The Democrat Party: an idea-free zone

5 08 2012

Is the Democrat Party unable to have an original idea? Are the leaders of that failed party so elitist-lazy that all they can do more than plagiarize others and come up with silly “campaigns”? This is a bit of a hotch-potch post as we attempt to catch=up with the actions of the Democrat Party.

When Abhisit Vejjajiva was hoisted to the premier’s position and his party made government in a shoddy, backroom deal that was brokered by the military, that government essentially copied the policies it had previously denigrated as “populist.” In opposition, it has pretty much PADified its policies and attacks on the government.

As PPT noted in an earlier post, Korn Chatikavanij has become an activist Democrat Party leader. The last time we saw him campaigning was when he was supporting PAD’s illegal actions in 2008. PPT has long pointed out more than once that Korn is a supporter of the People’s Alliance for Democracy. This English born, public school and Oxford educated scion of an aristocrat families who has also supported the use of draconian measures against protesters (but not his PAD buddies, of course). He was also  a quiet support for the 2006 coup.

Korn’s politics is deeply yellow-royalist and it is thus no surprise to see at The Nation that Korn has promoted the “taking back” of red as a political color. Quite a yawn, but it is just lame Facebook “activism.” Korn’s claim is that “every Thai has the right to wear red, which is one of the colours of the national flag.” Korn’s bit of royalist nationalism lacks any grounding in either the flag’s political history or the reason for the red shirts adopting the color.

If Korn’s “take back red” campaign seems lazy, childish and pathetic, another story at The Nation suggests a more significant Democrat Party activity. It is also a massive plagiarism of its opponents.

The Democrat Party has:

called on those adversely affected by the war on drugs policy implemented during the Thaksin Shinawatra administration to file a class-action lawsuit against the fugitive former premier at the court.

Notorious former Democrat Party foreign minister and PAD supporter Kasit Piromya is claimed to have:

filed a complaint at the ICC [International Criminal Court] in the Netherlands over the war on drugs, which allegedly led to the ‘silencing’ killings of thousands of drug suspects.

Loudmouth Democrat Party Spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut “said those who believed they were damaged parties and had not received justice” in regard to the War on Drugs.

That is true, but PPT can’t but point out that the Democrat Party is simply following the red shirts to the ICC, demonstrating that they are unimaginative but also treating the Thai public with contempt.

We don’t say this to diminish the immensity of the deaths during the War on Drugs. Rather, we think the Democrat Party considers the public stupid. After all, it the Party was interested in this issue, why was it that it did nothing about it during its period in government from late 2008 to mid-2011? Even the military-backed government of 2006-7 didn’t take any determined action. Why the sudden interest?

We also wonder how the Democrat Party would react to an investigation of the War on Drugs that reveals these facts (and more here) for an international audience:

In a 4 December 2002 speech on the eve of his birthday, King Bhumibol noted the rise in drug use and called for a “War on Drugs.” Privy Councillor Phichit Kunlawanit called on the government to use its majority in parliament to establish a special court to deal with drug dealers, stating that “if we execute 60,000 the land will rise and our descendants will escape bad karma”….

King Bhumibol, in a 2003 birthday speech, praised Thaksin and criticized those who counted only dead drug dealers while ignoring deaths caused by drugs.

“ไอ้การชัยชนะของการปราบไอ้ยาเสพติดนี่ ดีที่ปราบ แล้วก็ที่เขาตำหนิบอกว่า เอ้ย คนตาย ตั้ง ๒,๕๐๐ คน อะไรนั่น เรื่องเล็ก ๒,๕๐๐ คน ถ้านายกฯ ไม่ได้ทำ นายกฯ ไม่ได้ทำ ทุกปี ๆ จดไว้นะ มีมากกว่า ๒,๕๐๐ คนที่ตาย” “Victory in the War on Drugs is good. They may blame the crackdown for more than 2,500 deaths, but this is a small price to pay. If the prime minister failed to curb [the drug trade], over the years the number of deaths would easily surpass this toll.”

Bhumibol also asked the commander of the police to investigate the killings. Police Commander Sant Sarutanond reopened investigations into the deaths, and again claimed that few of the deaths were at the hands of the police.

PPT thinks this set of murders deserves real and serious investigation and prosecution. However, we don’t think the Democrat Party is in any way serious: they did nothing when in power and they are unlikely to have thought through the full implications of the War on Drugs.  Any threat to the impunity enjoyed by state officials also threatens the patrician royalist party and its supporters.


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