In Thailand as in the US the opposition, whether it be Pheu Thai or the Democrats, is in most cases guaranteed to block any policies and legislation proposed by the party in power regardless of merit.
For the next few days the eyes of the world will be riveted on the presidential election in the United States. While the cast of characters and issues is totally different, there are some surprising similarities in the political landscape of the two countries, particularly in the rabid partisanship practised by the major political parties.
Political gridlock is in part due to genuine ideological differences, but it can often be attributed to contrariness and a desire to sabotage the other side at all costs, regardless of the merit of their initiatives. This political trait was displayed last week by Republican hopeful Mitt Romney while on the campaign trail in Wisconsin when he warned that if Barack Obama was re-elected there would likely be another federal budgetary crisis similar to the one last year in which Republicans refused to raise the debt ceiling to allow the government to pay its bills. Mr Romney warned that the country might face another recession because his own party would force another crisis over the debt ceiling. On the other hand, it is understood that if Mr Romney is elected the debt ceiling will be raised without a hitch as it has been many times in the past under both Democratic and Republican presidents. The implied threat of shutting down the government shows clearly that partisanship often trumps the public good in Washington.
This article is older than 60 days, which we reserve for our premium members only.You can subscribe to our premium member subscription, here.