8 Mar 2006

Autocracy Backed by Influence, Money and Control of the Media

The following extract appeared in the Guardian Newspaper and the insightful observations are provided by Simon Tay of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs. Mr Thaksin appears to have been paying particular attention to a fellow member of ASEAN.
A number of factors have contributed to Mr Thaksin's plight, said Simon Tay of the Singapore institute. "Many reformers and civil society groups feel Thaksin is undermining democratic institutions and free media ... They suspect he is moving towards a new form of autocracy backed not by military force but by influence, money and control of the media."

Which country could Mr Thaksin be trying to emulate?

While media and democratic freedoms matter to some, many more Thais focus on jobs and economic growth," Mr Tay said. "The different [opposition] groups are not united ... There seems no clear alternative to Thaksin."

To read the article in full.


antipathy said...

We shall have to see whether this boycott of the election by the opposition is a good thing.

Right now, I can see them eating away at thaksin's overwhelming majority, but if they walk out all it will do is probably get thaksin a new mandate if less than half the votes are spoilt.

I think Barisan Socialis tried this same thing in the 60s and look where PAP is now.

Anonymous said...

simon tay cant answer your question; talking about foreign governments and talking your own are different; you have to think which side butters your bread

Anonymous said...

Singapore root of all evil

burgers and durians said...

On principle, it's a move that indicates a disillusionment with the electoral process from the point of view of the opposition.

Tactically, yeah, i agree with you antipathy - it may not be the most effective move.

Shamefully i know very little about the context in which the Barisan Socialis used this tactic in the 60s here, but it seems, in this context, that the Thai opposition is gaining much support from many sides (like the trade unions and business big-wigs: strange bedfellows). So regardless of whether the mainstream media is pro-government (which is the case in most countries anyway), this may just be the tipping point for Thaksin's fall.