Saturday, October 19, 2019

Far more to democracy than just the right to vote

May 24. 2019
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While The Nation is informative and influential both in print and online, it hardly has the power to bring about a coup d’etat. The junta seized power by necessity. The 2014 coup, like its 19 predecessors, was brought about for the very reason that there was no “democratic process”.

Were Thailand a democracy, coups could not occur. There is far more to democracy than the right to vote. It’s about the rule of law. 

Five years ago the country failed on both counts with a politically threatened judiciary and a partisan police force.

“Repression” prior to the coup was caused by people having the right to vote in a country that was not a democracy. The right to vote is a principle of democracy, it does not constitute democracy. The junta re-established some law and order. That’s not repression but essential to social stability.

The right to vote outside democracy is dangerous for the simple reason that, without democracy, there is no accountability. 

Zimbabwe had the right to vote and produced Mugabe and national bankruptcy. Thailand had the right to vote and produced Yingluck Shinawatra defrauding farmers. Venezuela’s right to vote produced Maduro and poverty simply because there was no democratic system of government in place.

J C Wilcox

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