I understand Suthep

As usual, when Thailand is in a crisis, there are those baffled by the undemocratic displays in our struggle.

My standard answer is: if using democracy as the measurement to judge mankind’s struggle you would probably be correct in saying this is democratic, or that is undemocratic; however, it doesn’t help you to understand the reality of what’s going on. In short, you would be theoretically correct, but specifically clueless. 

Take off the democracy hat and understand that a fight is a fight; democracy has nothing to do with it. In a fight, one doesn’t say, ‘’don’t hit me in the face, it’s undemocratic.’’ No, in fact, one should expect a knee below the belt. 

Saying prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra should do this or Suthep Thaugsuban should that, again you would likely be correct. But I would say, what they should do has nothing to do with it. Instead, what they must do in order to win the fight is at the centre of everything. 

It’s not democratic for western democracies to shoot down the developing world’s shepherds and farmers, or carpet bomb entire cities and countrysides. (Don’t you just love the smell of napalm in the morning?). Yet they do it in the name of democracy, because a fight is a fight, and darn it, those evil goat-herders just hate freedom and democracy. So there you go. 

Class struggle? Sure, if you mean between the new class of the elite and the old. Will of the people? Of course, as dictated by the two sides of the elite. The people will do what they are meant to do, follow the leaders. Say jump and they’ll ask, ‘’on who?’’ 

So understand Suthep, but that doesn’t mean excuse or support him. Understand that he has no qualms, no pretensions about democracy. He’s calling for a nationwide uprising to overthrow a democratically elected government. 

He then wants to suspend electoral democracy, introduce reforms, ‘’eradicate’’ the Thaksin regime from Thailand, and then return to democratic elections. Asking for a royally bestowed prime minister, well that’s just for show.  

Insurrection? Suthep himself would tell you, damn right this is a rebellion. So why a rebellion? 

The answer is because Suthep cannot win this fight at the ballot box. On the other hand, the Thaksin Shinawatra political machine has a firm grip on the ballot box, at least in the foreseeable future. So Suthep must suspend electoral democracy, temporarily as he has said.  

The near monopolisation of upcountry parliament seats, a combined 162 for the North and Isan regions, is a huge advantage for any Thaksin nominee party. At the heart of Suthep’s reform is to redraw the Thai electoral landscape, again, as it still didn’t work to the Democrats’ favour in the 2007 constitution. 

If he wins, and when he brings electoral democracy back to Thailand, there would be no Thaksin nominee party, Thaksin puppet or Thaksin clone to contest. Thus, victory. A fight is a zero-sum game, and Suthep’s strategy is deliciously Machiavellian. You can’t win the game? Change the rules. With the new rules, Suthep can then claim democratic legitimacy. 

But why fight in the first place? As I’ve written many times, the fight is against the monopolisation of power by the Thaksin political machine; democracy is but a mere tool to achieve this monopoly. 

The world is full of regimes legitimised by democratic elections in countries that in actuality are ruled by a strongman, or an oligarch. Thailand is well familiar with this. This doesn’t mean Suthep is fighting for a noble cause. 

The goal of Suthep is to replace the new group of oligarchs with the old group of oligarchs. Which oligarchy is better than the other? That depends on who you ask. The number I always cite is 15 million plus for the new oligarchy and 11 million plus for the old oligarchy, based on the July 2011 general elections. 

Both sides have their share of the poor, the middle class and the upper class. At the top level however, it’s one set of billionaires versus another set of billionaires. 

But why now? This is because in the near future – and it’s getting closer and closer – there will be a big change in Thailand. Both oligarch factions would want to be in the driver’s seat to make sure the change favours their position and power. 

If Suthep achieves victory, the western world will have words of condemnation, but there won’t be any severing of ties or imposing of sanctions. Politicians, whether of the west, east, north or south, all give politically correct  lip service, but in practical terms they all know well that democracy has nothing to do with it. 

