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goosebump

Well-known member
Joined
May 23, 2008
Messages
4,940
digoutday said:
we should try something like that here....
That would require you leaving the pub.

Do you want to think it over first?
 

code twinkle

Active member
Joined
Jul 30, 2006
Messages
156
Respvblica said:
code twinkle said:
disenchanted said:
The idea is to come up with a system under which leaders ARE held accountable. A system with proper checks and balances in which people's allegiances can't simply be bought.
I do hear what you're saying but what you're describing there is democracy plain and simple. The only reason a democratic system is so structured is because it is the only effective way to avoid institutional abuse. What they need is a better, stronger democratic system, not a "we the people will appoint you if you do what we say oh * siúcra * you're not holding to your side of the promise and you;ve got guns oops" type of system... :?
I agree. Democracy is needed as it is the only way of holding the leaders accountable to all the people. If they are having a problem with the executive then perhaps they should review the powers of that executive - perhaps weaken them or place better checks and balances. Getting rid of democracy will only make things worse. The appointees will only be accountable to those that appointed them -some military elite - who become the real usurpers of sovereignty.
Now the question becomes - how do you become part of the military elite and who are they accountable to?
Meanwhile the people are effectively living under servitude. In my opinion revolution in this case is justified.
exactly.

except for the revolution thing - it's a guarantee that violent revolution displacing an oppressive regime leads to the instititution of an equally repressive regime. see examples from history from the French Rev to the Russian to pretty much every African country post-1960!

the key to instituting democracy is engineering a balance of power between two or three competing political blocs where the only way any of them can rationally see themselves getting into and staying in government for any length of time is through election. eg. the Spanish transition to democracy, or, more recently the Ukraine 'revolution' which was really popular passive resistance leading to the above situation where neither of the main political actors saw themselves coming to power except through election.

p.s. if one of the political actors controls the army with ease then transition to democracy will be much more unlikely...
 

Respvblica

Active member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
212
code twinkle said:
Respvblica said:
[quote="code twinkle":10j3uodq]
disenchanted said:
The idea is to come up with a system under which leaders ARE held accountable. A system with proper checks and balances in which people's allegiances can't simply be bought.
I do hear what you're saying but what you're describing there is democracy plain and simple. The only reason a democratic system is so structured is because it is the only effective way to avoid institutional abuse. What they need is a better, stronger democratic system, not a "we the people will appoint you if you do what we say oh * siúcra * you're not holding to your side of the promise and you;ve got guns oops" type of system... :?
I agree. Democracy is needed as it is the only way of holding the leaders accountable to all the people. If they are having a problem with the executive then perhaps they should review the powers of that executive - perhaps weaken them or place better checks and balances. Getting rid of democracy will only make things worse. The appointees will only be accountable to those that appointed them -some military elite - who become the real usurpers of sovereignty.
Now the question becomes - how do you become part of the military elite and who are they accountable to?
Meanwhile the people are effectively living under servitude. In my opinion revolution in this case is justified.
exactly.

except for the revolution thing - it's a guarantee that violent revolution displacing an oppressive regime leads to the instititution of an equally repressive regime. see examples from history from the French Rev to the Russian to pretty much every African country post-1960!

the key to instituting democracy is engineering a balance of power between two or three competing political blocs where the only way any of them can rationally see themselves getting into and staying in government for any length of time is through election. eg. the Spanish transition to democracy, or, more recently the Ukraine 'revolution' which was really popular passive resistance leading to the above situation where neither of the main political actors saw themselves coming to power except through election.

p.s. if one of the political actors controls the army with ease then transition to democracy will be much more unlikely...[/quote:10j3uodq]

Your probably right about revolution - its an old republican law/maxim that regicide was legal - and I myself would much rather prefer a non violent method of registering my disapproval.

By competing power blocks - do you mean having various political parties or various institutions/houses?

