Socio-political factors were key to Thaksin's abuse of power

your say July 21, 2014 00:00

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Ref: "'Human factor' has hurt Thailand badly", Letters, yesterday.

Vint Chavala says, “I am trying not to think that JC Wilcox was trying to protect Thaksin’s image when he voiced disagreement to my claim that Thaksin Shinawatra has got in the way of Thailand’s attempts to move forward toward having democracy”.

That Thaksin was able to do what he did was symptomatic of a socio-political situation that had persisted for very many generations. He saw a suppressed population that had been given the right to vote in 1932 but without an established democratic form of government.

Gaining an election majority without democratic constraints gave him carte blanche to do as he pleased. Populist policies and vote buying gave him the power he craved.

When looking for a solution, first must be established the root cause. The root cause of the destructive events of the last 13 years was a majority who had been suppressed and denied a comprehensive education, then were then given the right to vote.

Had the essential principle of Buddhism, awareness, been taught nationally over the years, an enlightened population would not have backed Thaksin. He would have been thwarted from the outset.

The cause is historical, over decades if not centuries. The permanent solution will similarly be long term. A comprehensive, broadly-based education system that will lead to enlightenment of the electorate and ensure no repeat of national exploitation, ever again. This has started with the NCPO, who are taking practical action.

Thaksin is “caveat elector”. He has demonstrated the danger of the vote. The vote alone gives licence to the Thaksins of this world, and there are many.

JC Wilcox