We can be a dictatorship, as we have been through many periods in the last 80 years, but as long as Thailand remains within the network of western allies and is open for business, we are still one of the boys. 

In a fight, doing the right thing doesn’t mean doing the moral or democratic thing, rather the thing that will gain you victory. Death, destruction and economic setbacks are but temporary collateral damage. Just ask yellow-shirt leader Sondhi Limtongkul and red-shirt leader Jatuporn Prompan.

Mind you, like Sondhi and Jatuporn, Suthep is but a field commander.  

The big question in Thai politics always is: which way will the military sway? Or better yet, is the military united under one leadership? The fight cannot be won unless the men in green have a hand, whether in the streets or from behind the scene. 

Fight to win, lose and suffer – just ask those poor shepherds, farmers and goat-herders.     

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 13/12/2013 at 10:36 AM
Sorry to say... It´s been hard to read until the end. Boring, pedantic... so much colour for nonsense..
Discussion 2 : 11/12/2013 at 07:12 PM
Come on!! The REAL reason here is the elite can see there money going down the drain,it's the new corruption team against the old one,at the moment the new team is winning,if you REALLY want to stop it get rid of all of them and their hangers on and start again,but we all know that's not going to happen,is it?
Discussion 3 : 11/12/2013 at 11:51 AM
Interesting perspective, but I have a bit more faith in democracy as a governing concept. The fact is, as another commentator mentions, the Democrats did nothing to adjust their approach, either during power or since, to appeal to a broader, less wealthy swath of the Thai electorate. Why would they - that is not what they stand for, the continuing eliteness (and Mercedes) of the Bangkok elite. So the only option is to overthrow the duly elected govt, which has won the hearts of the upcountry poor. We will see if that works, and then what results. Too bad they don't just try a bit harder to win votes.
Discussion 4 : 09/12/2013 at 03:36 PM
The best that Suthep did was to raise awareness of power abuse. But he lost an opportunity to champion a virtue that would outlive Thais’ obsession with personality. The 1997 Constitution was written with the broadest participation but some politicians thought it did its job too well and replaced it. We are on the 19(?)th one now but will remain stuck unless quality of politicians improved. It would have been better if protestors demanded transparency and no-corruption and the Democrat party champions such cause. But then there would not be as many protestors on the streets.
Discussion 5 : 09/12/2013 at 01:42 PM
After lossing the election again and again, including in the last election 2011, Democrat Party never tried to come up with a new campaign to represent the will of poor people, not even tried to choose a new candidate to replace the fail one (Abhisit) They just wait for Yingluck to make some mistake and lead the people to the street again to take the power from the poor people. People on the street are Democrat's supporters; they don't represent the people of Thailand, at least not for the poor. People around the world go out to the street demanding for election, but Thailand's Democrat party rejects the election and want to appoint some
Discussion 6 : 08/12/2013 at 06:15 PM
You are confused. Benefits and corruption is two different issues; one is given as part of the remuneration package and the other is stealing money from the hands that feed them. Corruption is any forms or shape cannot be tolerated by any self respecting individuals and entities. “The highest reward for man’s toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it”. – John Ruskin / English critic
Discussion 7 : 07/12/2013 at 07:13 PM
Just because corruption exists everywhere does not mean we should accept it. If it comes our way, we should stop it.
Discussion 8 : 07/12/2013 at 12:36 AM
Hi people, just a question to ask, which political party don't have corruption? Please wake up and face reality. Even a policeman at the roadside do have corruption and you think people as powerful as politician don't have. And if there is no benefits, then what do you think why people want to sit at the top sit in the country at whatever the cost is? Example, if a company offer you a position as the CEO without benefits and having the same salary as a normal worker, will you take that position and the responsibility that come with it. Simple just ask yourself?
