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  1. #951
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    http://agendaonlife.com/95386/analys...ferent-visions

    Analysts: Thai Political Parties Competing With Very Different Visions


    Posted on Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

    Thailand’s political parties are registering candidates this week for a July 3 nationwide election. The vote is expected to be tightly contested battle between the two leading parties: the Democrat Party and the opposition Pheu Thai Party. Political analysts say those parties are competing on two very different visions: continued rule by the country’s traditional elites or a return to the populist policies of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

    <snip>

    Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva spoke to reporters Tuesday after leading Democrat candidates to register for the election.

    Abhisit said he chose qualified applicants to serve the people and not only in Bangkok. Abhisit added that party leaders travel to other provinces and give moral support to applicants there who vow to serve the country to move forward.

    The opposition Pheu Thai party's number one candidate, Yingluck Shinawatra, is also striking an inclusive tone in her public appearances.

    Yingluck said today the party sent applicants for all 33 constituencies and opinion polls show they are gaining more support. Yingluck noted the Pheu Thai Party and all of their applicants are ready to present policies to serve all the people.

    Despite the inclusive rhetoric, Thai political analysts say both leaders are backed by powerful interests that have divided the country in recent years and appear no closer to reaching a compromise.

    Pavin Chachavalpongpun is a Thai politics observer at Singapore’s Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. He says the vote is basically a contest between traditional elites in Bangkok and supporters of Thaksin in the rural north.

    "We are looking at a head on collision between two power blocks," said Pavin. "On one side led by the Democrat party, which represents the old interests, you know, of the <redacted>, the military, the big businesses, and also, you know, the senior bureaucrats. Whereas Yingluck, she has emerged as a representative of the Thai poor, especially those in the north and the northeast region who have all these years been ignored by the traditional elite."

    Critics say Yingluck, a wealthy business executive, will be used as merely a front for her brother to return to power.

    <snip>

    Thitinan Pongsudhirak is director of the Institute of Security and International Studies at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University. He says there is no doubt Yingluck is a stand-in for Mr. Thaksin who has been actively leading Pheu Thai from exile.

    "It's not camouflaged in any way," Thitinan noted. "In 2007, 2008 we had a Thaksin proxy government. But, it was more indirect; Samak Sundaravej, the prime minister in early 2008, and then Somchai Wongsawat, Thaksin's brother-in-law. In this case, Thaksin wanted to be known that Pheu Thai is his party, Yingluck Shinawatra is his younger sister and his representative."

    <snip>

    Pavin says Yingluck is as much a proxy of her brother as the Oxford-educated Abhisit is a proxy of the establishment.

    "Because the way he has come to power, because of the help of the military, and because of that I think he owes many people, especially his backers in the army and also in the elite circles - because of that, I think it has constrained him to become more independent or autonomous," Pavin noted.

    Pavin says despite the turmoil Abhisit has managed to steer the country’s economy in the right direction.

    As for his opponent, even though she comes from a politically savvy and business oriented family, it is less clear if Yingluck can do the same.

    Chris Baker, an author on Thai politics, says it would be extremely historic if Yingluck is elected as Thailand’s first female prime minister. He says at any time in history a maximum of only about 15 percent of Thai lawmakers were female.

    "And, you find the same kind of proportion running through all aspects of politics whether it's local councilors or even political journalists, you know, there's a very strong identification of politics with masculinity," Baker explained. "And so, it's quite a barrier for anyone to get over."

    Yingluck’s Pheu Thai party has pledged that if it wins the election, it will issue an amnesty for all charged in relation to the 2006 coup, which could pave the way for Thaksin to return to Thailand.

    Many political analysts doubt Abhisit’s backers would allow a party aligned with Thaksin to take power, let alone engineer his return.

    Provincial-level political violence has already been reported and many worry that, whichever side wins, post-election turmoil is likely.
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

  2. #952
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    ^ Edited for content, which everyone already knows about and tried to leave the main analysis intact.

  3. #953
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    Thai caretaker Prime Minister and leader of Democrat party Abhisit Vejjajiva greets a supporter as he arrives for the registration of constituency candidates competing in upcoming general election at Thailand-Japan Youth Center stadium in Bangkok, Tuesday, May 24, 2011. Thailand has set July 3, 2011 a general election following the dissolution of parliament early this month.


