Sunday, October 20, 2019

Thailand and America: A tale of two dysfunctional democracies 

May 20. 2019
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Democracy in the US and Thailand is in miserable shape, but for different reasons.

The interests of poor and ordinary wage-earners are politically diluted in both countries. In the US, just two parties are controlled by elite and money politics, which set their agenda over the interests of the majority – the waged and salaried workers. After so many years of “democracy” in the US, how come the votes of the majority have not brought the fruits of democracy you see elsewhere in much younger democracies? Only a democracy run for and by the rich can produce 50 million citizens on food-stamps and 18.5 million living in “extreme poverty” – and yet still call itself democratic.

In Thailand, on the other hand, the will of the ordinary people is politically diluted by 80(!) parties scrambling for power. Both countries are dysfunctional democracies due to the structure of party politics. The US should forge regulations that make it easier for new parties to be established and have influence. Thailand should do the opposite: the number of parties must be reduced to avoid chaos and Babylonian confusion. 

A Johnsen

 

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