I think theres a difference between Spain and Thailand with regard to democracy. The spaninsh transition was really helped by the fact that the neighboring countries were all democratic. Then theres the EU and NATO to consider as well. Thailand on the otherhand lives in the shadow of China, which is becoming prosperous and powerful despite not being democratic. I think the geographical location also is a factor and in this case its working against Thailand.
 

code twinkle

Active member
Joined
Jul 30, 2006
Messages
156
Respvblica said:
code twinkle said:
Respvblica said:
[quote="code twinkle":190xzol8]
disenchanted said:
The idea is to come up with a system under which leaders ARE held accountable. A system with proper checks and balances in which people's allegiances can't simply be bought.
I do hear what you're saying but what you're describing there is democracy plain and simple. The only reason a democratic system is so structured is because it is the only effective way to avoid institutional abuse. What they need is a better, stronger democratic system, not a "we the people will appoint you if you do what we say oh * siúcra * you're not holding to your side of the promise and you;ve got guns oops" type of system... :?
I agree. Democracy is needed as it is the only way of holding the leaders accountable to all the people. If they are having a problem with the executive then perhaps they should review the powers of that executive - perhaps weaken them or place better checks and balances. Getting rid of democracy will only make things worse. The appointees will only be accountable to those that appointed them -some military elite - who become the real usurpers of sovereignty.
Now the question becomes - how do you become part of the military elite and who are they accountable to?
Meanwhile the people are effectively living under servitude. In my opinion revolution in this case is justified.
exactly.

except for the revolution thing - it's a guarantee that violent revolution displacing an oppressive regime leads to the instititution of an equally repressive regime. see examples from history from the French Rev to the Russian to pretty much every African country post-1960!

the key to instituting democracy is engineering a balance of power between two or three competing political blocs where the only way any of them can rationally see themselves getting into and staying in government for any length of time is through election. eg. the Spanish transition to democracy, or, more recently the Ukraine 'revolution' which was really popular passive resistance leading to the above situation where neither of the main political actors saw themselves coming to power except through election.

p.s. if one of the political actors controls the army with ease then transition to democracy will be much more unlikely...
Your probably right about revolution - its an old republican law/maxim that regicide was legal - and I myself would much rather prefer a non violent method of registering my disapproval.

By competing power blocks - do you mean having various political parties or various institutions/houses?

I think theres a difference between Spain and Thailand with regard to democracy. The spaninsh transition was really helped by the fact that the neighboring countries were all democratic. Then theres the EU and NATO to consider as well. Thailand on the otherhand lives in the shadow of China, which is becoming prosperous and powerful despite not being democratic. I think the geographical location also is a factor and in this case its working against Thailand.[/quote:190xzol8]

totally agree regarding geopgraphy - proximity to and support from the EU was very helpful for the Ukraine transition too. And by the same token, Russia is a major potentially destabilising factor in terms of the future success of the Ukrainian democratic system.

Re competition - I meant competing political parties at the most basic - eg. a FG/FF scenario (one of the reasons our own transition to democracy worked so well imo), but I would also think that a strong civil society (including an active independent media) and a strong or at least, functioning, judiciary,are both also key elements in successful transitions, particularly in consolidating a democratic regime.

For example, the National Unity governments in Kenya and now, seemingly Zimbabwe, could be key to ensuring a transition to full democracy,again using the Spanish transition, a starting Pact or Agreement was helpful in settling the ground rules at the outset, but without the other two elements, there is a risk that competition will erode and one party will succeed in acquiring a dangerous level of power again.
 

Respvblica

Active member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
212
code twinkle said:
Respvblica said:
[quote="code twinkle":1mxrlj7f]
Respvblica said:
[quote="code twinkle":1mxrlj7f]
disenchanted said:
The idea is to come up with a system under which leaders ARE held accountable. A system with proper checks and balances in which people's allegiances can't simply be bought.
I do hear what you're saying but what you're describing there is democracy plain and simple. The only reason a democratic system is so structured is because it is the only effective way to avoid institutional abuse. What they need is a better, stronger democratic system, not a "we the people will appoint you if you do what we say oh * siúcra * you're not holding to your side of the promise and you;ve got guns oops" type of system... :?
I agree. Democracy is needed as it is the only way of holding the leaders accountable to all the people. If they are having a problem with the executive then perhaps they should review the powers of that executive - perhaps weaken them or place better checks and balances. Getting rid of democracy will only make things worse. The appointees will only be accountable to those that appointed them -some military elite - who become the real usurpers of sovereignty.
Now the question becomes - how do you become part of the military elite and who are they accountable to?
Meanwhile the people are effectively living under servitude. In my opinion revolution in this case is justified.
exactly.