    Thai caretaker Prime Minister and leader of Democrat party Abhisit Vejjajiva greets a supporter as he arrives for the registration of constituency candidates competing in upcoming general election at Thailand-Japan Youth Center stadium in Bangkok, Tu


  4. #954
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    "We are looking at a head on collision between two power blocks," said Pavin. "On one side led by the Democrat party, which represents the old interests, you know, of the <redacted>, the military, the big businesses, and also, you know, the senior bureaucrats. Whereas Yingluck, she has emerged as a representative of the Thai poor, especially those in the north and the northeast region who have all these years been ignored by the traditional elite."
    These 'power Bloc's' are shifting, not immutable- and I think that is a big mistake being made in most analyses. A brief look at Thai history tells you that 'big business', the Military, the Bureaucracy etc are not always allies. Ceding 'last choice' or 'right of refusal' to the Military is a particularly poor option. The second big mistake is gross over simplification. Domestic big business, as in the ThaiChinese oligarchy, does not have the same set of priorities as foreign multinationals investing in Thailand, for example- more commonly, they are at loggerheads. And, as is well enough known, there are several red supporters or at least red leaners in all echelons of the 'Establishment'.

    Then there is the comparison of this oversimplified 'Establishment' vs 'Parvenu' struggle with other, more mature democracies. Well guess what- there is usually a pro Establishment party anyway, such as the Tories in the UK. So this 'struggle' can still apparently be carried on within a democratic framework. Indeed, both parties have a POV, as do the people that vote for them. Those who vote conservative are not all 'hooray Henry's', those who vote 'labour' not all yokels or labourers- and so it is here in Thailand too. The main question remains- Who Decides?
    Last edited by sabang; 25-05-2011 at 02:43 AM.

  5. #955
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    But he'll have passed on within a decade or two anyway, as will virtually all of the 'old men' currently in Thai politics. The unresolved question is where true political power resides in Thailand, and hopefully- thanks to the collective resolve of the Red shirts- it will reside with the people.
    Thaksin and the 'old men' of Thai politics may have passed on in a decade, but their families may still have power. It's ironic that banning politicians leads to family members taking their place, thus creating political dynasties.

    It's looking like the red's 'collective resolve of the people' will achieve nothing but the return of Thaksin and an amnesty.

    There is no evidence that they are anything more than a tool of PT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang
    The 1997 Constitution was as close a flirtation Thailand has managed with real democracy. It produced TRT, and Thaksin
    the 1997 constitution was an open door for political abuses in a country full of corrupt monkeys, and that's exactly what TRT and Thaksin did. Hardly a testimony of Democracy at work, more like a failure of Democracy.

    Jesus Christ, you really live in an alternate reality and like to rewrite history to reconcile your projection of Thailand

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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly
    the 1997 constitution was an open door for political abuses in a country full of corrupt monkeys
    But the Military 'Constitution' isn't?
    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly
    that's exactly what TRT and Thaksin did.
    As opposed to Banharn, Leekpai & co, the Military junta, Abhisit & co?

    The answer to political abuses in a country full of corrupt monkeys will not come about as long as the monkeys are in charge of the reins of political power, and can operate with impunity thanks to a weak or biased Judiciary. The essential reforms needed to even start this process can not come about under a State system with a subservient government that is both not accountable to the people, and represents the interest group that criminally benefits from the status quo.
    Jesus Christ
    You rang?
    You're most welcome to borrow my term 'rewriting history', but actually what we are talking about are very much current events, and they rather speak for themself.

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    Bangkok Post : Pheu Thai sniffs a city victory

    Pheu Thai sniffs a city victory

    ANALYSIS: With candidate registration for the general election under way, the contest has really begun, but the Democrats could find it very tough going indeed to retain their 30 seats in the capital.

    The Democrats are expected to find it tough to retain their 30 seats in Bangkok in the general election as the Pheu Thai Party is trying hard to regain its dominance in the capital.

    Bangkok voters are a major force, always commanding the attention of the big political parties in an election. A clear mandate from people in the nation's capital greatly improves the chances of an elected government staying in office.

    With the candidates of the two major parties formally registering for the July 3 election, the real contest has begun.

    Fierce contests between candidates of the two main rivals are expected in many constituencies and the results either way will be crucial for their parties' quest to form the next government.