Discussion 9 : 06/12/2013 at 11:15 PM
Gentlemen, I think we all agree that any party with an outright majority is not good for the electorate or the country. However, the system of proportional representation being pushed by Khun Donhuan has issues also. Proportional representation results, mostly, with coalition governments, which tend to fall apart as soon as one side wants something the other side clearly does not! No middle ground leads to no resolution and re-elections, similar to Thailand, but without the street protests and coups! This, in turn leads to increasingly extreme governments, so no different to what we have now! PR is not the way forward
Discussion 10 : 06/12/2013 at 10:09 PM
@facts-only, electoral seats should be pegged in proportion to the relative population within each constituent. Example a constituent with a population of 50,000 voters may be allotted 2 electoral seats while a constituent with 100,000 voters may be allotted 4 electoral seats. This formula will indirectly peg the electoral seats to the popularity vote. In any event, the margin of errors should not excess 3 percentage points.
Discussion 11 : 06/12/2013 at 06:42 PM
I think what "democrats" are doing now or what the pro-taksin did before to get the government, is not democratic then should be illegal. After telling this, is up to thais what they do, but is a mistake excusing themselves saying that other countries do worse. Sometimes some western countries does things very wrong way, but the difference is that citizens of that countries then make the leaders pay for it. They are not reelected. The "you more" is what we did in the playground when we were scholars. Now we already grew up (or we should). If you dislike corruption or bad government try to don't hurt innocents to fix it.
Discussion 12 : 06/12/2013 at 06:04 PM
The very freedom we enjoy to live in a free orderly society do not come from people like Suthep and from people who understand people like him. However dictatorship and authoritarian come from people like him and people who understand people like him. Democracy is an idea that rich fortunate people take for granted but for the poor it is the only equality that they have. Im not surprise for someone like the writer who is properly immune from social and financial inequality to be alright with the term dictatorship. In time like these media and journalist should report facts instead of opinions to prevent conspiracy theories and confusion.
Discussion 13 : 06/12/2013 at 05:32 PM
@Loyhaasip1, the operative word is MOST not majority. PT party technically did not have a majority, only 48.41% of the electoral votes, but was awarded 53% of the electoral seats and DEM with 35.15% had only 31.8% of the electoral seats in parliament. Any fair minded people would readily deduce that there is something wrong with the allotment system. True, PT won the MOST number of electoral seats which allowed them to form the government; however, my contention is this coalition government should not have a super majority in parliament given the opposition’s 35.15% of the electoral votes.
Discussion 14 : 06/12/2013 at 03:45 PM
If you are jaded as Voranai, you won't be able to see the forest for the trees. The obvious question is should 650 billion bht steal be "top secret". The people are protesting not because they like the Democrats. They are protesting because of the shameless "in your face" corruption. Playing it out only as a fight between twin evils is just being callous. Khun Voranai have you lost your way?
Discussion 15 : 06/12/2013 at 02:41 PM
The original 2007 Constitution determined MPs by population (popular vote). In April 2011, before the election, the Democrat Party amended the constitution so that MPs are mostly appointed by electoral vote - not elected by popular vote - as they believed it would give them an advantage. In protest, PTP walked out during the amended vote. It back-fired on the Democrats, as you point out.
Discussion 16 : 06/12/2013 at 02:20 PM
Fungus, maybe it is because AV is not the leader - only a proxy, maybe?
Discussion 17 : 06/12/2013 at 02:13 PM
The elections were over two years ago. The party with the MAJORITY of the votes cast, won. Why can you just not accept that simple fact? The Thai electoral system is not about proportional representation. The party who wins the majority of the votes cast is declared the winner. All Thai voters will get their chance to change or continue with the current government at the next election. Even a few hundred thousand protesters should not be allowed to reverse the decision of the electorate.