except for the revolution thing - it's a guarantee that violent revolution displacing an oppressive regime leads to the instititution of an equally repressive regime. see examples from history from the French Rev to the Russian to pretty much every African country post-1960!

the key to instituting democracy is engineering a balance of power between two or three competing political blocs where the only way any of them can rationally see themselves getting into and staying in government for any length of time is through election. eg. the Spanish transition to democracy, or, more recently the Ukraine 'revolution' which was really popular passive resistance leading to the above situation where neither of the main political actors saw themselves coming to power except through election.

p.s. if one of the political actors controls the army with ease then transition to democracy will be much more unlikely...
Your probably right about revolution - its an old republican law/maxim that regicide was legal - and I myself would much rather prefer a non violent method of registering my disapproval.

By competing power blocks - do you mean having various political parties or various institutions/houses?

I think theres a difference between Spain and Thailand with regard to democracy. The spaninsh transition was really helped by the fact that the neighboring countries were all democratic. Then theres the EU and NATO to consider as well. Thailand on the otherhand lives in the shadow of China, which is becoming prosperous and powerful despite not being democratic. I think the geographical location also is a factor and in this case its working against Thailand.[/quote:1mxrlj7f]

totally agree regarding geopgraphy - proximity to and support from the EU was very helpful for the Ukraine transition too. And by the same token, Russia is a major potentially destabilising factor in terms of the future success of the Ukrainian democratic system.

Re competition - I meant competing political parties at the most basic - eg. a FG/FF scenario (one of the reasons our own transition to democracy worked so well imo), but I would also think that a strong civil society (including an active independent media) and a strong or at least, functioning, judiciary,are both also key elements in successful transitions, particularly in consolidating a democratic regime.

For example, the National Unity governments in Kenya and now, seemingly Zimbabwe, could be key to ensuring a transition to full democracy,again using the Spanish transition, a starting Pact or Agreement was helpful in settling the ground rules at the outset, but without the other two elements, there is a risk that competition will erode and one party will succeed in acquiring a dangerous level of power again.[/quote:1mxrlj7f]

I'd also add that we/they need institutions to ensure that power does not accumulate in one place just. The american founding fathers were aware of this when they set up the senate and congress as a counter to the powers of the president. Once powers are devolved it becomes harder for a dictatorship to evolve out the presidency as has happened on so many occasions. This kind of arrangement should also ensure that the media is independent - which is critical as well.

I know this is getting away from the subject, but the think the current situation in europe(on the national and EU) level is really crying out for some kind of reform. The way that governments were able to foist Lisbon without a real mandate should send alarm bells ringing among all democrats.
 

disenchanted

Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Messages
25
Despite some posters claiming when I started this thread, that the police already had the situation in Bangkok under control, protesters are STILL occupying Government House.

The police have tried twice today to clear them out, but were repelled.

Major domestic airports have been blocked by protesters and railway workers are on strike.

Interesting... and still developing.

Bangkok Post Coverage
 

disenchanted

Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Messages
25
Now THAI Airways union has joined in... they're instructing their memebers to strike to protest against police action against the PAD.
 

Kazakh

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Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
61
I have to say I was surprised when the PPP came to power. It has to be remembered that their former incarnation as the OTT nationalistic Thai Rak Thai (Thai love Thai) was ousted by a popular military coup that was backed by the monarchy. It was actually something of a slap to the face of the King for people to vote the PPP/TRT back into power at their first oportunity. There is a big urban/rural divide on this - people from rural areas tend to vote Thaksin/PPP/TRT and although there is elements of vote buying there I have met a lot of people, even in Bangkok, who want him and the various incarnations of his party in power. Some good work was done up in Issarn by Thaksin during his time - I think he brought in a payment for school children if I remember correctly - the child stops going to school the family stops getting the money. I definitely wasn't the only one surprised by the result of the last election - Bangkokonians were stunned. There have been protesters camped out along Ratchadamnoen avenue more or less over since. I was down there a few times and saw sometimes tens of thousands. This has been in the post for a long time. I haven't heard any statement from the King yet, which will to my mind be the key thing. The police will most likely back Samak/PPP (Thaksin is a former cop) but the army will back what ever the King says. A cop vs army thing could be particularly nasty.
 

disenchanted

Member
Joined
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Messages
25
So, a state of emergency in Bangkok.

