Thursday, September 21, 2006


The Thai king has endorsed yesterday's military coup, ending any hope of an immediate return to democracy and the restoration of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. So, it's pretty much a done deal then - the Generals will rule until they find a civilian patsy to take over (which sadly will not be difficult), and meanwhile the elections scheduled for November will be delayed for a year or more while the constitution is rewritten. Which I guess saves the generals from the embarassment of seeing the man they just ousted regain government at the polls, but cannot be considered good for Thai democracy.

In the meantime, I can't think of a better disproof of the monarchist claim that "monarchy protects democracy". Rather than being the guardian of the constitution, Thailand's monarch explicitly endorsed its overthrow. Some constitutional safeguard...


Hear, hear! I would add that it's not whether a democracy is republican or monarchic that matters, it is the democratic ethos of a country that determines its stability, not the form its constitution takes.

Posted by Lewis Holden : 9/21/2006 01:27:00 PM

Unfortunately, Thailand has too many generals who think they know better than the people, and too many people (including the king) willing to accept it.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 9/21/2006 01:49:00 PM

You have the wrong end of the stick. as with NZ the King COULD dismiss the general - and if push can to shove he could probably win - but how long would he have that power if he used it in that way?

there is deep divisions between the country side and the capital. But most Thai are not interested in having a civil war over this and neither is the King. Both are interested in the country returning to democracy in due course.

Surely liberals who are willing to accept that we shouldnt invade iraq and force democracy on it should be able to see that at times a gradual return to democracy is the best option.

And this from someone who actually likes Thaksin and doesn't like the opposition leader....

Posted by Genius : 9/22/2006 11:31:00 PM