Discussion 18 : 06/12/2013 at 09:41 AM
yes! honest, capable, little bit sacrifice, immense love for countrymen, resolute, determined, diligent, resourceful, humble. I believe there are many, but they need to be revered, praised, shouldered, raised, exorcised from their daily jobs! Good Luck Thailand.
Discussion 19 : 06/12/2013 at 09:31 AM
As the author has alluded to, the apportionment of electoral seats in parliament is skewed in favor of the PT party with 265 seats (15.7 million votes – 48.41%) against DEM’s 159 seats. (11.4 million votes – 35.15%). If the electoral seats (500) were to be apportioned in terms of % gained by both parties, then PT party should have 242 seats against DEM ‘s 176 seats. With a minority of less than 50%, how is it possible for PT to have more than 50% of the electoral seats? The basic rationale should be that no political parties can have a super majority without also winning the corresponding % of valid votes.
Discussion 20 : 06/12/2013 at 09:05 AM
One of your better article in a long time,Mr Voranai. Too bad you're not allowed to get to the core of this conflict. We know why though. I would also have enjoyed your view on Suthep's People's Counsil and the way it would be set up,if everything goes according to his plan. In theory,it sounds fair enough. Elections represent only a tiny percentage of what is a democratic system. Too much focus on the vote,too little focus on laws,enforcement and checks & balances.IMO.
Discussion 21 : 06/12/2013 at 09:01 AM
I have said in my post before, why the Democrats (opposition) keep on attacking the government? Why not all members of the Party come together and think of ways and means to build up the Party and counter the popularity of the PTP. The Democrats in stead must do something positive, impressive accomplishments to most part of the nation. Go to places where the electoral results are low and make some impressive public service. The Democrats have been given term of service before and possibly most people were not impressed with their performance and accomplishments. Democrats has to build up their credibility again. It won't be that quick.
Discussion 22 : 06/12/2013 at 08:56 AM
One honest smart guy implementing long term sustainable policies could clean up right now .There 77 million of us .Isnt there one ?
Discussion 23 : 06/12/2013 at 08:54 AM
Sir George Well Suthep isn't hiding in Dubai dividing the country and scheming how to get his tax money back so all the while installing a puppet governemnt so that a plus .
Discussion 24 : 06/12/2013 at 07:58 AM
fight to get into an Office where the Corruption monies flow across the desk. It's not just in Siam, Kleptocracy rules the World.
Discussion 25 : 06/12/2013 at 07:40 AM
That was written by man. The greatest lie ever sold.
Discussion 26 : 06/12/2013 at 07:40 AM
This is the best opinion out of mine thought that Mr. Voranai ever had said. In order to win Mr. Thaugsuban is also trying to please the King(using His name without shame) by saying 'bringing total monarchy rule' back to Thailand. This mean he will bring Thailand back to eighty years of Monarchy Total Rule. I don't think it is possible and Mr. Thaugsuban himself is agreed too, but he used it anyway in order to win. It is shameful that he used whatever weaponl to win the power even the name of the King.
Discussion 27 : 06/12/2013 at 07:27 AM
And the massive irony of Suthep being an anti-corruption white knight seems to escape you. Remember Suthep's Phuket land corruption scandal in 1995 brought down the Democrat Government.. Never mind the murder charges for the unlawful killing of protestors in 2010.
Discussion 28 : 06/12/2013 at 07:01 AM
Indeed this is a fight. And it is a political entity against another. And the cycle continues.
Discussion 29 : 06/12/2013 at 06:29 AM
@Mr_Farang: I think you're right about "what Thais think about foreigners' opinions on the situation in Thailand". And add that most foreigners probably do not understand the criticism of Thaksin. - : Especially if I discuss with someone, who disagree with me. Think it is because we appreciate the man (Thaksin) work for the poor part of the population in Thailand, this is widely credited for example in european countries, and I think in United States also. And besides, we do not understand completely, that accusations of corruption (which the man can not even defend himself against) can be able to bring your democracy in danger.
