Democracy ruled by laws as well as votes

your say March 16, 2014 00:00

During the last thirteen years we have seen a contrived regime develop in Thailand.

The majority vote gave rise to a system of government that more resembles a corrupt business than a democracy. Many strategic offices were filled by those loyal to the rule by kleptocracy: thieving money from the state regardless of the consequences to the nation. The result is clear to see. The economy and society have been damaged at a time when a minority have become richer and increasingly self-serving whilst rice farmers, the people most vital, have not received payment from the government and are suffering. This current regime is motivated only by returning their fugitive leader to power in order that he and his immediate supports can increase their wealth at the expense of the poorest people in the land.
This is what the single-minded obsession with the vote has produced. 
Now we see democracy raising its head, much to the chagrin of those in power and their supporters.
The law, which would seem to have been latent for years, is being dusted off and applied. The hitherto powerful are discovering that if they break the law, the law defends itself, it pursues lawbreakers. But they shriek in horror: “We arrived on a vote, we can’t be attacked by the law, it’s not right, it’s undemocratic.” And they throw their bombs at the law in desperation to protect democracy. They have to learn that democracy is controlled by the law, not the vote.
We are witnessing the danger of the vote when it stands above the law: the misconception that the vote is democracy. Thailand has paid a dreadful price for its erroneous obsession with the vote.
JC Wilcox