Wednesday, September 20, 2006
A sad time for democracy in Thailand
I was watching CBC's The National last night. What their guest expert on Asia had to say about the coup in Thailand I found somewhat troubling.
After host Mansbridge reminded us that this happens often in the country, the expert went on to explain the political situation there and how certain factions were afraid the sitting prime minister was going to win the next election. The expert explained all this as though it was no big deal, and Mansbridge seemed to accept it as such as well.
Thai opponents were afraid the prime minister was going to win the election so they initiated a military coup. Really. That so many seem to take this as a matter of routine for Thailand I find surprising and shocking. When the military comes in every time it thinks the current leader might win an election, there's something very sad going on in this world. Isn't there?
I also don't think it bodes well when the same people who initiated the overthrow of a democracy promise another one shortly. What's to stop others from getting tired of the new order and overthrowing that one at whim, too? What legitimacy do the new people have to cancel the old democracy and create a new one? Not much, I would say.
Despite what the coup masters promise, I can't see how this isn't a sad day for both Thailand and the free world.