I'll take Thai democracy and its coups any day

your say June 16, 2014 00:00

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Recent newspaper articles are decrying the return of populism.

It’s a very big problem that the Thai coup is not adhering to the standard narrative that the foreign media has been portraying. The Army is not out shooting people. Instead, they seem to be campaigning for an election. This is how it works in Thailand. 
When opponents can’t agree on anything for about six months – a lifetime in Thailand – we give them two more days to get their act together, failing which, we declare a coup. We then send them for meditation lessons anywhere from one to seven days depending on their inflexibility. If they don’t come out singing songs in seven days, we may consider seven more, but so far we haven’t had to.
Maybe you love democracy the way it’s played out and enjoy the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is still a media sensation after six decades, but I get tired of watching the same movie over and over again. I’ll take Thailand with its coups any day.
Some are whining that the military is doing exactly what the last government did, only more so. Infrastructure projects are even bigger and populism has gone even wilder with free World Cup viewing. Freebee distribution used to be the preserve of political parties for their vote banks. Now the men in green are giving them a run for their money. 
But there’s a big difference that may have gone unnoticed. World Cup viewing is not restricted to any one vote bank. It’s for everybody – red shirts, yellow shirts, multi-coloured shirts and the shirtless.
Suthep Kittikulsingh