Discussion 30 : 06/12/2013 at 06:03 AM
For Thailand to remove the yoke of corruption they need to educate there young the elite want the people undereducated because easier to fool them. an educated voter understands the power of the vote. The only time a poor farmer wields the power of a Thaskin like person is when he votes. Think of your vote as money someone offers you cash for it, but they only do that cause it has value. If they offer 100 baht it is worth much more millions times more.
Discussion 31 : 06/12/2013 at 02:45 AM
Suthep is the poster child against corruption!? LOL!
Discussion 32 : 06/12/2013 at 02:06 AM
couldn't agree with it more. Given power, we have the responsibility to use it for the common good. That is democracy. Not for one own self or one own party. If this is not true, then democracy is a joke.
Discussion 33 : 06/12/2013 at 01:21 AM
I got more up votes and down votes. But the down votes never explain to me why Thailand knows about democracy. Check your history of coups, check corruption and what is said now. That is not democracy. And freedom of speech? Talk publicly about some taboos here And you will see where your country ranks. Around third world countries. Now, be an adult and realize what is happening; Yingluck was elected, not Abhisit,so wait until next election. If you don't, you are no better than some other countries that still don't understand democracy.
Discussion 34 : 06/12/2013 at 12:58 AM
Great article! I like especially the “Don’t you just love the smell of napalm in the morning?” part. This certainly brings the Thai situation into perspective. In the last days I was a little concerned about the violence in the streets but if we compare this to carpet bombing done by the leading democracy of this world it’s actually not so bad. Even if thousands of people would die this would be still minor compared to the “bringing democracy” attempts by other so called democratic nations. I hope for the best but maybe we have to accept that some major changes happen only in a real fight – and not in peaceful demonstrations.
Discussion 35 : 06/12/2013 at 12:57 AM
I totally agree with you. Interestingly, google "kejriwal" who rose against two giant political parties in Delhi and may take around 17 out of 70 seats in his first year party set up. thai people could also rise against corruption in similar fashion. peace.
Discussion 36 : 05/12/2013 at 11:00 PM
The nicest thing is to see that years after the coup and chaos, whatever they really fought for, neither of the 2 sides dared to say their stand was against democracy. That is a huge progress of Thailand. Besides, that really helped every Thai to understand the basic and the principle of democracy. And that really helped Thai people to treasure their votes in past 14 years.
Discussion 37 : 05/12/2013 at 10:55 PM
The weakest link in this country's parliamentary democracy is the TOTAL lack of a competent, robust opposition. This is why power is always so lopsided in favor of Thaksin aligned governments. If the democrats or any of the smaller parties were able to have the same discipline and organization to run a national campaign, win enough seats to form a government and govern, then Thaksin's power would be checked. Why is this point always overlooked and Mr. Abhsisit not held to task for such poor performance as opposition leader?
Discussion 38 : 05/12/2013 at 10:53 PM
Geir 5 - yes but only a select few have the money and power to be in the drivers seat when the time comes. This is a battle of "one set of billionaires against another set of billionaires" as Voranai explains. Thaksin may be one of them, but he does not have the deepest pockets, nor is he on the ground to fight the battle.
Discussion 39 : 05/12/2013 at 10:52 PM
it is simple. suthep is protesting against corruption (thaksin) and wants to free the country from corruption (thaksin). His protest is democratically correct = to free the country from massive corruption (thaksin). So, we see millions rightfully on Suthep's side. The problem is Suthep - the Democrats have not been "clean" nor made any efforts to "clean the party". When AV became the pm he, surin, n many other young democrats should've taken this mandate. It is hard work, takes sacrifices, time, immense love for the countrymen etc., Thais need 400 or so clean n capable mp's to lead the country sans Thaksin. who, where, how, what etc..?
Discussion 40 : 05/12/2013 at 10:26 PM
Everybody wants to be in the driver´s seat,the question is on a highway in a Mercedes or on a jumpy road in a very very old car.
