25 December 2007

Give Democracy A Chance

The elections in Thailand seem set to end 15 months of army rule. The coup was bloodless and generally pretty orderly but the elections are nothing short of a slap in the face to the Generals that led it and perhaps in a sense to the King who OK-ed it. The Thais hold their King in great reverence so it will probably not be a big part of the news but it should not be forgotten that the King could of ended the coup but he did not.

Nevertheless, once the inevitable recriminations start it is worth remembering that the former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, was having some serious questions asked of him in regards to his leadership and lingering corruption issues. However, that aside it is the party, People's Power Party (PPP) with the closest affiliation to the disbanded party, Thai Rak Thai, that he led that has claimed the largest number of seats.

John Lennon might have sung about giving peace a chance, but it is equally true for democracy. Give democracy a chance and people will take it. Democracy is never going to be perfect but it sure beats the yoke of dictatorship, authoritarian, and military rule.

The former PM has been living in exile and even if he was to return there remain outstanding corruption charges against him that still need to be resolved. However, he has been busy in exile playing golf all over the world with rounds reported in Bali among other places. But even more so the billionaire has invested in England with the purchase of the Manchester City Football Club.

So, the question is does he really need to return to Thailand and aside from clearing his name of the corruption charges does he need to? His investments and the relaxation he seems to have found on the golf course is hardly the behaviour of a billionaire business mogul plotting his eventual return to a political career.

I guess time will tell on this one...

Viva Democracy!!!

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