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Absence of democracy equals absence of shame

Reading letters from some of the regular Western, pro-government contributors, you sometimes wonder if the editor, by printing their twisted and faulty views, is deliberately permitting them to make fools of themselves.

Thailand is in a weird situation because the people in power publicly and forcibly claim this is a democracy, urging everyone to act in accordance with the laws and rules of a democratic state. They hammer out the words "democracy" and "elected" again and again as a rhetorical shield to cover their own undemocratic actions. To evade responsibility for those wrongdoings and survive in power, they cherry-pick what laws and what independent overseers they want obey.

In my North European homeland, where democracy serves all or most of us (according to available statistics), the prime minister and government have enough sense of shame to step down after wrongdoing - helped, of course, by heavy pressure from the opposition and democracy's watchdog, the news media. No say from the judiciary is necessary for the majority to understand the difference between wrong and right. Not so here, where few politicians feel any shame because there is no democracy.

And here, the culprits in a failed government get to prevail undemocratically as caretakers before the next election. Quite horrible, isn't it? Reform is needed, and maybe before the election.

A Johnsen

Chon Buri


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