    Bangkok's Constituency 1 covering Phra Nakhon, Pomprap Sattruphai and Samphanthawong districts will see a contest between the Democrats' Jermmas Junglertsiri and Pol Maj Gen Rungroj Phekanant from Pheu Thai.

    This inner area of Bangkok has been a stronghold of the Democrat Party and even Thaksin Shinawatra's Thai Rak Thai Party at the height of its power could not defeat the Democrats in previous local and national elections.

    Like Constituency 1, Constituency 2 (Pathumwan, Bang Rak, Sathon) is the Democrat Party's turf. The party has fielded Orn-anong Kanchanachusak here but she will face a fierce fight with ML Natthapol Devakula from Pheu Thai.

    In Constituency 3 (Bang Kho Laem, Yannawa), ML Apimongkol Sonakul of the Democrat Party will battle it out with Pheu Thai's Pongpisut Jintasophon. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij once ran and beat their rivals in this constituency. Barring an upset, ML Apimongkol looks a likely winner at this stage.

    Constituency 4 (Klong Toey, Wattana) is also a Democrat stronghold. It will be a contest between the Democrats' Anucha Buraphachaisri and Pheu Thai's Worapong Tantivejnanont. The Democrats apparently want nothing less than a victory here.

    Constituency 5 (Dusit, Ratchathewi) will see a contest between two female candidates from the two parties. The Democrat Party's Jitpas Bhiromphakdi, a scion of a business family controlling a beer-brewing empire will face Pheu Thai's Leelawadee Watcharobol, previously a well-known actress and a former MP. Ms Jitpas's freshness and ample financial support are her advantages while Ms Leelawadee's strengths lie in her familiarity and experience in the area as well as support from local politicians. The contest is expected to be neck-and-neck.

    Putthipong Punnakan of the Democrat Party will face a tough battle with Anuttama Amornwiwat of Pheu Thai in Constituency 7 covering Huai Khwang and Wang Thonglang (only Khwaeng Wang Thonglang and Khwaeng Phlap Phla). The two candidates look to stand an equal chance of winning.

    The race in Constituency 9 covering Chatuchak should not be too tough a task for the Democrats' Atthawit Suwanphakdi because he recently defeated his rival, Wilawan Thammachart of Pheu Thai when they ran in Bangkok's local elections. However, in an election at national level, the Democrats cannot underestimate Pheu Thai.

    In Constituency 11 covering Lak Si and Don Muang (only Khwaeng Sanam Bin), the Democrats will face a tough test as their candidate, Sakonthi Phattiyakul will have to battle against Pheu Thai's Surachart Thienthong, son of Sanoh Thienthong. Even though Mr Surachart is a new face, Mr Sakonthi is still seen as the underdog. The Democrats may have to rely on support from voters in the army.

    The Democrats' Kongsak Yodmanee, a grandson of former prime minister Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn, may face a very testing time in the Constituency 13 Sai Mai race with Anudit Nakornthap, a Pheu Thai candidate, who has a very solid support base in the area.

    All eyes will be on the race in Constituency 15 covering Bang Kapi because Yingluck Shinawatra, Pheu Thai's candidate for prime minister, recently helped woo votes there herself. Pheu Thai has fielded Phaksiharn Himathongkham, a well-known local politician, in the race while the Democrat Party's Nat Bantadtan has the strong backing of his father Banyat Bantadtan, the Democrat Party's former leader.

    In Constituency 16 covering Bung Kum and Khan Na Yao (only Khwaeng Ramintra), Panich Vikitsreth of the Democrats will face the Pheu Thai Party's Polphum Wipatphumiprathes. A recent poll by the Democrats showed Mr Panich was not far ahead of his rival in the popularity ratings.

    The Democrat Party's Wasant Meewong may have a smaller chance of winning than the party's other candidates as he has to compete against Pairote Issaraseripong of Pheu Thai in the race in Constituency 19 covering Nong Chok. Mr Pairote managed to win a seat in the 2007 general election in the area which is a Democrat Party stronghold.

    In Constituency 21 covering Saphan Sung, Prawet (except Khwaeng Nong Bon and Khwaeng Dok Mai), the Democrats' Natthaya Benjasiriwan, a former actress, will defend her turf against Ekkapoj Wong-araya, son of Aree Wong-araya, the former interior permanent secretary. The contest here is also expected to be neck-and-neck.