Discussion 41 : 05/12/2013 at 10:02 PM
Reading most of the comments, I am not sure if many understand what Voranai is telling us here. This is essentially a battle of elites. The parliamentary system is but a vehicle for their interests. Thaksin is a megalomaniac they scream, Suthep is completely undemocratic etc etc. But they are missing the point. This is all about "because in the near future ... there will be a big change in Thailand. Both oligarch factions would want to be in the driver’s seat .." The parliamentary system, the players and it's shortcomings, are but a game. Real power lies outside the system. My feelings exactly.
Discussion 42 : 05/12/2013 at 09:30 PM
Rather weirdly, the fanatical royalists, by destroying and hobbling necessary democratic checks and principles, are preparing the groundwork for Thaksin to shortly return with nothing to contain his vengeance. Sensible people would now be doing all they could to ensure that all voices could always be heard in Thailand, however offensive and unorthodox they might be, lest tomorrow they found that their voice was silenced when they most wanted to speak out.
Discussion 43 : 05/12/2013 at 09:24 PM
read the Old Testament. That is probably the last message that would come from heaven.
Discussion 44 : 05/12/2013 at 09:19 PM
- "The near monopolisation of upcountry parliament seats, a combined 162 for the North and Isan regions, is a huge advantage for any Thaksin nominee party." And the monopolization of the country's earth by the traditional elites is a huge motivation to stop democracy from empowering the poor. Referring to the napalm it is Thailand's lot to have been saved from international disgrace and crippling debt after the US saved it from being labeled an enemy state. It did after all declare war on the allies. Consequently Thailand has ended up with the same sort of big-business oriented two-party shamocracy.
Discussion 45 : 05/12/2013 at 09:18 PM
Do not take any notice-the ratio for pro/anti government comments are being deliberately manipulated by a clicking campaign to try to give the impression that there is more support for the government than there really is. It says everything about the methods used by the government and supporters. They cannot sway minds by argument so they use deception to achieve their ends.
Discussion 46 : 05/12/2013 at 09:07 PM
This is written by an ignorant and I will explain. 200 years ago, doctors in western countries thought that if you bleed people, it would cure them. They were wrong. And they thought it was science. Ask Thai people what do they think of foreigners explaining their opinions about politics here. They will say: SHUT UP. This is my country. You don't understand Thailand! Like we never experience rebellion, revolution, human rights, etc. The author doesn't understand democracy and is bias. Democracy was not invented in Thailand. And 2+2 is still 4. Anywhere in the world.
Discussion 47 : 05/12/2013 at 08:51 PM
I think we've been infiltrated... ;)
Discussion 48 : 05/12/2013 at 08:47 PM
Entirely agree. This protest is anti-SHINAWATRA, but the defenders keep twisting it into an anti-DEMOCRACY protest, so the two can never get together to discuss it... They're not discussing the same debate...! Any government is elected to further the will of the people NOT the will of the governing party. If they blatantly do not they can, and must, expect people to protest. It will be too late if people have to wait another two years... especially if the incumbent government is also corrupt.
Discussion 49 : 05/12/2013 at 08:18 PM
Another part of the picture to be examined - - who is being controlled by international moneyed power, and who is trying to make Thailand a more independent country.
Discussion 50 : 05/12/2013 at 07:58 PM
How come Voranai doesnt know on which side the army stand when its common knowledge?
Discussion 51 : 05/12/2013 at 07:53 PM
There is a drastic change in the thumbs up and thumbs down ratio. I wonder why..
Discussion 52 : 05/12/2013 at 07:27 PM
Does the end justify the means, or is the means just the end yet to come?
Discussion 53 : 05/12/2013 at 07:04 PM
You appear to have changed your tune Mr Voranai. A week or two you described Mr Suthep as a false prophet and said he had set back the cause of Thai democracy by decades. Actually you got it right the first time. I understand how all this deliciously Machiavellian stuff about Suthep's tactics has got you excited. However I rather suspect the army will think twice about mounting another coup this time, as you implicitily suggest is likely to happen. Yes we all know that is what Suthep's strategy is about. We shall have to see, but I suspect if they try again, they won't be greeted with bouquets of roses.
