Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Destroying Democracy to Save It?

It's unfortunate that the military had to stage a coup to remove a democratically elected government. I'm no great fan of Thaksin. But I think it would have been much better if his enemies had used constitutional/legal means to oust him. It could have come up with evidence of his corruption (which shouldn't have been that hard to find) and forced him to resign in disgrace. The way things have turned out, it just shows that our democracy is immature and hollow, that there is no effective recourse for us to take against a corrupt yet popular government.

To be fair, the man did have some good ideas. This was the first administration to aim its policies squarely towards the long-suffering rural population. The only trouble was that their implementation was usually poorly thought out, if at all. Thaksin commanded, and everyone else had to obey--no questions entertained, no dissent brooked. It would be a pity if, in its enthusiasm to undo the Thaksin legacy, the new government's policies should treat the countryside as unworthy of serious attention. Let's hope the new government brings in all stakeholders, listens to all opinions, and crafts fiscally responsible solutions.

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