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Not all democracies are the same

Re: "So which side is ignoring democracy?", Letters, May 2.

Robin Grant is wrong in his assumptions about democracy in Northern Europe. Yes, there is a democratic world out there beyond the Anglo-American model, and with other takes on democracy. I wrote about it in my letter ("Absence of democracy equals absence of shame", May 1) but my points unfortunately fell victim to the editor's scissors, so I'll try again.

Not all democracies follow the system of calling a new election if the government is forced out before time. In many systems, the fallen government acts as a caretaker administration until the opposition parties in Parliament are able to establish a new government. The caretaker government is only meant to last for a few days or weeks and is limited to basic acts of administration. If forming a new government proves impossible, the Parliament can agree on (preferably) neutral officials to head departments in a transitional government.

A minority government consisting of the opposition parties will, of course, be weak and function more or less in practice as just an administration.

However, may be such a system will allow for a more stable functioning democracy and encourage politicians to cool down before overstepping the rules of democracy than what occurs in systems where political crises can be solved by new elections - a system easy to exploit in immature democracies.

With an unbelievable number of political parties in Thailand it adds up to possibilities for an unstable and messy democracy. You can wonder what different ideologies or points of views all those parties stand for. In other countries political parties have to gain votes over a set percentage limit to be represented in parliament to make basis for a stable government with enough concentrated power to govern.

Could the current political mess also have something to do with all those probably too many parties?

A Johnsen

Chon Buri


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