    In Constituency 28 covering Bang Bon and Nong Khaem (only Khwaeng Nong Khaem), Wan Yubamrung, son of Pheu Thai's former chief MP, is a strong favourite in the race. He will battle against a newcomer Pol Col Samart Muangsiri. But the Democrat Party also hopes to win the race as it is relying on the support base of the Muangsiri family in the area.

    Mr Abhisit yesterday stressed that Thai people should vote for candidates who are determined to work for the good of the country.

    He said if the Democrat Party wins the general election and it heads the next government, all of the policies initiated by the Democrat government would continue.

    "Things won't start from zero. We will add up until it reaches 10," Mr Abhisit told voters during a campaign in Bang Pu industrial estate in Samut Prakan yesterday.

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    Bangkok Post : PM slams EC for failing to rein in reds

    PM slams EC for failing to rein in reds

    Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday slammed the Election Commission for failing to take action against red shirt supporters who disrupted his party's election campaigning.



    Mr Abhisit said the red shirts were undermining the Democrats' campaign and it was not conducive to promoting fair democratic political activities.

    Political parties can compete but they should not try to obstruct, hinder or make trouble for one another.

    Mr Abhisit has had his public appearances disturbed by red shirt supporters several times. Some had tried to get to his car but were stopped by police.

    "The EC has its so-called Election for Reconciliation project. It should ask itself if harassment and obstruction of a campaign comes under the framework of reconciliation," he said.

    Mr Abhisit said the party would step up security during its campaign to prevent further disruption.

    He said he had no doubt Pheu Thai could agree to a trouble-free election. But the question was whether the party would make an attempt to do so.

    Mr Abhisit also attacked Thida Thavornseth, chair of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), over comments about the red shirts' attempts to undermine the Democrat Party's campaign.

    Mrs Thida claimed it was the work of "fake" red shirts.

    "It is not the first time I have heard about them. When these people are prosecuted, no one says they are fake," Mr Abhisit said.

    Meanwhile, Democrat candidates in Phitsanulok have pledged to watch every move by red shirts and Pheu Thai candidates during the election campaign.

    Democrat candidate Warong Dejkijwikrom, who is standing in Phitsanulok's Constituency 1, said Pheu Thai and the UDD could not deny their relationship given that 22 red shirts are named as party list candidates.

    He said a team would be set up to monitor their activities and if anything untoward occurred a complaint would be lodged with the EC.

    He called on the red shirts to respect the EC's campaign rules when they hold a rally.

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    Bangkok Post : Bangkok prepares for intriguing battles

    Bangkok prepares for intriguing battles

    Of all 33 Bangkok constituencies, Constituency 12 is one that promises plenty of political action.

    It will be contested by Pheu Thai's Karun Hosakul and the Democrat's Tankhun Jitt-itsara.

    The former is a hard-core red shirt supporter and the latter a staunch critic of the red shirts' patron.

    To political pundits, Mr Karun is a clear favourite to win the July 3 poll. Mr Tankhun is just a new kid in the neighbourhood.

    Mr Karun, also known as Keng Don Muang, is a two-time winner in the district council election in Don Muang. His debut in national politics under the now-defunct People Power Party was an easy victory.

    Mr Karun's political clout has grown over the years as his family has a well-anchored political base in the district.

    His opponent, Mr Tankhun, on the other hand, is a former host of television game shows who has shot to fame by hosting political talk shows criticising ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra before and after the latter was uprooted from power.

    There was no love lost between Mr Tankhun and red shirt supporters before he decided to enter politics. And now he is running on the Democrat ticket, the political temperature in Don Muang is rising.

    However, Mr Karun has described it as a mismatch.

    "I don't see him even as an opponent. I'd have worried if it was someone else," he said.

    Mr Karun said his years of service and dedication to constituents and his involvement in red shirt rallies give him 100% confidence in winning the poll.

    "Who is he to say others are black [bad] and he is white [good]? He should beware that it is easy for white to get dirty," he said.

    Mr Tankhun is not intimidated even though sometimes he is greeted with boos and jeers and feet clappers, a symbol of the red shirt movement. He has been doing campaign work in the area for almost a year.

    "I'm not afraid of his political clout. I never see him as an enemy. I have followed advice of senior party members. Be polite and gentle and never speak useless things," he said.

    Mr Tankhun has rejected a rumour that he volunteered to run in this constituency because defeating Mr Karun is a fast track to fame.

    Constituency 16 is also another contest to watch.

