Nation editorial staff and letter writers have been barking about a lack of democracy for years now and talking down Prayut Chan-o-cha.
But as we head towards Sunday’s long-yearned-for election they are suddenly silent on the undemocratic political interference from fugitives and foreign powers. Alternative media site landdestroyer tells us that Thaksin Shinawatra is behind “Pheu Thai, Thai Raksa Chart, Pheu Chart, Pheu Tham and Future Forward. Members of these parties are in regular contact with Shinawatra or his senior executives”. How democratic is that? Stranger still is that the surveillance apparatus in Thailand seems unable to intercept these communications to confirm interference. Could it be Thaksin is getting help from international surveillance experts – or is he just sitting still in Dubai waiting for the election result?
A new “Thaksin” is emerging at the head of the Future Forward Party, a rich person seeking greater riches through politics and betting on power in Thailand getting more concentrated through an undemocratic mix of wealth and politics. This power accumulation is exactly what Noam Chomsky warns about in democracies, most recently during a programme this week on RT America.
So what do the political parties stand for in Thailand? Are they founded on any ideology, or is it all about parties run and owned by persons or families whose take on politics is without foundation so can change at a whim? Is democracy coming to Thailand or is it back to the old-style politics with dirty tricks like nighttime voting and nominating a princess for PM?
Prayut is popular according to the latest poll, and many view that democracy’s best chance of evolving in Thailand is with him as PM. Hopefully, well-informed and independent voters, and not vote-buyers, will determine Thailand’s future.