The Nation

opinion

Smaller
Larger

Democracy or Third World status?

Thailand is at a critical stage. The choice it makes now will determine the future here for decades.

The country is currently a plutocratic kleptocracy disguised as a democracy, where people have the vote but those in power ignore the law in the interests of gaining ever-greater wealth at the people's expense.

Thailand can either accept the status quo or fight for a democracy where the law is paramount, not the whims of a group of self-serving individuals. Those fighting for democracy face a long, uphill struggle against an entrenched regime backed by Thaksin's red army, a lot of money and the police force. The only reasonable backing that democracy-fighters have is the law. The current regime knows this and continues to fight the law and ignore its relevance.

Jatuporn Prompan's UDD chants the mantra "Respect My Vote", considering that the vote alone is democracy. The PDRC calls upon the government and its supporters to respect the law. There is the difference in a nutshell.

It is perfectly obvious to any reasonable person that this Shinawatra-led regime does not in any way represent a democratic form of governance. Its track record clearly illustrates this beyond dispute.

While the PDRC is to some extent an unknown quantity, it is led by a hardcore of politically experienced individuals with millions of conscientious people who all believe in real democracy. It is already holding seminars with the public to discuss reforms that will lead to a fairer and more just form of governance controlled by the law.

The outcome of the current struggle will determine whether Thailand will, at last, after 82 years of political instability, finally join the democracies of the world and become recognised as a truly developed country, or whether it will remain teetering on the edge of third-world status.

JC Wilcox

Bangkok


Comments conditions

Users are solely responsible for their comments.We reserve the right to remove any comment and revoke posting rights for any reason withou prior notice.