If you can’t beat them, overthrow them. Photo by Pueng Pueng
PAD Thai keeps over-throwing the government. The government keeps getting voted back. In this case they held the national airport hostage until the judiciary overthrew yet another government. Yet who is PAD? They are, fundamentally, a party which doesn’t win democratic elections and hence uses military coups and civil disobedience to overthrow elected governments. They are actually opposed to democracy, at one point proposing that 70% of Parliament should be selected. They’ve since modified that demand to say that the people can vote for 50%. PAD is a royalist, elitist party that can’t win elections fair and square and it’s unbelievable that they’re allowed to behave like brats and continue destabilizing the country.
To quote the Wiki:
“Representative democracy is not suitable for Thailand,” noted Sondhi Limthongkul, claiming that electoral systems have repeatedly elected allegedly corrupt populist governments. To correct this problem, the PAD has proposed what it called “New Politics.” Although most of its leaders supported, and in some cases, helped draft the post-coup 2007 Constitution, the PAD has proposed constitutional amendments that would make 70% of Parliament would be selected, based on professional groups, with elections accounting for only 30%. On 21 September, the PAD changed its formula to 100% elections, but with 50% of Parliament voted for by geographic area and another 50% voted for by occupational representatives.
That, to me, is plain disturbing and wrong. In Sri Lanka rural voters are the main backers of the SLFP, a party which I consider horrible and corrupt. However, I would never presume to rectify this by taking away the rights of rural Sri Lankans to vote. As shitty as democracy is, it’s better than the other options. One citizen one vote may not always produce the results I want, but I don’t think that’s even the point. Democracy generally lets people govern themselves, poor idiots included.
Former Prime Minister won elections in 2001. After halving poverty and instituting universal healthcare, he was reelected in 2005. In 2006 he was overthrown by a military coup which ‘canceled the elections, abrogated the Constitution, dissolved Parliament, banned protests and all political activities, suppressed and censored the media, declared martial law, and arrested Cabinet members’. In 2007 they held elections, and Thaksin’s proxy party won again. Wealthy PAD supporters responded by threatening a bank run that would destabilize the government. Finally, that PM was sacked for accepting payments for a cooking show he used to do (wtf? In the scheme of things?). Sacked by a military appointed court. Another PM was appointed by the winning party. The PAD responded by occupying government offices and finally the airport. The army didn’t kick them out and the judiciary dissolved the party in power.
So we’re in the same place. The royalist elite lost elections and simply overthrew the government. Loathe be I to support most governments, but this is simply undemocratic and wrong. Who’s the bad guys here? I understand what it’s like not getting what you want from an election, but at some point you have to put the country first. And those yellow shirts are trashing their country in more ways than one. Their economy, their reputation, and the very fabric of democracy.