Thailand’s People Power “uprising” opposes democratic election

It looks a lot like a “people power” revolution, the kind of brave and joyous pro-democracy uprising that has toppled dictators from the Philippines to Serbia. For more than two weeks, thousands of people have camped on the grounds of the prime minister’s office, cheering and clapping as speakers with microphones have stood on the back of a truck and called for the downfall of the government.

But in fact the protest is more like a counterrevolution by the Thai establishment against the rising electoral power of the mostly rural poor.

The government the protest seeks to bring down, whatever its faults, was democratically elected with a huge majority. The new order the protest proposes would roll back democracy by replacing an elected Parliament with one that is mostly appointed, keeping power in the hands of the country’s royalist, bureaucratic, military elite.

“This is a very weird situation where a reactionary movement is mobilizing people by using conservative ideology mixed with leftist language,” said Prajak Kongkeerati, a leading political scientist at Thammasat University.

Whichever way the confrontation ends, analysts say, democracy is unlikely to be the winner.

Not unlike the model used by the country club set in Latin America – from Bolivia to Venezuela.

Even you have a government elected [and re-elected] by a popular majority, the combination of media and money controlled by the old compradores, support from Imperial America’s politicos and the tame U.S. media, lends credence to demonstrations which are guaranteed coverage by the same people who initiated the mobs in the first place.

Losing elections isn’t significant to people who haven’t anything approaching democracy in their hearts. Power and the right to rule is all that counts to the people funding the pots and pans brigades.

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