Last night, pro government thugs armed with knives, cross bows, bows and arrows and guns attacked PAD protesters, killing one and resulting in about 35 serious injuries.

Looks like this will get worse before it gets better.

Fair play to the PAD for beating the crap out of the pro-Samak mob, and may the murdered PAD protester rest in peace.
 

Kazakh

Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
61
The more I hear about PAD the more reservations I have. I'm not into the way they're trying to bully their Cambodian neighbours for one, and neither are the Thais on the Thai side of the disputed area. Also, that whole - the rural poor are too uneducated to be permitted to vote argument is out of order and looks, basically, like sour grapes because the PPP won the last election. They say there was widespread vote buying but the independent electoral commission didn't find any real evidence of it. Politicians putting money into improving the welfare of the people in the poorest part of the country is not the same thing as vote buying. I'm no fan of the PPP by any means - there even was even a story doing the rounds at election time that a high profile candidate's son pulled a gun during a do-you-know-who-I-am-type argument in a club up in RCA - but in my view PAD should work on building opposition within a democratic framework.
 

disenchanted

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Joined
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Messages
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Robbie C said:
They say there was widespread vote buying but the independent electoral commission didn't find any real evidence of it. There even was even a story doing the rounds at election time that a high profile candidate's son pulled a gun during a do-you-know-who-I-am-type argument in a club up in RCA - but in my view PAD should work on building opposition within a democratic framework.
Actually, they've been investigated and found guilty of vote buying. The verdict was announced yesterday. The PPP will most likely be dissolved.

Regarding the high profile candidate's son. That wasn't a rumour. He shot a cop in the head at point blank range, and killed him. Cold blooded murder. The murderer was later given a job as a parliamentary secretary.

I spent years living in Thailand and was there for various campaigns.

The PPP and their ilk are not interested in improving the lives of the rural poor, they're a bunch of murdering crooks who simply buy votes. Their cronies have murdered plenty of rural poor for standing in the way of illegal encroachment on communal land and illegal logging.

During Thaksin's reign there were over a dozen environmentalists/local activists killed in cold blood by his allies and nothing was done about it.

The PPP are basically the mafia.
 

disenchanted

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Joined
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Messages
25
Well, it ain't so cut and dry as "good guys" and "bad guys".

But, if you ask me, the PAD are the good guys right now....

The PPP are thugs.

Samak played a part in the student massacre in the '70s, and now denies it.

When the PPP came to power, the first thing they did was try to amend the constitution to prevent their party from being dissolved if they were found to have engaged in vote buying.

The peaceful protesters have been attacked by goons hired by the government, in one case in Udon Thani, a group of 200 PAD peaceful protesters were attacked by a 1,000 strong armed gang, headed by a minister's brother.

The PPP are corrupt, ignorant, arrogant, scumbag thugs.

"Pro-Government Protesters" attack PAD


Treatment of Protesters When PM Samak was Interior Minister
 

Kazakh

Member
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Messages
61
disenchanted said:
Robbie C said:
They say there was widespread vote buying but the independent electoral commission didn't find any real evidence of it. There was even a story doing the rounds at election time that a high profile candidate's son pulled a gun during a do-you-know-who-I-am-type argument in a club up in RCA - but in my view PAD should work on building opposition within a democratic framework.
Actually, they've been investigated and found guilty of vote buying. The verdict was announced yesterday. The PPP will most likely be dissolved.

Regarding the high profile candidate's son. That wasn't a rumour. He shot a cop in the head at point blank range, and killed him. Cold blooded murder. The murderer was later given a job as a parliamentary secretary.

I spent years living in Thailand and was there for various campaigns.

The PPP and their ilk are not interested in improving the lives of the rural poor, they're a bunch of murdering crooks who simply buy votes. Their cronies have murdered plenty of rural poor for standing in the way of illegal encroachment on communal land and illegal logging.

