Monday, December 24, 2007

Reference: PPP-led govt not a foregone conclusion, Bangkok Post, December 25, 2007

In an election held on December 23, 2007 by the military-led interim government that was deemed to be fair and impartial by all concerned observers, the PPP captured 232 seats in the 480-seat parliament with the Democrat Party a distant second with 165 seats. Yet, Bangkok intellectuals dismiss the people's choice as less than real because the PPP was "trounced by the Democrat Party in Bangkok". All doubt of the elitist tenor of the their position is then removed with the description of Bangkok first as "the nerve center" of Thailand and further as home to the "movers and shakers of Thailand". The implication is that the rest of the country including the Northeast is populated with "grassroots" who neither move nor shake and who cannot be trusted to think for themselves much less to make decisions that affect the country as a whole. The argument exposes not only the elitist nature of Bangkokians but also the complete inability of self-proclaimed thinkers, movers, and shakers to comprehend the fundamental principles of democracy including the that of universal suffrage. Democracy is a form of government in which the people rule even if they are just common folk out there in the hinterland and even if their decisions are deemed incorrect by intellectuals.

Cha-am Jamal

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