Political Crisis in Thailand:

Total posts: [113]
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1 Ramidel9th Dec 2013 07:07:42 PM , Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities


Thailand's Prime Minister has dissolved parliament and called fresh elections in the wake of protests, but the protestors are refusing to buy it. The leader of the protests is declaring a unilateral assumption of "some of the functions of government" and has said that a "people's council" (this group is unelected and there is no mention of such an organization in the Thai Constitution; also, there's no indication that the protestors are actually running anything right now) will work to fight corruption in Thailand and ensure that the people get to pick their government by majority vote.

The protests were kicked off by an attempt by the current prime minister to arrange the pardon of her brother, the former prime minister Thaksin, who was removed by a military coup in 2006 due to the corruption of his regime, and is currently in exile.

Personally, I'm not sure who to support, though I think the government did the right thing by calling the snap election. The current government of Thailand is a nepotistic kleptocracy (so what else is new?), but the leader of the protests appears to be a major fruit loop and I'm surprised that the government isn't calling him out on it. If the protestors have misjudged their ability to get votes, this could turn ugly, because it's not clear that the protestors and opposition will accept any election that doesn't go their way as legitimate, and they've already shown the intent (if not necessarily the ability) to use unconstitutional means to take power.

edited 10th Dec '13 6:31:07 AM by Ramidel

Fiat justitia ruat caelum.
2 BestOf9th Dec 2013 09:17:26 PM from Finland , Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
I've opened this thread, but I think there should be something in the OP about why people are protesting.
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3 MarquisDev9th Dec 2013 09:27:14 PM from somewhere in the West
Correct if I am wrong, but I had heard the issues has something to do with succession. The crown prince is unpopular and so people want one of the princesses who is more popular.

The article does state reasons for the protests. The current Prime minister is the sister of the former prime minister who was ousted for corruption and just recently, there was an attempt to pardon the former prime minister. The opposition party also has been losing elections consistently so there seems to be corruption underlying the current system.

edited 9th Dec '13 9:27:32 PM by MarquisDev

"If music be the food of love, PLAY ON" - William Shakespeare
Thai problem had been brewing for long time :





The fighting group is roughly :

The Red, led by Thaksin Shinawatra (former PM) and his sister Yingluck Shinawatra (current PM). Red is corrupt, but they did win election, they had supporter from among the poor in Bangkok, and from Northern region of Thailand.

The Yellow, anti-corruption, anti-democracy, pro-monarchy and pro-military. their supporter is middle class in Bangkok.

comparison could be made with Venezuela and Philiphines, the Middle Class didn't trust democracy, the poor keep electing corrupt demagogue. there are also regional influence, Red is more popular in northern part of Thailand.
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Most of the protestors blame Yingluck just 'cause she's a relative of Thaksin and that she's trying to cover for him with a bill that's suppose to guarantee a royal pardon for people like him.
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6 demarquis10th Dec 2013 05:19:25 AM from Hell, USA , Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
It seems like a very confusing situation with no clear pro-democracy faction.
I do not compromise—I synthesize.
7 Ramidel10th Dec 2013 06:37:56 AM , Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
[up]Well, the government is pro-democracy, but in a very corrupt way; they can deliver the goods to their constituents in return for votes, and take some off the top for themselves.

Thus, the protestors claim to represent the "will of the people" without actually wanting to face the Red in an election; it's the same kind of Personal Dictionary "the people" that a lot of revolutions have used in the past.

edited 10th Dec '13 6:38:20 AM by Ramidel

Fiat justitia ruat caelum.
8 Ogodei10th Dec 2013 09:50:53 AM from The front lines
Fuck you, Fascist sympathizers
Thailand just can't seem to get away from military dictatorship tendencies, can it? Thaksin and his 1997 constitution didn't stick in the end, and now Yingluck is caught up in it.

Seems the Red just need some discipline in their own ranks, then the Yellow wouldn't have a moral leg to stand on.
9 demarquis10th Dec 2013 11:07:12 AM from Hell, USA , Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
They need a real, independent pro-democracy movement.
I do not compromise—I synthesize.
10 Greenmantle10th Dec 2013 02:11:54 PM from Greater Wessex, Britannia , Relationship Status: Hiding
[up] They're not going to get one. The most likely source of that — the Middle Classes — are with the Yellows.
Keep Rolling On

11 Ramidel10th Dec 2013 04:45:41 PM , Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
[up][up]No, because again, "pro-democracy" would mean accepting the Reds as the government. That's the whole point behind the Yellows' monarchism (or in this case, their odd definition of "the people"); in their opinion, democracy just leads to demagogues and populism.

That's why the Yellows have been relying on the military and judiciary to disqualify people that they don't want in office, like Thaksin.

For the best analogy I could find (and at the risk of Godwin's Law), imagine if one of Hitler's understudies tried to refound the NSDAP in West Germany after it regained self-government, and was able to gain enough popular support to ensure a majority government and a mandate if they were allowed to stand for election. Should they be allowed to be on the ballot? 'cause that's about how the Yellows feel about the Reds.

edited 10th Dec '13 4:50:24 PM by Ramidel

Fiat justitia ruat caelum.
12 demarquis10th Dec 2013 06:27:14 PM from Hell, USA , Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
The question you have to ask yourself is why people around the world do not support demagogues very often. In nearly every country that has achieved stable democracy, true demagogery is a fringe. Whatever it is that you think allows this to happen, Thailand needs more of it.
I do not compromise—I synthesize.
13 Ramidel10th Dec 2013 07:03:10 PM , Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
[up]My guess would be prosperity. The support for the Red comes from the poor and the fact that Yingluck and her party are able to spread money around to keep food in the bellies of the hungry. So long as that happens, most of her supporters aren't going to object if they take some of that pork for themselves.

