Thailand has plenty of role models to emulate

your say July 17, 2014 00:00

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Ref: "Democracy is a process that takes time, not a one-shot deal", Letters, July 8

It is true that it took centuries to evolve the democratic system of government, but it is now well established in a number of countries and has been for a very long time.
Thailand is not breaking new ground in establishing a democracy as there are several role models around the world that could easily be emulated.
Fundamentally, democracy is a form of government controlled by laws rather than individuals. Ensuring a comprehensive basis of laws starting with the paramount law, the Constitution and the electoral system, would be the first step. 
Historically, the main failing in Thailand has been sound and fair adjudication and law enforcement. Once these are in place and working, Thailand will basically have achieved democracy because it already is fortunate enough to have an apolitical head of state with His Majesty the King. 
Democracy must have an apolitical head of state, differing from a democratic republic where the head of state is political, being voted into power.
In his letter, the writer states: “Thais not only desire democracy, we are desperate for it after 82 years of scrambling and trying time after time and again.” 
He claims that “Thaksin [Shinawatra] got in the way” of trying to establish democracy. Democracy is not about one person, it is of the people, for the people, by the people. Had the majority of people understood that the right to vote does not constitute democracy, they could have established democracy if they so desired.  Where corruption is a way of life and ignoring the law is common place, the disciplines of democracy would come as an unwelcome shock but it could happen immediately. Enforcing the law across society is not “a process that takes time”, if it is indeed the wish of the majority of people.
JC Wilcox