The People Have Spoken
Now, I’m not a big fan of democracy. However you try and fiddle with the system – first past the post, single transferable vote, alternative vote plus, additional member – the results will be unsatisfactory because the unwashed masses simply are too poorly educated and/or stupid to make decisions based upon the common good and vote purely in their own selfish interests. It was greed that got Margaret Thatcher, more commonly known as “that evil bitch-monster from hell”, re-elected not once, but twice.
The results of American democracy are even more farcical. Look at recent Republican presidents: Nixon – a crook; Ford – a bumbling incompetent; Reagan – a B-movie actor and buffoon; the first Bush – a blood-thirsty warmonger; the second Bush – an idiot, blood-thirsty warmonger. And now you have the likes of Palin and Bachmann jostling for the White House – ignorant, bigoted morons the pair of them. How could anyone in their right mind consider voting for them? That they are even being considered as candidates makes the USA the laughing stock of the world. And it’s this system of American democracy that Uncle Sam is trying to foist upon the rest of the world!
Thai democracy is little more successful. Pheu Thai scored a major victory for the Red Shirts yesterday. As always, people looked to their own self interest rather than to the good of the country. Pheu Thai’s policies are little more than a series of bribes:
- a free iPad for every student
- a minimum wage of 300 Baht for all workers (currently it varies by province from 151 to 206 Baht)
- a 15,000 Baht monthly starting salary guaranteed for all first-time graduate employees (that’s approximately double the current starting salary for a teacher)
- 20 Baht flat fares on the skytrain and metro
- cheap apartments along skytrain and metro routes
- ten new train routes connecting Bangkok to nearby provinces
- a high speed train link to the north east (where most of Pheu Thai’s supporters hail from) and on to Chiang Mai (another Red Shirt stronghold)
- help for people with debts of more than 500,000 Baht, including a 3 year repayment freeze
- the creation of 100,000 new jobs
- rice mortgages at 20,000 Baht/2,000 litres for Jasmine Rice (way above current market prices) – a little less for other kinds of rice
- credit cards for all taxi drivers and motorcycle taxis
Others policies stretch credulity to breaking point:
- illegal drugs eradicated within 12 months
- building a twin city for Bangkok
- building a dam around Bangkok to prevent floods
All of this will cost a lot of money, and how all this will be funded is something that Pheu Thai has been curiously quiet about. It’s not going to be from big business, because Pheu Thai has also promised to cut the rate of corporation tax from 30% to 23%.
Of course, Pheu Thai won’t be able to follow through with all its promises, so today’s Shoe cartoon from America seemed particularly apposite:
The only policies you can be 100% sure of are that Thaksin will be given an amnesty and that his confiscated billions will be returned to him.