Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cooling down to mere anger

You know something? I BELIEVE in democracy. I may not always like the results of democracy and I might sometimes think the wrong candidate won, but in the end, democracy is the most important thing the 20th century has given many of us and any rolling back of democracy should be fought.

There are those around the world who agree with Amy Chua that it is important to prevent democracy from impinging on the economic rights of "market dominant minorities". I would argue that it's not ABOUT these minorities. The kleptocracy in any society is always mainly indigenous although Chinese in South East Asia, Jews in Russia or "Syrians" in the Caribbean all make convenient scapegoats for those who want to ensure that any economic realignment is racist or nationalist in form rather than a class issue.

The so called PAD in Thailand has raised my ire this week. People are blockading the airports and demanding that the Government introduce a new, less-democratic form of government with 70% of MPs being appointed so that Thaksin's party cannot keep being elected by the millions of the poorest people in Thailand. They argue that they deserve more political power because they are more "educated" than the rural peasants.

It's not about education though. The rural peasants know what they are voting for. They are voting for the Government to help them gain at the expense of those richer. They know that democracy may well be snuffed out once again and the army stage a coup but this time, they say if there is an anti-democratic coup, there will be a civil war.

Let us hope that democracy will be allowed to prevail in Thailand. I never thought I'd be supporting Thaksin but as I said before. In my mind, democracy comes first.


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