During Thaksin's reign there were over a dozen environmentalists/local activists killed in cold blood by his allies and nothing was done about it.

The PPP are basically the mafia.
Wow, I timed that post badly and I stand corrected if that's the case - I'd read a couple of days ago on the BBC that 'They [PAD] rejected last December's election victory by the pro-Thaksin People's Power Party (PPP), arguing it was achieved by vote-buying (the impartial Election Commission contradicts this view).'

I wonder though, who has found them guilty this time round? Was it the electoral commission or was a case taken to court?

Like I said though, I'm no big fan of the PPP either way, but there has been some good work done in rural areas (alongside some nasty gangster sh1t) and they do have a lot of genuine support. The sad thing about it is that the position PAD are adopting permits the PPP to set themselves up as the defenders of democracy and of the rural poor.

I guessed you'd clocked up a few years in the Kingdom, I lived there myself - I just moved home actually. I was talking to a friend of mine living in Bangkok and he was telling me that protesters on both sides have been knocking the sh1te out of each other all over the city every night.
 

disenchanted

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Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Messages
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Welcome back,

I found it a little difficult to adjust to Ireland after several years in Thailand.

I missed the food and the street life/markets in the evenings.

Then I moved to Laos after 9 months in Ireland...

After a year in Laos (which remains my favourite country), I moved on too.

I'll hopefully be landing in Bangkok on the 26th of this month.
 

disenchanted

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Joined
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Messages
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BANGKOK, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's Election Commission on Tuesday voted unanimously to seek the dissolution of the core ruling party People Power Party (PPP) with the Constitution Court.

The resolution came on the same day PPP leader and Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej declared a state of emergency be imposed in Bangkok following violent clashes between pro-government demonstrators led by the Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship (DAAD) and anti-government protesters led by the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) during the first two hours of Tuesday near the Government House compound.


Read on
 

Kazakh

Member
Joined
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Messages
61
lostexpectation said:
so who are the good guys and who are the bad guys in this?
Thai politics isn't in great shape. The current division, to my mind, basically comes down to who you'd prefere. On the one hand you have a shady elected government party accused of corruption at all levels and of bumping off the occasional troublesome individual including protesters, political opponents, suspected drug dealers/users. They draw their support from the rural poor and their strings are being pulled from a disgraced former PM who is facing charges. Their one big plus is that they at least are in favour of democracy and elections. On the other hand, we have a group of frequently violent protesters drawn from the urban and southern areas who are pressing to scrap democracy in the country on the basis that the people of the massive rural Issarn province, where the majority of the country's population lives, are uneducated, vulnerable to influence by the PPP and therefore cannot be trusted to return a capable government at election time. Many of their grevences are legitimate and most of what they say about the PPP being gangsters is true, but their alternative of an appointed government is a very, very poor idea and will undoubtedly lead to more corruption and instability down the line.

I'd like to see the PPP out, but I'd like to see it happen democratically.

disenchanted said:
The PPP are thugs.

Samak played a part in the student massacre in the '70s, and now denies it.
That's right - he also said in an interview a while back that there was only one death! There's photos of dozens of dead bodies!

The peaceful protesters have been attacked by goons hired by the government, in one case in Udon Thani, a group of 200 PAD peaceful protesters were attacked by a 1,000 strong armed gang, headed by a minister's brother.

The PPP are corrupt, ignorant, arrogant, scumbag thugs.
Millions of people voted for them - not all PPP supporters are ignorant scum. There's an urban-rural divide going on and a lot of people from rural areas believe that although the PPP are a dodgey crowd, at least they're their dodgey crowd. The PAD have hardly been shy about swinging a few bats and knives. I saw footage of a PPP protester getting worked over by a crowd of about 15 PAD guys. His face looked like a Goodfellas 12" peperoni at the end of it. How he survived was beyond me.
 

disenchanted

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Messages
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Sure, they have genuine supporters... but I'm sorry, knowing what I know about this government, I have to say, I wonder how smart/well informed PPP voters can be to put a government like this into power.

Yeah, the PAD guys were also being quite brutal. Didn't see any with knives though. And let's face it.. these PPP supporters tooled up and went looking for trouble. They SHOT SOMEONE DEAD! They deserved a beating.
 

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