    It is expected to be a tight race between Pheu Thai's Polphum Wipatphumprathes and the Democrat's Panich Vikitsreth.

    Mr Polphum resigned as a district councillor to run in the election.

    "If I was not confident of winning, I would not have stepped down and left my three years in office behind," he said.

    As a former deputy governor of Bangkok, Mr Panich considers himself a veteran of Bangkok affairs and knows enough to represent the constituency.

    Mr Panich, who was convicted of illegal entry by a Cambodia court, said he prefers not to discuss the episode in the campaign.

    While Constituency 15 is unlikely to be action-packed, the stakes are also high.

    It features the Democrat's Nat Bantadthan, son of former Democrat leader Banyat, against Pakdiharn Himathongkham, a former actor.

    Moreover, all two seats in the district council in the constituency are held by the Democrat Party.

    "I'm not concerned at all that he is the son of Khun Banyat. He is not from around here," Mr Pakdiharn said.

    Mr Pakdiharn is a former district councillor in Wang Thonglang district and a unsuccessful candidate in that constituency.

  11. #961
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    The 1997 Constitution was as close a flirtation Thailand has managed with real democracy. It produced TRT, and Thaksin- the most popular political party and PM in the history of Thailand.
    A constitution may help the rise of a political party, but it cannot produce one.

    The 1997 Edition was the best one yet, it lead to political stability, but when sections were ignored there was no civil society or opposition capable of tackling the abuses.

    Power became concentrated, amendments were suggested, however these were not in the Govt's interest as democracy was no their goal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buksida View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    The 1997 Constitution was as close a flirtation Thailand has managed with real democracy. It produced TRT, and Thaksin- the most popular political party and PM in the history of Thailand.
    A constitution may help the rise of a political party, but it cannot produce one.

    The 1997 Edition was the best one yet, it lead to political stability, but when sections were ignored there was no civil society or opposition capable of tackling the abuses.

    Power became concentrated, amendments were suggested, however these were not in the Govt's interest as democracy was no their goal.
    It was a good start Buksida. Remember, it wasn't the politicians who've ruined Thailand's chances at democracy (though Thaksin, Suthep and others have played a role), it was the few thousand families in the interlinked Amartyathipithai system who rebelled against the growing power of populism. It challenged their closed system - Thaksin had to go.

    The real corruption lies within the Amart - the politicians are just cartoon characters - the Amart's chauffers of the vehicles required. The politicians have the ability to turn the ignition and move the stickshift. They Amart need that vehicle and the operator - and so they hire Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble to drive the car yelling "yabba-dabba-doo"
    My mind is not for rent to any God or Government, There's no hope for your discontent - the changes are permanent!

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    ^ I've said many times the 97 constitution was a good start. The politicians are just characters, they are amart, sakdina or jao phor and will never create change.

    Real change can only come from outside the parliamentary system, through genuine people's movements, not just colored tools, who are like guard dogs and back off when instructed by their masters.

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    Thai-ASEAN News Network

    Democrat and Pheu Thai Party to Campaign in Northeast

    UPDATE : 25 May 2011

    The Democrat Party is set to campaign in the Northeast and is not worried that the Pheu Thai Party's visit to the area during the same period could create chaos.

    Democrat Party Leader Abhisit Vejjajiva is heading to the Northeast today to meet with constituents as well as present the party's policies to the voters.

    Abhisit is not worried about visiting the anti-government red-shirt group's stronghold, saying it is normal for political parties to compaign and that he is ready to handle any situation.

    He expressed no concerns about the Pheu Thai Party's visit to the Northeast during the same period.


    As for the Pheu Thai Party, the party's top candidate, Yingluck Shinawatra will head to Udon Thani today, where she will make a speech to present the party's policies.

    Yingluck will then move on to Khon Kaen, Roi Et, and Mahasarakham provinces.

    In Roi Et, Yingluck will also preside over activities to present the party's farmer credit card policy.

    The Pheu Thai candidate for the area is Nirun Namuangrak.

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    Poll Panel Warns Candidates against Slandering

    UPDATE : 25 May 2011

    In the wake of the recent defamation accusation made by the Pheu Thai Party against the Democrat Party, the Election Commission has issued a warning against such activities.

