Monday, July 16, 2007

Bangkok Post's In Print: A Thai Rath Writer's Take on the Democrat Party's Blatant Hypocrisy

In Print


Bangkok Post

The Democrat party of old was known for its institution and ideals, noted a Thai Rath writer.

The Democrat reputation is not only due to its being oldest established party in the country, it was earned because of its periodical clashes with military dictatorships and authoritarian regimes. The party's founders had to fight hard to create an image that the Democrat party was synonymous with democracy. Whoever was against democracy, the Democrat party would oppose.

However, that was the past. The present Democrat party is a different animal, said the writer, judging by its reaction to the 19 September coup. It can be said that the Democrat party is little different from the Chart Thai party, which also voiced no opposition to the coup that toppled the Thaksin Shinawatra administration.

Council for National Security Chairman Gen Sonthi Boonyaratkalin said that 2-3 parties would form the next coalition government. It can be interpreted that the Democrat party will be one of those core parties after the upcoming general election in December.

Such remarks from the coup leader may be a reason why the Democrat party's attitude is friendly toward the CNS. This is normal, as it is human nature to consider self interests above ideals. Their coming to power would not be possible if the Thai Rak Thai party had not been dissolved.

Thai Rath then asked if the future Democrat party would still accept a military coup, the revoking of the constitution and the organisation of a general election under a junta's supervision?

Would the Democrat party accept the coup leader appointing an Assets Scrutiny Committee to probe the wealth of Democrat politicians, freezing the assets of the Democrat prime minister and his family, and issuing a decree that is retroactively enforceable?

Since the the Democrat party in the future may be the cause of divisiveness in the country, the future coup leaders may resort to legal means to dissolve the party and pave way for the future opposition parties to enter a new general election, giving no chance for the Democrat party to fight back.

Well, we know the Democrats could have never beat Thai Rak Thai legitimately, which is why they backed the coup.

The Democrat Party will always be a minority party, because its leadership is lazy and incompetent. Abhisit just wants to spout off vacuous statements about this and that without actually doing any policy formulation. The Democrats have had six years to prepare for competitive elections. What have they done differently? What does it stand for? The answer is nothing. The Democrats are a great opposition party and have some smart people in the mix, but they don't know how to govern.

Thai Rak Thai won elections because they had a comprehensive strategy to win that went beyond the traditional canvassing methods. Of all the Thaksin fans that I have talked to, the thing they liked about him the most was that he proposed something and he did it. Some of his policies were kooky and embarrassing, but at least he was a man of action. I can name at least five of Thai Rak Thais old policies and a couple of their campaign slogans. For the Dems, nothing comes to mind at all.

Apirak has been mayor of Bangkok for four years or so. And he is the Democrats highest elected leader. What has he done that has been impressive? Nothing. Bangkok still looks like and smells like the same old shithole. The quality of life certainly hasn't improved.

And I absolutely agree with the sentiments of this writer. If the Democrats were the ones who were ousted, they would be screaming bloody murder about the military. But, now, unfortunately, they have decided to collude with the generals in the name of political expediency because they are incapable of winning elections.


fall said...

To give Apirak some credit, he did:
1. blew the whistle on "fire truck purchase" (that he amend the contract, accused of taking bribe, and dubiously got off the hook),
2. build those "smart-taxi stop" (that built in a hurry, announce useless, and for some arcane reason, no media blame him for it),
3. decorate side walk with so many plants (hmm... I wonder how much they cost),
4. and quickly "replace all garbage bin to transparent" to placate bangkokian after the bomb blast (they might not be bomb-proof, but it sure nice to able to SEE what in the bin).

But Thai Rath take on switching place between TRT-Dem is an interesting possibility. Because there are tonnes of skeleton on the Dem that are more than suitable protest materiel.
If after election, the Dem-coalition become government, PTV stage mass protest, TRT join protest/boycott election, and ally with generals other than this coup class. Would the people and the Dem accept that coup?

hobby said...

"Because there are tonnes of skeleton on the Dem that are more than suitable protest materiel.

Please elaborate.

I would be interested to see how it compares with the extra-judicial killings, asset concealment, tax evasion and policy corruption under Thaksin.

Fall, if you know something, please divulge it ASAP because it might save the country a lot of heartbreak in the future.

BangkokAl said...

Good grief.

You want corruption? Start with Thai Mobile, aka SuthepNet after the Democrats chief bagman. The Democrats had more land scandals in a month than Thaksin and Surayud have had in both their careers.

The Democrats are totally mobbed up with the Asavahame family in Pak Nam, that violent and corrupt group of warlords.

It could be time to get a few more details of the tens of billions ripped out of the Krung Thai bank by Tarrin's brother, hmmm? And maybe a few PTV rallies would pull out some more info about the Salween logging operations, do you think?

Maybe you couldn't blame the whole Democrat Party for crooked fire-truck sales. But you could try.

There is absolutely no shortage of dirt to dig, and since the Democrats are politicians, the scum only will get deeper.

I don't know if that is what will happen. But it COULD happen, as stated.

fall said...

Please tell me you
did not
just said that.

But yeah, you can still argue extra-judicial killing might top them.

hobby said...

Old news & small chips by comparison - Is that it?

I don't condone corruption, and nor am I a particular fan of the Democrat Party, but so far they seem to be the best of a bad lot.

It seems the big difference between TRT & the Democrats as far as corruption goes was that with TRT the corruption started at the top with Thaksin setting the example, whereas under the Democrats the corruption still happened, despite Chuan.

And I agree with Fall that extra-judicial killing tops the lot.

Anonymous said...

The Democrat Party is NOT perfect Fonzi but I agree with Hobby that so far, DP is/was the better of bunch. And TRT was the most terrible party ever - - why it called itself political is arguable, but I believe the TRT thought they were having a ball (a party!) and forgot the country altogether.

anon said...

The Chuan 2 government was the worst and most corrupt government in Thai history - at least that's what Sondhi Limthongkul said, again and again and again back in the day.

hobby said...

Patiwat: Since when did you bother listening to Sohndi L ?