Yingluck Shinawatra's mantra is that in order to "protect democracy" she must stay in office.
However, there seems to be little democracy remaining to protect. There are 11,000 officially red-shirt towns and villages in Thailand. Criticism of the Thaksin regime in these places (including Chiang Mai) is nearly impossible due to intimidation and threats from the red shirts. Why doesn’t the democracy-loving prime minister call off her red-shirt goons and allow her opponents the freedom to gather and speak? In which other genuine democracy is freedom of expression virtually banned across half a nation by a widespread, violent mob?
The government rejected a ruling by the Constitutional Court against a bill to change the Senate. Such defiance by a political party does not occur in genuine democracies, where citizens would not tolerate such an act of tyranny by government.
Then there’s the fact that the nation’s de facto leader is a fugitive criminal. Is it any wonder then that Pheu Thai behaves so lawlessly? Indeed, has anyone ever heard of a democracy managed by a criminal from overseas?
Meanwhile, the caretaker prime minister surrounds herself with hardliners as advisers. The natural result is increasing division and violence and less chance for democracy to thrive.
The police seem loyal to a political party (Pheu Thai) rather than the nation. Yingluck seems to revel in this fact. If the police refuse to protect the protesters, or to find the terrorists attacking them, the military has to intervene to do the job for them. Soldiers patrolling the streets are indicative of a failed government.
One also has to ask how Thailand can claim to be a genuine democracy when the main opposition party does not enter an election.
Next, corruption and mismanagement have thrived since this government came to power – so much so that the economy threatens to tank.
Finally, Yingluck has no leadership ability; even some red shirts admit as much. This fact is forgivable. What is not forgivable is her complete lack of compassion for the victims of violence inflicted by her red-shirt thugs and police force.
Yingluck and her brother are two big reasons for this tragic situation. They need to be encouraged to quit power as soon as possible in order to give compromise and peace a chance.