    Election Commissioner Prapan Naikowit talked about the Pheu Thai Party's complaint against Secretary-General of the Democrat Party Suthep Thaugsuban for his accusation that some of its MP candidates are behind last year's red-shirt unrest, saying that those involved will be summoned for questioning.

    Prapan also said that all of the facts must be checked before the commission considers whether to call Suthep in for questioning.


    At the same time, he has issued a warning to all candidates running in the upcoming election against using slander or intimidation.

    He pointed out that whether any party will be disbanded will depend on the facts and evidence and urged all candidates to abide by the electoral laws.

    Prapan has referred questions about MP candidates' safety to security authorities, saying that the commission's primary responsibility is to ensure fairness in the elections and that the current campaign season has been relatively orderly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sabang
    The 1997 Constitution was as close a flirtation Thailand has managed with real democracy. It produced TRT, and Thaksin
    the 1997 constitution was an open door for political abuses in a country full of corrupt monkeys, and that's exactly what TRT and Thaksin did. Hardly a testimony of Democracy at work, more like a failure of Democracy.

    Jesus Christ, you really live in an alternate reality and like to rewrite history to reconcile your projection of Thailand
    Cebus Albifron can you point out where in the 1997 constition was an open door for political abuse (Have you read it)? Was it the part of an 'elected' senate? The Junta constition has done nothing to stop corruption since, so maybe the constition actually has nothing to do with it, rather then choosing who's fingers are in the pie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DroversDog
    Cebus Albifron can you point out where in the 1997 constition was an open door for political abuse (Have you read it)?
    yes I did, and I followed the different draft though 1996 and the comments by the local academics about it. Certain key appointments were basically at the "discretion" of the PM, and the strengthening of the PM office in terms of executive power was a double edge sword. It created leadership and stability at a small cost for less "transparency". We all know how that went under Thaksin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buksida View Post
    Power became concentrated
    So what. That is what the people of Thailand voted for. It was an endorsement of what the government of the time had done. Being given a full mandate is not abuse of power. Power in Thailand is now (as been in most of the past) be artificially put back in the hands of the corrupt elite. Now that is an abuse of power.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buksida View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    The 1997 Constitution was as close a flirtation Thailand has managed with real democracy. It produced TRT, and Thaksin- the most popular political party and PM in the history of Thailand.
    A constitution may help the rise of a political party, but it cannot produce one.

    The 1997 Edition was the best one yet, it lead to political stability, but when sections were ignored there was no civil society or opposition capable of tackling the abuses.

    Power became concentrated, amendments were suggested, however these were not in the Govt's interest as democracy was no their goal.
    bingo !!!

  20. #970
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang
    The unresolved question is where true political power resides in Thailand, and hopefully- thanks to the collective resolve of the Red shirts- it will reside with the people.
    I can only speak to what I hear directly from the so called red shirts I have spoken with. There is no "collective resolve". On the one hand there are those who who passionately desire real democratic change to remove corrupt power politics and on the other hand those who simply want to maintain the status quo by having their corrupt power politicians ruling. For the moment, the latter prevail.

    Folks who desire real democratic change recognize it will not come through a vote for the PTP whose agenda is obviously clear. In short bring back Thaksin style power politics. Although they will vote for the PTP, it has nothing to do with expectations a PTP government will take actions needed to move toward real significant change. Their vote will at least give them some hope, albeit slim, of influencing the PTP to move toward significant change. The other reason is removal of Dems who have reached power in collaboration with military and the courts.

    Further it will take far more than the "red shirt" movement to bring democratic change. UDD led red shirt demonstrations which numbered in the tens of thousands will not do it. It will take demonstrations in the millions to get change. This will only happen when the vast majority of Thai citizens from all social economic strata get mad as hell and aren't going to take it anymore. The way things currently stand this is not going to happen in the near future. Complacency and acceptance of the status quo prevails.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

  21. #971
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    Quote Originally Posted by DroversDog
    So what. That is what the people of Thailand voted for.
    then they didn't vote for Democracy. Then why should they be surprised when Democracy is removed from them.

    Case closed, thanks for proving our point.

  22. #972
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    Bangkok Post : PT files complaint against Suthep

    PT files complaint against Suthep

    The Pheu Thai Party on Wednesday filed a complaint with the Election Commission against Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, accusing him of making offensive remarks about Yingluck Shinawatra and three other party list candidates in violation of the election law.

