Normally, I don't like to drag the politics of other countries into this blog. But I think Thailand-- notably the PAD, the Democrats, and The Nation-- can learn something from this election.
Let me say first off that I think George Bush was a horrible president, far worst than Thaksin on every level. Comparatively, Thaksin was small potatoes compared to the harm that George Bush caused to the US and many parts of the world. I don't know if people will agree with that, but that is my opinion.
So, what does that have to with anything?
Well, my point is that even with George Bush causing destruction to the US, there was no coup or military takeover, there was no kangaroo court to get him out of office, there was no attempt by the media to smear him with unsubstantiated lies and innuendo(like every supporter of his was bought with $10 bills), and you didn't have fascist thugs occupying the White House lawn trying to get him to resign and bring the government to its knees. There was no attempt by the opposition party to legally silence him with attacks against his patriotism(the equivalent of lese majeste) and get him thrown off the evening news for talking to his supporters. There was no attempt by agitators to take over the capitol and shut down Congress in order to get the police to shoot them and cause a major riot in the streets. There was no attempt to disenfranchise 3/4 of the electorate in order to get the governing party ousted in the name of "hope" and "change."
Nope, even though 80% of the country detested Bush and thought the country was going down the wrong track, the American people put their faith in their constitution, the rule of law, and democratic politics. And they don't have a parliamentary system. They have to wait 4 years. In Bush's case, wait 8 long bloody years.
So what can Thailand learn from this?
Patience, for one.
Good sportsmanship, for two.
In other words, if you are on the losing side of politics, maybe you should accept your lost and regroup for the next election rather than agitating for a coup, kangaroo courts, and supporting fascist thugs to oust the government so your side can come to power through means other than elections.
What can The Nation learn from this?
Perhaps instead of regurgitating the same columns and editorials personally attacking Thaksin for 7 years, hurling every ridiculous smear and unsubstantiated innuendo against him that you can think of, maybe it is time to actually live in the present and report on things that are relevant to Thai people today. Quite frankly, there are many problems facing Thais that have little to nothing to with Thaksin which are consistently ignored. If Thaksin dropped off the face of the planet, those problems would still exist, though The Nation is deluded in thinking otherwise.
Sure, there was a lot of superficial media BS in the US election, as there always is, but when it came right down to it, Obama won because he had a message of hope, change and gave the voters a stark choice between more of the same or a new vision for America.
What does The Nation gives its readership? If you don't agree with our boneheaded editorials and columns, you must be paid by Thaksin or you must be a stupid farmer who doesn't know any better.
So, here is my advice to the PAD, the Democrats and The Nation.
Stop being sore losers. Give your fidelity to the constitution and the rule of law. Give up your self-destructing Chinese vendettas against Thaksin.
The irony of the PAD and Democrats campaign against Thaksin is that if they put that time, money and energy into a legitimate electoral campaign, they would have a viable shot at winning and running the country-- and without relying on coups, royal interventions and fascist thuggery to do it.