Saturday, February 11, 2006

High-profile publicity stunts don’t solve the underlying problems in the Kingdom

great letter from today's The Nation:

Dozens of civic groups have joined to force PM Thaksin out. That’s fine with me – so long as they do it within the framework of democracy. That means, for example, a no-confidence vote or impeachment.

Then, without him, two questions still remain.

First, who should replace him? Remember, TRT swept Thailand with the largest majority in history. What’s to prevent them from doing it again? To what extent have the provinces learned (a) that they made the wrong choice, and (b) how to make a better choice next time?

Second, and more important in the long run, have we learned that we should put our faith in robust systems and institutions, rather than trusting to the goodness of a particular person?
If so, how have we strengthened our democratic institutions, so that Thaksin’s successor will put national interests ahead of his own?

Alas, we get the government we deserve. What have we done over the past five years to deserve better than PM Thaksin? Until we’ve changed ourselves, including our provincial brethren, we should think twice about changing leaders at whim.