Opinion: A military dictatorship by any other name

On Wednesday, the People’s Constitution, which would democratize the junta-drafted constitution, was rejected by junta-appointed senators and MPs from the ruling party.

Only three senators voted for the amendment that would see the dissolution of the Senate and the establishment of a unicameral legislature.

The coalition partners also voted against the amendment measures.

The Democrat Party said before the voting started that they will not support the petition and none of Bhumjaithai MPs voted for the bill, even though both insist that they want to amend the junta-drafted charter.

Tyranny of the majority

What was unexpected is that the people who support General Prayut, and voted against the constitution, are still using the tyranny of the majority argument.

The argument might work during Thaksin’s era when he won by a landslide but it certainly doesn’t apply now, let alone hearing it from unelected officials who were appointed into power by the junta.

Pheu Thai, even though it is still the biggest party in the country, is no longer the only choice for people who disagree with the establishment. They are no longer the only champion for the poor either.

Time has changed, Thaksin is no longer as popular as before so please stop fearing his ghost.

At this stage in the Thai political landscape, no one party will win an outright majority. There are just too many choices.

Undemocratic

One good thing that came out from the charter amendment debate over the past two days is that it allows voters to clearly see why the current charter is undemocratic. 

It is a charter that can only be changed if the unelected senate votes to get rid of itself. It is something that will unlikely happen.

It is undemocratic because these unelected officials were appointed by the junta and they have the power to pick a prime minister.

Forget arguments about the tyranny of the majority. Why are you talking about the tyranny of the majority when there is a military dictatorship that is still in power?

Because that is what we have in this country. The vestigial leftover from the previous junta continues to manipulate, guide, and determine the politics of this country even to this day. And until this changes, we are still living in a military dictatorship.

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