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21 September 2006 @ 02:14 am
Military Coup in Thailand  

I notice there's been a military coup in Thailand. In an article on the BBC web site—Q&A: Thailand's coup impact—it says the assessment of the generals who initiated the coup "may have been that since Mr Thaksin's wealth and politically dominant Thai Rak Thai party made him electorally unbeatable, a coup was the only way to get rid of him."

Interesting thought, that....

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dd-bdd_b on September 21st, 2006 03:25 pm (UTC)
Thailand apparently has a very split urban/rural population, and Thaskin was allegedly offering pretty much bread and circuses to the rural voters -- who are not econommically very effective. Not that I'm prepared to actually defend a military coup against an elected government, yet.
et in Arcadia egobooapostle_of_eris on September 26th, 2006 11:37 pm (UTC)
they're Not Like us
Thai politics has wierdnesses unlike most.
The king is a constitutional monarch, but actually does use his power Only For Good. Some years ago there was a period of severe political stress, with the army brutalizing enormous crowds of protesters, and the king finally summoned the head of the army and the head of the oppostion to an audience, told them, "Gentlemen this must stop[paraphrase]," . . . AND IT DID.
Remember at the end of _The King and I_, where the prince succeeds his father? That prince, as king, was so preternaturally sharp that he kept Thailand from ever being a European colony. (Personally, I think that's one of the most incredible feats in the history of politics.)

So when subsequent to the coup (and the guy thrown out seems to be a real stinker), the news reported that the king accepted the coup, that was an incredibly important signal. Since I haven't heard any reports of violence or repression, personally I'm waiting to see if the hold the next scheduled election.

When I go to a Thai restaurant, I always give a little bow to the inevitable portrait of the king.
Fred A Levy Haskell: Fredcritter eyes onlyfredcritter on September 27th, 2006 03:22 am (UTC)
Re: they're Not Like us

they're Not Like us, eh? More's the pity....

One of the things that I've maintained for a long time now [at least since Nixon] is that what this country needs is a good ten-cent cigar constitutional monarchy; that is, when we designed our system of government we made the mistake of combining into one person/office the functions of both Symbolic Head of State and Official Ribbon-Cutter and those of Chief Executive. We should have designed two separate offices, as many sensible countries do. As a result of having built this symbolism into the executive office, when we discover we've made a Bad Choice we tie ourselves in all kinds of stupid knots instead of simply dismissing him. You know, if you speak out against the President of the United States of America, people act as if you're dissing hot dogs, apple pie, motherhood, eagles, and all other things "American." *sigh*

(Anonymous) on September 27th, 2006 09:46 am (UTC)
Re: they're Not Like us
Actually, I've thought sometimes that this country could use a good aristocracy. It would be nice to have someone with a horizon of generations, rather than the 2, 4, or 6 years of national politicians; even moreso than the 90 days of much of the current economic "leadership".
(And again, just to be really clear, I'm not supporting the coup in Thailand, but so far I am reserving judgement.)
osipoff on September 29th, 2006 07:50 pm (UTC)
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