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Some views on Thai Democracy





A well thought out article and some good points from a poster on New Mandal. But using words like “spurious” and “furiously battle” at the beginning shows a western rather than a Thai outlook on democracy. (Yingluck is certainly not taking a furious approach, far from it)

Mr Vadera says: “In a democracy regardless of for whomever we vote, we consent that the winner of that election will represent the whole of that electorate. However if we do not have the means to withhold consent, it is impossible to give consent.”

Absolutely true, but Thais view it slightly differently. Thais share a respect for both the democracy given by their constitution and their respect for the feudalistic class system. I believe they will find a balance that suits this cultural background and resolve that dichotomy. It will take time. Thaksin paved the way to some extent. Yingluck is working more than her brother ever did or would WITH the networks (the elite, sections of the army, etc)

Without understanding Thai culture and thinking, most foreigners can not think outside the western model of democracy which frustrates Thais. It is why some foreign critics of the monarchy are so detested by Thais. For their (to Thais, one -sided)views of course but also for the rather colonial way foreigners sometimes discuss them.

Thai academics will listen but not be lectured at particularly if that is seen as being disrespectful to the monarchy ( and by extention, disrespectful to Thailand and the Thais)

Robin Vadera’s article is thought provoking and I’m glad I read it. It could be a powerful basis for developing a strategy that could work.

(Like many, I am ambivalent on New Mandala. There’s some good stuff on there  Its problem is they tend – or their posters tend – to flame any poster that disagrees, however constructively, Stray from the perceived wisdom of their agenda and woe betide you. Letting people have theirr “democratic” say seems to have eluded them. Which is odd given their stated aim of wanting free discource)

Perhaps following too much Henry Ford’s dictum. “You can have any colour you want so long as it’s black!



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