To whom does Thailand belong?
If the country’s political system is an absolute monarchy, Thailand belongs to the King. If a military dictatorship, Thailand belongs to the general.
If a democratic constitutional monarchy, Thailand belongs to the people.
From princes to paupers, Thailand belongs to us.
The issue is ownership.
If one person or a small group of people own Thailand, it means they also own the rights and liberty of the people; to give or take away at their will and their whim. Everyone else in the country exists at their mercy.
If they are merciful, we are fortunate. If they are not, then it is our misfortune.
After some 7,000 years of the evolution of human civilizations, people come to understand that human dignity is not a pet dog on a leash, waiting for scrap at the will and whim of its owner.
Hence, we embrace the ideals of enlightenment, humanism, and democracy.
As an ideal, democracy is lovely. As a reality, democracy is highly flawed, at times downright annoying, and too many times utterly nauseating.
Still, it’s the only political system that at least willing to entertain the notion of “the country belongs to the people.”
By what right does the country belong to the people?
The answer is mind-bogglingly easy.
In the same way that any of us owns a car, a house, or the clothes on our back, we pay for it; therefore, we own it. It’s a fair financial transaction.
The people pay the tax that goes to the maintenance and development of the country. We pay the salaries of every single person in the government, whether politicians or bureaucrats. The wages of the generals and every soldier and police come from our pockets.
We buy tanks and submarines.
Even the Royal Institution receives tax money from the people.
By right of ownership, Thailand belongs to the people.
It’s logical, just, and fair.
Which is why, this past Saturday at Democracy Monument, the protests against the government demanded three things: a new constitution, a dissolution of parliament, and stop harassing the people.
The rich have more; the poor have less; it’s a fact of life. But one person, one vote; this is the equality of ownership that democracy provides.
The current constitution is a fraudulent social contract that gives one person 250 votes. In contrast, the rest of us gets one vote each. Hence, we need a new constitution.
The parliament is the product of the fraudulent constitution. Hence, it should be dissolved, and with a new, democratic constitution, a fresh round of elections.
Stop harassing the people is the same as saying, “We pay your salaries, stop biting the hands that feed you.”
But then, who are the people?
It doesn’t matter if you’re “a Salim, a Red Buffalo, or a Rotten Orange,” each one of us is the people.
It’s beside the point if you’re young and detached from the monarchy, or old and still revere the monarchy; we are all the people of Thailand.
From princes to paupers, Thailand belongs to us. Hence, equality of ownership. One person, one vote.
Then, we can debate, protest, write nasty hashtags, and post mean memes. We can stubbornly disagree and argue, frothing at the mouth. All these things we can do within the framework of a fair and just democratic constitution, which makes the foundation of a nation.
The problem is, currently, there’s one person who gets 250 automatic votes. He’s cheating, and that has to stop.