PM can be voted out

Without trying to create a controversy, or a war of words over democracies and definitions, it is generally accepted that in a democracy, the leadership governs with the consent of the electorate, which can easily remove that same leadership for ineptness by election and petition.

In a dictatorship or absolute monarchy, the leader or leaders rule, not govern. They are not easily removable, except via a coup.

If Thailand is supposed to be a democracy, then the prime minister governs, she does not rule. Only His Majesty may claim to rule. Yingluck Shinawatra and her government are responsible for good governance, and barring that, she and her party are subject to removal (hopefully by peaceful means).


A true 'democracy'

I've often wondered if Thai people really know the true meaning of the word democracy. I feel they think its interchangeable with ''autocracy'' and, at worst, even ''demagoguery''.

I do understand the concept is new to this country. There is a long road ahead.


Tourist death traps

I saw in the local media that a major Russian tourist organisation is threatening to move business away from Thailand because of repeated accidents and deaths befalling their citizens while on holiday.

Clearly this is a serious, daily problem, not just for tourists but for everyone who has to risk their lives with inexperienced, incompetent or simply incapable people driving cars, buses, boats, trains and vans and the companies that operate them to fulfill the public's needs.

I imagine the authorities will take little notice of this.

Chon Buri

Punish them quickly

Mr Dunn (PostBag, Nov 22) brought up a good point: human rights abusers should be punished as soon as possible.

That reminds me of an early interview then newly elected PM Thaksin Shinawatra gave to the media. A reporter asked him about his stance on human rights. The answer was: ''Ah, human rights, that's the right to be human''.

Nice joke. Alas, further actions at Krue Se mosque and Tak Bai or the war on drugs were less funny. I guess we have a candidate here.


Washington a liar

Re: ''No deceit in democracy'' (PostBag, Nov 21).

Richard Bowler trusts that I do not include first US President George Washington as a liar, so I will address that.

Young George, as a surveyor and an officer in the British military, was an early explorer to the part of western Pennsylvania where I was born and where I lived in my first years, so I admire him for that and for many other things.

As president, he not only lied but he also broke the law, as he illegally hid his slaves in underground passages and in slave quarters connected to the first Presidents House in Philadelphia, and he lied about that on paper.

Yes, Mr Bowler, President Washington was a liar and a law-breaker, and those facts likewise lay hidden and lied about for more than a century.


Turning in the breeze

Re: ''PM asks for time to mull charter draft invalidation'', (BP, Nov 23 ).

Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher famously proclaimed: ''The lady is not for turning!''

On Thursday PM Yingluck Shinawatra hinted that she might be. She said the Pheu Thai Party's vow to seek the impeachment of Constitution Court judges is a ''personal opinion'', once again distancing herself from Pheu Thai legislation.

She said she will have to wait to hear an opinion from the Council of State, which is the government's legal adviser, before taking any action. Ms Yingluck insisted the government must always aim to follow the regulations.

Pheu Thai's trend to date has been to ignore or change the regulations. Respecting a court's verdict against the party is an entirely different ballgame.

Can she really turn everything around? It is her chance to become a true leader.


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