Discussion 54 : 05/12/2013 at 06:54 PM
Democracy is business, Oldexp. Parties need money to campaign and business need parties to lobby for their business. Happens everywhere. Bringing new politicians only part of the solution. They will succumb to businesses or they will not be supported financially. Culture shift whereby citizens have low tolerance for corruption will be more powerful like in Singapore. To attain that, we have to improve our ecomomic well being that forces our educational system to improve. I seen that happen in Singapore. In the 60s, Singapore was more corrupted than Thailand.
Discussion 55 : 05/12/2013 at 05:59 PM
Stop talking democracy. Talk what it is: Business. They have money and power, they want to preserve it and they want more of it. Some oligarch factions are fighting. Got nothing to do with democracy. On top, they know this. Below, they are made to believe democracy it is about. Below the tops find fighters for their pockets, brainwashed or plain stupid fighters. Whatever the color. There are blatant lies from both sides. What really disgusts me more about TS, is his savior game. "I am here for you, the poor" He must be gone. The Dems don't have to come back. Bring new players or Thailand will suffocate in this mess.
Discussion 56 : 05/12/2013 at 05:58 PM
Pheu-Thai have been playing without rules ever since they came to power. They have done exactly what they want and don't care one jot about right or wrong. They just used the majority to railroad it through. The amnesty bill was just the final straw. That's why there is no question : for the sake of the country it must stop.
Discussion 57 : 05/12/2013 at 05:45 PM
Yes, Ian, I agree, but how's this: "Democracy is a very bad form of government... But all of the others are so much worse!" Attributed to Winston Churchill
Discussion 58 : 05/12/2013 at 05:43 PM
I agreed with Voranai on the current reality. But I believe Thailand must shake off street mob rule or rather no rule image if we want to move forward democratically.
Discussion 59 : 05/12/2013 at 05:33 PM
I thought this was the Thailand election system
Discussion 60 : 05/12/2013 at 05:29 PM
And this message just in from heaven " STOP FIGHTING "
Discussion 61 : 05/12/2013 at 05:08 PM
Sorry, K Voranai might be a trained journalist, but it's not because he works for a newspaper that he is a 'journalist' there, at BP he is a columnist, when I'm correct, expressing an, his, opinion, not a reporter bringing facts to the readers' attention, fresh, raw, crude, natural, without any 'personal taste', or 'seasoning'. It's not just a 'nuance', for me it's a big 'diferrence'! Same-same, but (very) different, as Thais say...
Discussion 62 : 05/12/2013 at 05:08 PM
Thailand is sinking in corruption led by a family run dictatorship with the defacto leader Thaksin in self imposed exile to avoid prosecution for corruption. It is as simple as that, it can not be allowed, this regime continues to tear up the legal system and corruption is becoming uncontrollable, I do not hear any other ideas how this can be prevented, it must be all or nothing and eradicate the Shiawatra name from Thailand politics for good.
Discussion 63 : 05/12/2013 at 04:58 PM
Why stay in the 'only 2 choices' box? We live in a world full of technology developing a a fantastic pace, and yet cling desperately to a 200-year old socio-economic system. The world is a completely different place with very different problems, but we are not allowed to debate the elephant in the room, we just try and patch the ever increasing cracks in the box.
Discussion 64 : 05/12/2013 at 04:45 PM
Thumbs up. Almost all struggles in the name of democracy are a public euphemism for a redistribution of power between oligarchies. Thailand is not an exceptional case: Western champions of 'democracy' should double-check the mess (and the blood) in their own back-yard rather more carefully.
Discussion 65 : 05/12/2013 at 04:41 PM
Discussion 66 : 05/12/2013 at 04:22 PM
I think Voranai is one of the few public writers who can see the reality, "Both oligarch factions would want to be in the driver’s seat to make sure the change favours their position and power." In a nutshell.
Discussion 67 : 05/12/2013 at 04:17 PM
Thaksin once thought instead of playing in the rules I will just become PM and change the rules to suit my business interests . But then it was illegal .
