Frightened and incapable

18 05 2016

Khaosod reports that those who wrote the junta’s draft constitution have “declined to defend it in a public debate called by its critics.” The challenge came from the Neo-Democracy Movement, mostly composed of young students.

A spokesman for the drafting committee “Udom Ratamarit said it was not the Constitution Drafting Committee’s job to get involved in politics or argue the merits of their work in such a manner.” Udom continued: “The CDC isn’t the opponent of any political group…. Therefore if the New Democracy Movement wants a debate, they should find a debate opponent who’s a fellow political group, or those who agree with the constitution draft. That would be more appropriate.”

We assume that the CDC agrees with the draft….

The students observe that the draft charter has “many undemocratic elements, such as leeway for an unelected official to be appointed prime minister and a military-stacked Senate comprised of appointed officials…”.

Chief puppet in the drafting is Meechai Ruchupan. He’s also made “clear” that the CDC “can explain charter to the people” but can’t possibly defend it or debate it.

As a pompous member of the bureaucratic aristocracy, Meechai then contradicted himself and Udom, babbling: “We will debate with people who finish reading all the draft constitution. If they don’t read it or read only part of the draft and start complaining about its content, I don’t know how to argue with them…”. What Meechai means is that he refuses to debate with “upstarts” who don’t know their place in the conservative hierarchy.

Udom declared that the “activist group’s challenge for a debate with the CDC seemed to be politically motivated…. They seem to be inciting opposition against the draft. The CDC is not a party in the political conflict…”. He says the young students are laying a trap for the CDC.

There’s a lot that’s wrong with this couple of sentences. First, the charter is political and the CDC is politicized. It is banal for Udom to infer that the military coup was anything other than violent and blunt politics. Second, he is threatening the students by saying that they are “inciting opposition.” Udom knows that this could lead to a charge and 10 years jail. Third, to suggest that the CDC is “not a party in the political conflict” is nonsensical. Puppet bodies such as the CDC are proposing political solutions for the elite’s problems with electoral democracy and people’s sovereignty.

We apologize to Udom if this argument is too complex for him to follow. We understand that he’s a puppet, not a thinker. We also understand that the CDC is unable to defend the anti-democratic elements of the charter because it rejects democratic principles.