Ms Chocaholic with lots of opinions and an attitude

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Endorsing and Encouraging

I am no expert on the english language, but if I had to guess I would say the 2 are quite different. It is one thing to endorse an act AFTER it has taken place, and yes that may imply agreeing with it. But the political situation in Thailand and the division of powers are not as simple as what the media sometime tend to present. The King is loved and respected, yet he exercise also certain restraint on himself in terms of when he chooses to use the power that this love and respect begets.

On the other hand, there is encouraging, which to me usually would happen before and during the act takes place.

What the local media repeatedly talks about is the fact that the King gave his endorsement to the Military rule, and sure enough the international media has picked up on that and sends out that same message to the world.

What I dont understand is how can the media forget the fact that it was the King himself who asked that Thailand's Constitutional Court re-look at the April 2 Elections, which they did, and had declared it void. As a result the Elections Commissions was sacked and sentenced to jail for misconduct! Since then a new Commission have been selected and only recently appointed, about 2 weeks before the coup took place.

A clear message from the King that he would like to see things rectified, through legal democratic process! This obviously shows that the only thing he encouraged was the use of democratic process to end Thailand's political impasse at that time. That is the first thing I would like to highlight.

There was still a case under process on the allegations against Thaksin's Thai Rak Thai political party for misconduct during the same April 2 Elections.

So whats my point? Many people have over the last week or so asked me the question whether if the military did not interfere with the coup, would Thailand's judiciary and democratic system be strong enough to correct itself.
I cannot say that the process will be fool-proof, but what system in the world can claim that. However, in my limited knowledge of the law and such, I personally feel that in the past few months since the start of 2006 the people's voices have in fact become stronger! The media, although seen as under pressure from government, were able to report also about the negative aspects or alleged abuse of power by the government. Does that not spell some form of strengthening of the democratic process?

And yes then I get asked about how people in power take advantage of loopholes in the Constitution and the law. To me, democracy is a continuous process of work-in-progress, it does not end at a point where a certain Constitution is produced and that is the be-all perfect answer to everything. There will always be loopholes as things change, society change, problems change. What needs to be done is an update/improvement rather than throw things away and always start from scratch. The 1997 Constitution in Thailand is referred to as the first true People's Constitution, as it was drafted with input from various sectors. Flaws there may be, but totally useless to the extent that needs to be thrown away?
That is a question I would leave for all of us to think about......



  • hi, jyoti, so good to see that you joined the "club". we surely missed you in taipei. i hope you keep up your website and continue having fun with it. many greetings from gummersbach and a four day workshop on ... political consulting.

    By Anonymous meinardus, At 6:38 pm  

  • HI, thanks for mailing me about your blog: I'd agree with your take on the coup, from my experience in Thailand.

    The only other thing that bothers me are the potential long-term consequences. I suppose you'd have to agree that, good thing or not, Thaksin at the head of Thai Rak Thai would have won any free election in Thailand in the near future. I can see a lot of people being very disappointed and taking it out on the political and urban elite in future elections when they finally get to vote. The new leaders may have removed Thaksin, but there is a danger of long-term resentment. What would happen if a similar or more objectionable party were to be in danger of coming to power in a year's time or more?

    I'm thinking of comparisons with India after Indira's "emergency" or the problems other countries have had after removing popular but problematic elected governments. Intervention can be something that it is hard to back out of. At least everything in Thailand is happening peacefully though.

    Thaksin seems to have accepted the situation, and his party appears to be disintegrating. I suppose we can only hope that people continue to be sensible and come to a resolution through discussion without fighting.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 10:51 pm  

  • Dr. M
    I bow to the master of bloggin and his paying a visit to mine :)
    good luck in Egypt and hope to see you again someplace.

    By Blogger Jyoti, At 11:18 pm  

  • "What would happen if a similar or more objectionable party were to be in danger of coming to power in a year's time or more? "
    --- exactly what I keep saying....Thai politics has always been plagued with corruption, but if everytime we are to resort to military coup to correct any wrongdoing, then how can Thailand ever progress in its democratic ways.

    in terms of the party disintegrating...I have also read some views reported in the papers recently and some have said that Thai Rak Thai (thaksin's party) has done some good things no other party in power have ever achieved. And I must say...there is a lot of truth in that.

    By Blogger Jyoti, At 8:13 pm  

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