Thai Style Democracy: 1) Constitutional Court head on Thailand’s “Dictatorship of the Majority”


By Ranger, Thai Intel’s political journalist

Here in Thailand, the Thai establishment believes in the so-called “Bangkok Liberal” philosophy, that says, “Good People” who does not necessary need to be elected, should “Govern Thailand” because the politicians are “Bad People.” And to support that Bangkok Liberal Philosophy, “Democracy” is reduced to the so-called “Dictatorship of the Majority.”

And to even today, since after the 2006 coup, Thailand is being ruled by a military Constitution, that have seen the establishment placing many “Good People” to control Thailand, by way of appointment.

Have it worked?

Well, at the height of the Thai political crisis a few years back, Aung San Suu Kyi said, quote: “Thailand is the proof that a military constitution does not work.”

What does the Bangkok Liberal Philosophy look like in the “Real World?” Well, consider Wassan.

The Bangkok Post has translated into English an interview with Constitution Court president Wasan Soipisudh, in an interview with its sister Thai language publication, Post Today. Off course, Bangkok Post and Post Today, have zero in on Wassan, as the Yingluck government, is gearing up to amend the military constitution.

The translation follows:

‘I cannot see the future for the country unless it can develop much further than at present. Thai people mostly don’t understand their own duties, don’t respect other people’s opinions. Democracy must be engaged with rational discussion, not the dictatorship of the majority,” Constitution Court president Wasan Soipisudh said in an interview with Post Today.

  • Thai Intel: Actually, during WW Two, UK’s prime minister, Winston Churchill, said Democracy is the worse form of government, except all else tried.”

Wasan Soipisudh says while Thais are patriotic, many fail to grasp the bigger picture and just ‘love the country’ without much thought.

“In the United States, sometimes the president appoints people from the opposition party to important cabinet posts. But in Thailand, people from the opposition party are all bad, none are good. Whatever the opposition says is all wrong, while we are all correct,” Mr Wasan said.

  • Thai Intel: Actually, here in Thailand, apart from what the opposition says is all wrong, the opposition also says, everything the government says, is all wrong.

In Chaiyaphum, he asked the people whether it was possible for the majority to pass a law taxing the minority while exempting them from tax. The locals were confused for a while but reluctantly admitted this should not be the case. All these examples point to the ignorance of some Thai people about democracy, the rule of law and justice. They mistakenly believe that if they win a general election and command the majority of seats in parliament, then they can do absolutely anything they please.

  • Thai Intel: Actually, it is Wassan who interpret the word “And” to mean “Or” and said that “Or” gave the Constitutional Court the power to reach into the Parliament on how it makes law, such as with the amending of the current constitution, and thus, it is Wassan who feels “He can do absolutely anything he please.”

“If all the courts are dissolved to be replaced by a people’s court, then a majority may rule that killing is not a crime, not punishable. They say the court judges are not accountable to the people, and not chosen by the people. Then how about holding elections for court judges, for bank managers, for medical doctors? All positions must be elected, otherwise it would not be a democracy!

  • Thai Intel: Actually, Wassan is getting idiotic here, as there is no comparison between public figures with impact the public and the private sector.

“Why is electing court judges not a good idea? Because canvassers could win every legal case,” he said. The Nitirat group has proposed that the court should be accountable to the people indirectly by giving the government or parliament power to appoint judges.

Mr Wasan ridiculed the idea.

“Are you kidding? This parliament is full of so many political animals swearing at each other. Look at politicians’ behaviour. Look at the Supreme Court’s plenary session. Sometimes, the issue is hotly debated, but it never degenerates into throwing objects or picking up seats. Once the session’s vote is cast, whoever wins or loses, they all go out together to have lunch. There is no lingering enmity. It has been like this for several decades now.

  • Thai Intel: Actually, Wassan will not say this, but the Constitutional Court is made up of judges and after a debate, they vote on the matter, where the “Majority Wins.”

“The difference between politicians and judges is that we hold judges to higher moral and ethical standards. This should be enough. This does not mean that all the judges are without ambition. If there is a system of government or parliament appointing judges, some ambitious judges may lower themselves to serve political masters for higher positions on the bench. Do you really want that to happen?”

  • Thai Intel: Actually, in many advance democratic society, there is a jury of the people, and thus, the court is very much a people’s court.

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