Postbag: At a turning point
published : 25 Dec 2013 at 00:00
newspaper section: News
Having attended many large protests over the past few weeks, it is quite clear those protesting against the government do not want the vote, they want democratic reform and democracy.
They want the right to vote when democracy is established.
They will then be voting for democratic governance free from corruption, nepotism, cronyism and all that which the vote alone allows to take place. Many placards on Sunday declared ''Reform before election'' and the Democrat Party has decided it will not even contest the poll.
This stance was confirmed with the mass demonstrations at five main locations around Bangkok.
Surely no government can resist such bold, powerful opposition.
It was all intellectual with not the slightest suggestion of physical aggression.
That day will go down in the history of Thailand as a watershed: when people finally said enough is enough and there is no going back.
Thais clearly demonstrated they will no longer accept incompetent, infantile and insulting behaviour from the government or the Department of Special Investigation.
It is important to note the protesters were not exclusively from Bangkok but from many areas of the country and from a cross-section of society. Even some former members of the UDD were involved.
J C WILCOX
Out with the old
Everyone is carrying on about what is wrong with Thailand's democracy but no one seems to want to bring up the true cause of why it doesn't work.
It is patterned after Britain's form of democracy rather than that of the United States. There is no system of checks and balances. A prime minister is appointed by the party with the most representatives in the government.
All representatives in government, including the top position, should be elected. The British appointing members of the House of Lords is nothing but an attempt at retaining some measure of their old feudal system where only lords, dukes, sirs and earls ruled. It was archaic and still is.
The ruling party in Thailand controls everything and can pass whatever its leader wants passed. That is not a system of checks and balances.
It is time to change Thailand's form of democracy and make the old ruling families earn the trust of the people.
Everyone says Pheu Thai will be elected again, but I have to ask myself, if it is, would Thaksin or Yingluck Shinawatra also be elected if it were required?
Election process unfair
Re: Vint Chavala's letter ''Vote buying is rife'' (PostBag, Dec 24). MPs from other parties have been brought in to swell the Thaksin ranks.
In 2000, this created the monster which consolidated its position by buying the voters with populist policies for 2004.
The letter highlights an obvious flaw in the election process. If democracy is the will of the people, the ballot box should allow a vote for ''none of the above''.
It could also include write-in candidates to allow popular local figures not affiliated with a party to be elected.
In the upcoming election, many will be disenfranchised because the people who have swelled the ranks of the street protests (Democrat and non-Democrat) have nobody to vote for.
The parties should offer clear policy manifestoes. The candidates need time to tell the constituencies about these to gain their vote. It takes more time than saying ''here is 500 baht'', but should be an obligation.
The snap election called by a party with flawed policies is unfair to other political actors who don't have the time to explain their actions.
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