, that fair, and applied to all evenly, without favor, prejudice and with consistency. Don't see much progress on that either.

 

Not sure what the answer is. But capitalism based democracy is not delivering for many countries anymore. It isn't addressing the world's imbalances and none of the models have produced harmonious societies. 

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10 minutes ago, Baerboxer said:

 

I don't disagree with a lot of what you post, which may surprise you.

 

I don't see all this paranoia, whispering or looking over one's shoulder - apart from reading it on here! 

 

Democracy isn't a off the shelf solution. The US has elected upper and lower chambers, and an elected president, state governors, city mayors, sheriffs and public officials. The UK has an elected lower house, appointed upper house, elected local government but mostly appointed officials. Canada and Ireland I know also have appointed upper houses. German has a federal constitution and proportional representation. Other European countries have their own variations.

 

So the democratic organization and process is different in different countries. In Asia, South America, and Africa, adoption of democracy has often led to corrupt governments, polarized wealth differences, poverty and poor services. A phenomenon in these countries also being the rise of powerful family political clans, based on old feudal power, tribal loyalty or a strong man leader. 

 

Although I agree that democracy is the answer and way forward I do wonder which model can be best used to help Thailand develop a model that suits Thailand. Not sure that sending various groups of politicians and academics on overseas trips to study other countries has actually been productive. Certainly doesn't seem to be any progress on that.

 

Democracy also means having a robust justice system, that fair, and applied to all evenly, without favor, prejudice and with consistency. Don't see much progress on that either.

 

Not sure what the answer is. But capitalism based democracy is not delivering for many countries anymore. It isn't addressing the world's imbalances and none of the models have produced harmonious societies. 

Well come on sunshine give us the Bareboxer version of how it all should be

 

Not NK or China please

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Return to Democracy?  

 

When were the other times of real democratic rule?

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12 minutes ago, wakeupplease said:

Well come on sunshine give us the Bareboxer version of how it all should be

 

Not NK or China please

 

I really wish I knew mate. I know several academics in the US, much more clever than I, professors, futurologists, who ponder that question. If they come up with an answer I'll let you know! Beyond me.

 

But look at what's going on all over. Climate change, the division of wealth, lawlessness, wars all over the place, terrorism, increases in population and the looming prospect of water and food shortages becoming real issues.

 

Communism failed. Has capitalism reached the end of it's usefulness? Do we need a world government? Or do we need less government but more localized? And whilst democracy in principle is fine, which model do we adopt - federal, proportional representation, based on wealth, etc etc.

 

Sorry, I have no answers mate, only questions. But when people glibly state that "returning to democracy" is the answer, well what do they actually mean by that?

 

The two most populous countries are China and India. The latter prides itself on being the world's largest democracy. The former has been a communist dictatorship since WW11. They perhaps provide some comparison.

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3 minutes ago, heybruce said:

There are many kinds of democracy, all flawed, all preferable to military rule.

 

What Thailand has now is not democracy.  If and when there are elections under the military's constitution it also will not be democracy.  Elected officials will be allowed to pass laws, but the military will overrule any that it doesn't like.  Also, as it has demonstrated repeatedly, if the military decides this experiment in "democracy" isn't going to its liking, the military will stage another coup.

 

A new democracy is never mature, it always takes time and a lot of trial and error before a system that suits the people and culture emerges.  However democracy must be allowed to proceed without military intervention for this to work.  The military does not allow that because the military, and those it serves, doesn't want "government of the people, for the people, and by the people".

 

I've come to the conclusion that Thailand isn't so much a country as an empire, the Bangkok Empire.  I won't expand on this too much or my post will be deleted, but I will point out that the military doesn't exist to protect the borders from external threats, but to control the population and protect certain people.  So long as the military serves the empire and not the people, there will never be democracy.

 

A fledgling democracy, whatever the model, will never thrive and develop, without a consensus of the people and a robust justice system to protect it. 

I can't think of one Asian country where democracy really exists. Mostly because of that lack of robust independent justice system. 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, zzaa09 said:

Return to Democracy?  

 

When were the other times of real democratic rule?

When there was an elected government that tried to hold new elections so the people could choose the next government.  It happened twice this century, though people who don't want to admit they are anti-democracy don't want to admit it.

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1 minute ago, Baerboxer said:

 

A fledgling democracy, whatever the model, will never thrive and develop, without a consensus of the people and a robust justice system to protect it. 

I can't think of one Asian country where democracy really exists. Mostly because of that lack of robust independent justice system. 

 

South Korea, Japan, Taiwan are stable examples.  None are perfect, but all are stable with rule of law. 

 

Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, and maybe a few others are examples of works in progress.  A lot of work remains, but a combination of a reasonably free press and militaries that don't seem inclined to stage coups means the governments must fear the people and work to keep them happy.

 

Thailand was briefly an example of a work in progress, but the military put an end to that.

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12 minutes ago, candide said:

In those countries, senators are not appointed by the army or other components of the same dominant network.

Additionally, in some of the cases you mention, they can be nominated by elected people. Ex. In Canada. It is the PM who nominates senators and they are nearly never rejected by the governor.

 

Each country that appoints them has it's own process. But the poster I replied to stated that if senators are appointed then it's not democratic. Therefore regardless of process he was implying countries like Canada aren't democratic.

 

Equally you could say that in those countries someone would never be allowed to own a political party, pay MPs a salary, and dictate what they do and how they vote. 

And in those countries, they have robust justice systems to ensure laws are respected.

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1 minute ago, heybruce said:

South Korea, Japan, Taiwan are stable examples.  None are perfect, but all are stable with rule of law. 

 

Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, and maybe a few others are examples of works in progress.  A lot of work remains, but a combination of a reasonably free press and militaries that don't seem inclined to stage coups means the governments must fear the people and work to keep them happy.

 

Thailand was briefly an example of a work in progress, but the military put an end to that.

Fair point. I wasn't including Japan as I tend to think of them as one of the developed nations. South Korea as just shown that Presidents and senior business leaders aren't above their law, bravo; not sure about Taiwan. Haven't been there since 94.

 

The work-in-progress countries you mention are all suffering from corruption. India, where I lived for a few years, has terrible corruption at state and federal level, a slow bureaucratic justice system but the military would never dream of staging a coup. The Indian press is cutting. I remember when state governments changed it was common for the incoming party to throw the previous incumbents in jail and charge them with corruption - and the favor would be returned next time! Elections were always interesting - I remember one party delivering hundreds of TV sets, and food parcels to rural villages. I'm sure the others have their nuances.

 

Not sure Thailand ever progressed as far as that. 

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BANGKOK 21 November 2017 00:21
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