    In the complaint filed by Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit, Mr Suthep, who is secretary-general of the Democrat Party, is accused of smearing Ms Yingluck by saying in a press interview that the party's No 1 candidate, like her brother, fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, entered politics for business gain.

    In another interview, Mr Suthep referred to Jatuporn Prompan, Natthawut Saikua and Weng Tojirakarn, red-shirt leaders and Pheu Tha party list candidates, as terrorists vying for seats in parliament, accodinrg to the complaint.

    Mr Suthep's cmments affected the public view of these election candidates in violation of Article 53 (5) of the Election Act, the complaint said.

    If found guilty as accused, Mr Suthep could be banned from politics for five years and the Democrat Party could be dissolved since he is secretary-general of the party.

  23. #973
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buksida
    A constitution may help the rise of a political party, but it cannot produce one.
    What does this even mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buksida
    The 1997 Edition was the best one yet, it lead to political stability, but when sections were ignored there was no civil society or opposition capable of tackling the abuses.
    Not so much sections "ignored" as skillfully exploited by a politician who was very adept at it. Certainly, any constitution as advanced as the 1997 version requires equally advanced (i.e. effective) checks and balances to work properly. Self-evidently, those weren't and aren't functioning adequately in Thailand - yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buksida
    Power became concentrated, amendments were suggested, however these were not in the Govt's interest as democracy was no their goal.
    Speaking of amendments, just what happened to Abhisit's promise to later reform the flawed 2007 constitution when he spoke in support of it during the referendum? And I don't mean just the token fiddling with it that finally emerged - much of which was seen as intended to benefit just his own party.

    Sabang's two posts (950 & 954) state it very well IMO - particularly the first one. The road to anything like democracy is always a long and stony ride - complete with stops, re-starts and frequent reverses. Surely what matters is to identify the route which gives the best/least bad prospect (never a guarantee) of arriving at the destination the soonest?

    It strikes me that those who are so negative (to the point of appearing almost completely nihilist) about the current stage of this obstacle-strewn process seem to be looking for some panacea that almost instantly transforms the situation from badly flawed to near-perfect. Not finding that panacea, they seem to write off the prospect of any progress no matter how slight and, yes, very likely impermanent.

    The majority of major political/social advances (whether revolutionary or evolutionary) are like this - a cycle of start-stop-reverse-forward over an extended period. Why is there such a belief that Thailand should be some amazing exception to this well-established pattern? It seems to produce a get nowhere attitude somewhere between "a plague on all your houses" and tipping out the weak infant with the bathwater.

    Self-evidently, Thailand is not blessed with having all the right elements in place simply waiting for someone or something to assemble them into that great, perfect - and mythical - thing labeled "true democracy". Like every other nation, it can only try to improve on the very imperfect prototype lash-ups step by stumbling step.
    .

    “.....the world will little note nor long remember what we say here....."

  24. #974
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sabang
    The unresolved question is where true political power resides in Thailand, and hopefully- thanks to the collective resolve of the Red shirts- it will reside with the people.
    I can only speak to what I hear directly from the so called red shirts I have spoken with. There is no "collective resolve". On the one hand there are those who who passionately desire real democratic change to remove corrupt power politics and on the other hand those who simply want to maintain the status quo by having their corrupt power politicians ruling. For the moment, the latter prevail.

    Folks who desire real democratic change recognize it will not come through a vote for the PTP whose agenda is obviously clear. In short bring back Thaksin style power politics. Although they will vote for the PTP, it has nothing to do with expectations a PTP government will take actions needed to move toward real significant change. Their vote will at least give them some hope, albeit slim, of influencing the PTP to move toward significant change. The other reason is removal of Dems who have reached power in collaboration with military and the courts.

    Further it will take far more than the "red shirt" movement to bring democratic change. UDD led red shirt demonstrations which numbered in the tens of thousands will not do it. It will take demonstrations in the millions to get change. This will only happen when the vast majority of Thai citizens from all social economic strata get mad as hell and aren't going to take it anymore. The way things currently stand this is not going to happen in the near future. Complacency and acceptance of the status quo prevails.
    The colored shirt system allows control over the movement, those dissenting are just called 'fakes'. It's a joke, surprising how many fell for it.

  25. #975
    I am in Jail
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    Democracy will start here when there will be a real Socialist movement, that is one interested in transparency, respect of others and the redistribution of wealth

    since every Thai wants to become a dominant successful businessman, it's not going to happen

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