The people who have a problem with her are also the people who can afford to complain about her government's corruption.
Fiat justitia ruat caelum.
14 demarquis10th Dec 2013 07:18:01 PM from Hell, USA , Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
Prosperity probably plays a role (revolution of rising expectations and all that) but it cant the entire explanation, or every democracy on earth would be a hopelessly corrupt plutocracy (which they arent). People like competent, honest officials and institutions that treat everyone more or less the same. If someone could offer that as a credible platform, the balance of power in Thailand could shift. The problem appears to be that the Reds have captured the "prodemocracy" brand, so the whole idea is tainted in the mass media. Perhaps what they need now is for enough people to get sick of the fighting that a breakaway faction could offer a third option. I admit there appears to be no sign of that now, however.
I do not compromise—I synthesize.
I think its probably nationalism that make the difference. for any country to succeed, there have to be willingness to not cheat each other and help each other. And nationalism have to be sustained with relative equality and common culture.

In country where equality has grown too large, the rich and middle class stop see the poor as fellow countrymen and refuse to help them, while the poor seek redistribution of wealth, competition among the elite also has grown violent.

Similarly where ethnic/tribal/regionalism triumph, democracy become way to collect wealth from the other for their own group.

Note : and majority of democracy does corrupt too some degree. US have earmark, subsidy and deduction for various group. Japan and EU have the right subsidise farmer, while the left subsidise labor union. In Asia, like India, Indonesia and Philiphines, democracy does controlled by oligarchy.
16 Ramidel12th Dec 2013 10:19:14 PM , Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Economist's analysis of the situation

Essentially, Suthep and his protestors are trying to use his protestors as a vehicle to force Yingluck to surrender power to his people before the election. The Democratic Party (lol) is trying to decide whether they want to boycott the election and undercut the democratic process further, since the smart money is on Yingluck winning a fair election if it comes to one.

The Red Shirts, meanwhile, are making their own plans to establish a separate government in the north if Yingluck resigns. Nothing could possibly go wrong with that.

Also, the article suggests that Yingluck is just a puppet for Thaksin, who's running the government from Dubai. I'm just a bit skeptical on that score; I think Yingluck is at the very least the one on the scene and I doubt that Thaksin is able to maintain hands-on control from exile.

edited 12th Dec '13 10:20:59 PM by Ramidel

Fiat justitia ruat caelum.
17 demarquis13th Dec 2013 09:48:21 AM from Hell, USA , Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
From all that I have heard, brother and sister have very similar beliefs and agendas; I actually think it isnt necessary for him to direct anything for the current administration to pursue policies he would have approved of anyway.

So far as I can see, there are no good guys here.
I do not compromise—I synthesize.
Serving Crits
If it helps, Yingluk get essentially zero respect. Imagine George Bush-level gaffe and general policy missteps.

"The literal meaning of life is whatever you're doing that prevents you from killing yourself." Albert Camus
19 Ramidel16th Dec 2013 12:41:27 AM , Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
@demarquis: I agree, though I consider the Thaksinocracy to be A Lighter Shade of Grey. Thaksin's a crook and Yingluck's a joke, but that's what the people of Thailand prefer, and the response has been "okay, so we don't ask the people, we just claim to represent them."

Honestly, I think that a government like the Red will fix itself one way or another. Either it'll make things better for the poor (in which case, what's the problem again?) or it'll lead to wealth inequality and unrest, in which case the "democratic" government will be torn down at the polls. Right now, it's facing unrest from a reactionary movement that, to Western eyes, looks awfully similar to a lot of other far-right movements, so I give a tip-of-the-hat to the lawful government for so long as they stay the lawful government.
Fiat justitia ruat caelum.
Serving Crits
[up] How do you answer the corruption question, then?
"The literal meaning of life is whatever you're doing that prevents you from killing yourself." Albert Camus
21 Ramidel16th Dec 2013 05:49:29 AM , Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
[up]I don't. I'm essentially pulling a slogan from the 2002 French election. "Vote for the crook, not the fascist."

There are reasons to tear down a democratic system, but as far as I'm concerned, open corruption that the voters support is not one of them.
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That was a slogan they used?
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23 Ramidel16th Dec 2013 06:01:22 AM , Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Yes. The context was a runoff election between President Jacques Chirac and Jean-Marie Le Pen of the Front National. The Socialists started running ads with exactly that slogan.
Fiat justitia ruat caelum.
24 Ramidel11th Jan 2014 11:32:06 AM , Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Fiat justitia ruat caelum.
25 Ogodei11th Jan 2014 07:04:04 PM from The front lines
Fuck you, Fascist sympathizers
This is generally inevitable, similar to what goes on in Venezuela. The working class has been betrayed too often to trust in democracy even when their side is the one on top, unfortunately.

Total posts: 113
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