- Posted December 9, 2013 by
Do not take out Taksinocracy without democracy
The mob prior to the King’s birthday last week was reportedly about 2 million people, the largest in Thailand/Siam history. Today’s mob is supposed to top that figure though BBC (and also CNN) reported the Thai police’s guesstimate of about 150,000. It is simply laughable when the figure was too low to be true when you can judge with your own eyes from the pictures.
Despite last night’s parliament dissolution, the mob leaders demand the whole cabinet to resign, therefore creating a power vacuum where new interim government needs to be appointed. The interim government will then clean up the voting system and get the new election under way. To many, it is not democracy. My take is that it is NOT!
I have discussed with a few of my redshirt fellows. They have been labeling Khun Suthep (the mob leader) as a right-wing traitor in favor of violence. I listen to both sides here but as far as I know there have been many announcements from the mob leaders about non-violence methods. And that is already so different from the 2010 redshirt mob where the leaders incited on violence (i.e. arson).
The redshirt sympathizers also use the fear tactics to warn that Suthep and his team are using the innocent mob to their advantage. I am always worried about that but I do not believe the mob will disappear if Khun Suthep got arrested today. What the redshirts refuse to admit is that the mob takes to the street because they want Taksin’s regime out of Thailand. It is not about Suthep. What Suthep has been saying to the mob is what the demonstrators would have been saying to themselves.
My redshirt friends who are smart and educated members of our society always say it is not about persons but it is the democracy that is in danger. While I am democracy’s best friend, I must remind everyone that Marcos and Hitler were both democratically elected. When a government in the west abuses democracy, voters wait for the next election to vote them out of power. Now the East Germans took to the street and eventually led to the fall of the Berlin wall. End of day, I am not so sure how long we can and should wait for the vicious government to fade away.
The redshirts are right, however, that the proposal that Suthep is proposing is not democratic. While the Yingluck administration abused democracy and ignored constitutional court ruling (which the parliament dissolution already punished them), the appointed government will simply not work.
The majority of voters will not accept anything that the appointed government will propose. The People’s Council as proposed by Suthep will roughly do what the members of parliament are supposed to do but the council election process is vague and I believe the “the People’s council” will not be a long-term solution.
My mob friends said it is similar to having a house on fire. You simply have to put out the fire first then you can do something else. I sort of agree with them but if you do not use the right chemicals or you do not put out your neighborhood’ fire, the fire will return.
I believe we need to have some mutual respect here to have peace. We need to understand that Taksin’s policy, though I must admit it catered to his selfish interest first, helps put some money in pocket of Northeasterners whom the democrat had ignored in the past. You can get rid of Taksin but you need to take care of the rural poor and get them to have a say in the new system that you are designing now.
Stop cursing each other. I know that leaders both sides are telling the followers to hate the other side as we need to stop that. Stop calling names and looking down on each other. Hatred does not work and only leads to violence at the end.
I said in my last article that the protesters only see democrat (and Suthep) as a lesser of the evils. The only way to move forward is for redshirts (who believe it is not about Taksin) and protesters (who only want to get rid of Taksin’s regime) to get together for some beers at a neighborhood bar and have some honest talks.
I do know a few redshirt friends who only want change. Our views are not so different on the need for reform but they want the country to stay away from dictatorship at all cost and I want Taksin’s regime out without conditions first. Our actions are different but our vision is the same. We love our King and we mean well for the country (Of course, there are redshirts who blame the King for everything).
Here is my humble advice. Forget the elites and Taksin as well as his corrupt servants. They have created too many problems already. All I know is that the effort to clean up corruption and voting system has to come from both sides. Let the people in the middle run the country now. Join me!