Discussion 68 : 05/12/2013 at 04:11 PM
Khun Voranai is an excellent Journalist. That is why people complain--no one wants to hear anything they do not like. I consider Kuhn Voranai the best Journalist in Thailand.
Discussion 69 : 05/12/2013 at 04:01 PM
"the fight is against the monopolisation of power by the Thaksin political machine" - That's a cliché, almost a platitude. Presently, the fight is against the abusive exercise of power by Mr. Thaksin's 'sister & the gang'.
Discussion 70 : 05/12/2013 at 03:41 PM
However with the Referee General watching from the sides, and seemingly determined that the red corner is confined to Marquis of Queensbury rules it is hardly a fair fight....I also suspect their will be no disqualifying the Blue Corners MP seconds by the Judges from the judiciary either. Just an observation :-)
Discussion 71 : 05/12/2013 at 03:23 PM
A wise man said. '' Do I not rid my enemy when I make him my friend ''. Refusing to accept olive branches because of hatred, jealously, pride sometimes leads to your demise.
Discussion 72 : 05/12/2013 at 03:09 PM
finally a decent article on the subject
Discussion 73 : 05/12/2013 at 02:40 PM
Khun Voranai is confusing me. There is only one system that works and that is democracy which guarantee freedom of speech and freedom of choice. The other system is Socialism and that takes away both freedom. Confusing us with his strongman democracy examples are simply just that; confuse. These democracy will not last like in Syria. Thailand had tried that and like Syria, did not last. Plain and simple, Suterp proposition is dangerous and hinges on breaking the country into civil war and must be stopped.
Discussion 74 : 05/12/2013 at 02:32 PM
Khun Voranai - the anti Thaksin regime side are so focused on the 'old ways' of doing things that they have not thought how to beat or at least weaken Thaksin and PT electorally. We always look at this as a bi polar problem of Dems or PT and ignore the smaller third parties such as CT, BJT and CP. Disaffected PT voters are more likely to go to these parties than to the Dems especially in the N and NE. The goal must be to spread the current PT vote and seats more evenly across these other parties. Given the drop in PT popularity after the amnesty fiasco they must fancy their chances in an early contest
Discussion 75 : 05/12/2013 at 02:14 PM
Robert Mugabe was democratically elected, and re-elected several times. But if the people rose up against him would Khun Voranai say that they were fighting a 'noble cause'?
Discussion 76 : 05/12/2013 at 02:06 PM
When Voranai writes, "But why now? This is because in the near future – and it’s getting closer and closer – there will be a big change in Thailand," he comes as perilously close to matching the high standard of reporting on and analysis of Thai affairs that can only be found in non-Thai media. This sad truth for the Thai people has, as recent years (decades, really) of toxic politics shows, done great harm to the great majority of Thai citizens. One thing that Thaksin, Chamlong, Suthep, Yingluck, Abhisit and all the rest have in common is a horror of permitting, let alone protecting, free speech that allows all Thais a voice.
Discussion 77 : 05/12/2013 at 02:03 PM
Khun Voranai - the problem is that Khun Suthep has gone about it in the wrong way. He has proposed solutions that have already been rejected and wasted the broad based tide of public anger at the behaviour of PT (and their leader) after the amnesty bill. The cure he has proposed looks as bad if not worse than the disease. You will not roll back the Thaksin regime until you break the UDD and moderate red shirts away from supporting PT and his proxies as PM and in the cabinet. That was starting to happen - but Khun Suthep tactics appear to have halted consideration of that re-alignment. A wasted opportunity
Discussion 78 : 05/12/2013 at 02:00 PM
I a perfect world Thaksin would come back and have his criminal record erased .He would then vengeance on people that tried to make him accountable for all his bad decision making .Then he would proceed full speed ahead to spend as much money as possible because this would be his new business .Skimming as much money as possible .Forget the standard 30 %. More like 50 percent .All would fear to speak out as before for fear of men visiting htem in the night to make them disappear or threaten them .Does that sound like a Thailand you want ?

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