What Thailand can learn from these 2 role models

your say September 25, 2017 01:00

US Senator John McCain announced that he cannot support the key healthcare bill co-authored by his long-time best friend, Senator Linsey Graham, potentially dealing a death blow to the draft.

To me, both men are role models which our politicians would do well to emulate. for different reasons. 

McCain repeatedly stressed the need for inclusive, transparent, extensive discussion and debate, saying, “I would consider legislation similar to that offered (to the Senate now) were it the product of extensive hearings debate and amendment. But that has not been the case.”

McCain knows that such a process recognises the perceptions and needs of myriad major groups, getting strong buy-in to support the solutions agreed upon. 

The process McCain refers to is diametrically opposed to that used by the Thai junta in writing our 20th constitution and long-term reform plan, which bodes ill for us.

I also praise McCain for his bravery in following his conscience and doing what he believes is right, even when the bill means so much to his party and his president.

I hold Graham as a role model for separating his friendship with McCain from his business of pushing through a bill that he co-authored, for he stated that his “friendship with [McCain] is not based on how he votes but respect for how he’s lived his life and the person he is”.

Very few Thai politicians can credibly make that statement, which is why Thais rightfully hold them in such low esteem.

We can, and should, learn much from these two gentlemen to improve our governance at all levels.

Burin Kantabutra