The Voice of America has reported on the “debate” between the military junta and the Constitution Drafting Committee and has, as might be expected, quoted some “academics.”
Siripan Nogsuan Sawasdee, a political scientist at Chulalongkorn University, is reported as “speaking at a seminar on constitutional reform.” In fact, this is false for there is no “reform,” just regression, and it matters little which version of the charter is adopted, for neither the CDC’s nor the junta’s is democratic and both return Thailand to situations that prevailed in earlier decades.
Siripan seems to get this and says: “If there will be elections after this constitution passes the elected political institutions will be paralyzed and overshadowed by the non-elected organizations. What Thailand will have is elections without democracy. When we create institutions that violate basic constitutional principles, like allowing a non-elected prime minister, we lay the ground work for tyrannical decisions.”
That’s pretty much correct. Sounds like Siripan can expect a visit from the thought police and military junta storm troopers.
Also from Chulalongkorn and bearing the administrative title of dean, Ake Tangsupvattana supported the CDC’s draft charter dreaming that it “may provide the means for moving Thailand beyond past political conflicts.” That’s the military junta’s basic claim, and its nonsensical, so we can see where the dean is positioned. He babbled:
What is going to be the direction in the future? Are we going to move back to semi-democracy or is this a constitution suitable in the context of Thailand today and then move Thailand beyond political conflict and maybe look in a positive way — move Thailand to be a more democratic society….
Lets take that as a set of questions. The answer is no to all. The junta isn’t planning a semi-democracy. It is planning a non-democracy, with meaningless elections, as Siripan pointed out.