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Thailand's Return to Democracy May Raise Tension

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Eric Loh    4,485
19 minutes ago, Baerboxer said:

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. 

Yes terrible corruption but none of the countries need a coup to clean up corruption. They place the trust in the people hands. No one trust the military. Oh sorry maybe you is the exception. 

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Squeegee    2,867
1 hour 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.

 

Bangkok Empire, A.K.A. Project Thai....

 

"We're all Thai here" was genius but is inevitably going the same way as The American Dream and Britannia ruling the waves. I still cannot help but wonder at those whose choice of better-the-devil-you-know is authoritarian feudalists over democratic process. Baffling.

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phycokiller    959
42 minutes ago, Eric Loh said:

Yes terrible corruption but none of the countries need a coup to clean up corruption. They place the trust in the people hands. No one trust the military. Oh sorry maybe you is the exception. 

I dont think its too controversial to mention as its public information, but Thailand is a monarchy, and the monarchy is the head of the military. not implying anything at all, just pointing out a small difference between those countries and Thailand

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sawadee1947    850
3 hours ago, Baerboxer said:

 

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.

there was a mistake:

It's so good to have you in this forum. When I

have your age I hope having achieved your wisdom. Please let us take part in your qualified outpourings for ever

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uptheos    11,109

Return to democracy, they're having a laugh aren't they?

 

When was the last time the military was accountable to the government and couldn't step in whenever they chose?

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greenchair    4,119
12 hours ago, SouthernDelight said:

What restrictions are you currently experiencing?

He's being very careful everytime he posts on tv or fb , keeping in mind that a mistake a share a like might land him in prison. 

Is that a restriction? ?

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heybruce    6,934
5 hours ago, JAG said:

if I may butt in, as one who consistently argues for a "return to democracy".

The first, and fundamental step, is to return to selecting the government through the ballot box in a free election. It doesn't really matter which system, variants of proportional representation or the "first past the post system", as long as the result broadly reflects the will of the electorate, and as long as that result is respected by all elements within society, irrespective of wealth (class) and political leaning.

 

Thailand has, in theory, all the other requirements of a democratic government, a codified judicial system, a potentially  effective civil service, proper political parties, a comprehensive broadcasting system and press and umpteen constitutions on file to choose from. They are all bedeviled of course by corruption, and that corruption will only be removed by the insistence of the people, and that means by an elected government. Under a consistent run of elected governments, with personal and political freedoms these institutions can begin to function as thy should, and provide the checks and balances which worked poorly before, and simply don't exist at present.

 

Now I've been accused as touting elections as a "panacea". Thy are not, but they are the first step in the process of producing a robust democratic government. Without them, and without them being free and unfettered, no further steps can be taken.

 

One further point, elections will end the effective disenfranchisement of a large proportion (arguably a majority) and a geographically concentrated one, of the people of this country. This will stop the inevitable growing disenchantment with the  rule by  a small group with particular influence and wealth, centered in Bangkok. Disenchantment which I am convinced could if not halted result in revolt. Revolt which in my opinion, as a retired  professional soldier, the army is quite frankly unlikely to be able to defeat. 

 

That's what I mean by a "return to democracy". The last paragraph is why I believe that it is a matter of urgency.

"Like" wasn't good enough.  Well stated JAG!

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heybruce    6,934
4 hours ago, phycokiller said:

I dont think its too controversial to mention as its public information, but Thailand is a monarchy, and the monarchy is the head of the military. not implying anything at all, just pointing out a small difference between those countries and Thailand

Clever dodge.  Why deal with reality when one can hide behind censorship?  Especially harsh censorship in present day Thailand.

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yellowboat    5,178
20 hours ago, SouthernDelight said:

What restrictions are you currently experiencing?

Immigration policies of traveling across overland borders only twice a year, visa exempt, is one.  For those of us who live near the Thai border, who only wish to engage in purchasing of items in Thailand, it is a severe inconvenience not to mention just bad economics for Thailand.  

 

Though Thailand has always had stifling policies about foreigners conducting business within its borders, the junta's strict enforcement has made the country economically less attractive. 

 

And yourself ?  Are you excited by the current state of Thailand ?

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yellowboat    5,178
20 hours ago, heybruce said:

TV was flooded by comments from people cheering the coup in the days, weeks, and months after it happened.  People constantly amaze me with their stupidity.

True but they are mostly gone now.  Even those remaining, who ardently support the junta, are less vocal and slightly less defensive.   Those who defended the coup may now see what a setback it has become for the country. 

 

Elected governments worked better in Thailand, as they had to behave to remain in office.  Coup leaders, the current one especially, only fear the outside world which has less influence.  Their poor behavior cannot be reflected in a lack of votes. 

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2 hours ago, yellowboat said:

Immigration policies of traveling across overland borders only twice a year, visa exempt, is one.  For those of us who live near the Thai border, who only wish to engage in purchasing of items in Thailand, it is a severe inconvenience not to mention just bad economics for Thailand.  

 

Though Thailand has always had stifling policies about foreigners conducting business within its borders, the junta's strict enforcement has made the country economically less attractive. 

 

And yourself ?  Are you excited by the current state of Thailand ?

Well, I personally would expect that legislated rules are enforced alas they can be interpreted in other respects or ways by an administrative unit of government - this is widely known but certainly not unique to a specific government/country.

I am sure you've overcome already these perceived inconvenience(s) and are judicious for not letting these diminish your well-earned life-style.

I personally have no complains nor am experiencing any displeasures.

As a guest to a country I ascertain to recognize and earnestly respect cultural particulars. And if a country extends graciously its hospitality and granting long-term stay I feel that it is not my place to comment publicly on their internal affairs.

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BANGKOK 20 August 2017 16:36
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