By Atiya Achakulwisut
The PM has had many chances to prove his mettle, to show that he could rise above the limits and demands of his banal "self'' to serve other people or fulfil a noble cause. He has failed consistently. He has failed to listen, as evident during the special joint session he himself convened for the specific purpose of giving him advice. He has failed to look beyond his ego to see the reality of what other people are feeling _ what conflicts are on their minds. He has failed to hold his tongue even though he knew that in raising his voice to try to protect his perceived stature, he ended up crowding out ideas and thoughts which he should have heard.
The more Prime Minister Samak speaks, the deeper the crisis seems to plunge. In parliament, he spoke of the need for him to stay put so that he can be seen as preserving the democratic system against mob rule. It sounded noble, but I couldn't help thinking whether it was too pompous for the premier to equate himself with the whole regime. Does he truly believe that he is so indispensable that were he to step down the whole democratic system would go down with him?
I shall call this the spurned woman argument. Wah, you don't listen to me. Wah, you only care about your ego. Wah, you don't read my mind. Wah, if you don't do as I say, I will throw a temper tantrum. Wah, if you don''t cave into my demands, you are a bad and evil man.
Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda stepped down because his popularity rating was considered low _ not that anyone had come out into the streets to demand his resignation. How is that? Quite a few names have been put up as candidates for the top job, but, at last check, democracy in Japan has not crumbled.
Oh Samak, Why can't you be like a Japanese man? Japanese man better than you. He loves me, he coddles me, he caves in to my hysteria, he sweet talks me when I am upset.
The democratic system is not one man, not even about one government. It's a process. It's a contest. And it's a negotiation, constantly evolving to find an equilibrium. At this point, the process has worked itself into a tight corner. Even if Mr Samak were to tender his resignation today, the crisis will not be resolved. With clashes and casualties, the confrontation has sharpened to the point that nothing short of resetting the process, setting up new terms for negotiation, will help.
Oh, Samak, not everything is about you. You have to look at the greater good, which is me and my feelings.
The issue and challenge right now is to bring the situation back from the brink. It's understandable if Mr Samak does not want to be seen as kowtowing to the PAD's demand by resigning. But it's obvious he cannot stay in his position when he has no power left to rule. He can't crush the protesters. He can't wish them away. So, the only thing he can do that is still in his power and within the democratic principle is to close down the House and start it all over again at the ballot box.
Oh, Samak, your manhood doesn't matter, your integrity doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that you castrate yourself for me. Why can't you see how evil you are? I only know what is good for the family. You drink with your buddies and you screw other women. You ignore me, you don't care about me. Why don't you do yourself and the world a favor and off yourself?
It's true there is no guarantee the PAD will move out of Government House once the House is dissolved. Still, the act would radically reduce the degree of confrontation. With the Samak government gone, how would the PAD justify its aggression?
There is no guarantee either that the new government will not run into another wave of opposition. But I suppose we will have to deal with that when it comes. And we may have to start getting used to the idea of having an election every year or so, if need be. Consider it a process of democratic re-education.
It's true too that a House dissolution would not solve the crisis. However, we might as well accept by now that our current political crisis is so complex and involves several layers and levels of disagreement that there is no one-shot remedy that can possibly cure it.
Our hope _ if we still have any left at present _ should be in stopping the highly partisan and emotionally-charged crowds from butchering one another. With the government gone, everyone will have the much-needed chance to exhale and probably take another deep breath before we deal with whatever problem is to come.
It is within Mr Samak's power to take that first step, to nullify the currently too tight conditions that allow people to do nothing but clash with one another; then set up new terms of engagement and hope that new negotiations will take place. It's true that Mr Samak might lose any chance of coming back as premier. But he will gain a new status in brinkmanship.
Oh Samak, I know that once I get rid of you there is no guarantee I won't meet a man just like you and repeat the same patterns in my life.
I have been secretly flirting with Abhisit. He is handsomer, smarter and more effete. He seems like the type who will cave when I break his balls. When I smile and shake my ass at him, he reacts, like a cute puppy dog. You are just pig faced beast who scowls and swears and does what he wants.
That doesn't matter though What can I do? You are in my life now. You are the only one I hate now. You are the one who is the source of all evil in my world.
When the next man comes along, hopefully Abhisit, don't worry, I will complain about him just as much as I complain about you if he doesn't represent the perfect fantasy I have in my head of him.
Here is the knife, my love, please cut off your penis and feed it to the ducks yourself. I know that will only give me a temporary satisfaction, but at least I will feel good and self- righteous for the moment. Quickly though, Abhisit is waiting.