Monarchy Now!

Just about every election, I hear from someone this ironic somewhat proudly detached comment, “I don’t vote, and that’s good because I really don’t know enough” — this after a check-through of positions on the issues and candidates where the answer is invariably “Don’t know enough”…

At the same time, every election season I see commentary from partisans bemoaning the other side on the issue of “Democracy”.

In that light…  Thailand Demonstrators Demand More Monarchical Rule!

That Thailand is being convulsed by an antidemocracy movement is somewhat surprising. The country was one of the earliest in Asia to adopt democracy, and both women and men were allowed to vote in local elections in 1897, more than two decades before the 19th Amendment in the United States banned voting rights discrimination on the basis of sex.
The antidemocracy protests, which have been some of the largest in Thai history, call into question the commonly held belief that a rising tide of wealth in a society will naturally be followed by greater demands for democracy. Thailand today is much richer than it was two decades ago, but it is also much more divided.
To outsiders, and many Thais, some of the protesters’ rhetoric seems to come from a different era.
“I can’t believe we are now arguing about suffrage. Is this 2013 or 1913?” wrote a Thai Twitter user who goes by the handle Kaewmala.
The antidemocratic ideas put forward by protest leaders are a jarring contrast with the image of Thailand as a cosmopolitan country open to the world.


A crucial component of protesters’ grievances is a feeling that the king and the monarchy have been undermined and threatened by the popularity of Ms. Yingluck’s elder brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, the former prime minister and patriarch of the Shinawatra clan, Thailand’s most powerful political family.
“This is a war between Thaksin and the king,” said a 64-year-old corn farmer from central Thailand who gave her name only as Muai and was among the thousands of protesters in the streets on Thursday. “Thaksin has been insulting the king for far too long.”

Maybe they could enact the laws of Great Britain … no defacing the Queen.
Anyway, what they don’t like is that the democratic representatives are a bunch of vote grubbing politicians.  The grease is showing, as always.  Reflects badly on the Demos.

There’s an interesting article in the latest New Yorker on two sides battling it out with problems with the Constitution.  One wanting more democracy — the Damned Senate and all that — and the other… well, Mark Levin has a book out calling for a Constitutional Convention to ratify a Plutocrat’s Dreamboat of a government — or, the best one since floating in and out of JFK Conspiracy Theories H L Hunt’s Utopian Dreamscape.

And back to my first point on an opinion of voting I hear occasionally:

Some speakers at the protests in recent days have labeled the abandonment of the absolute monarchy in 1932 a mistake; protest leaders have called for the king to appoint a prime minister.
Anuchyd Sapanphong, a Thai soap opera star, recently posted on his Facebook page that he disliked corrupt politicians so much he wished he had been born during the time of the absolute monarchy.
“I don’t think we are suited for democracy right now,” he said on his page. “We don’t understand it that well — including me.”


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