But nobody really liked the military government, and they seem not to have enjoyed holding power very much, so in 2008 they handed power to a new elected government. Both Shinawatra himself and his party had been banned, but this did not soothe the anger of poor Thais. In 2011 they voted a new party into power headed by Shinawatra's sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, and she went right back to the same redistributionist policies that had been her brother's trademark. The Yellow Shirts were predictably outraged, and they again drove the country toward paralysis until, early last year, the military again stepped in and removed Yingluck in another coup.
they have moved against Yingluck Shinawatra in the same way that they drove out her brother:
The National Legislative Assembly, handpicked by the junta after the coup, voted 190 to 18 to impeach Ms. Yingluck on the grounds that the rice subsidies were a form of corruption.And there you have it. Democracy cannot survive in a country where the economic and military power is concentrated on one side and the voters on the other. It may be that it can't survive if poor voters expect too much from the government. And it certainly is not a magical solution to all the problems of a troubled country.
The junta has not explained how people who no longer hold political office can be impeached.
Economists considered the rice program wasteful, and it angered members of the Bangkok establishment, who resented that their taxes were being used to pay farmers well above market prices for their rice. It was one of the key complaints of members of the Bangkok elite who led debilitating protests in Bangkok last year. They blocked voting in elections and pressured financial institutions to withhold payments to farmers.
Ms. Yingluck has defended the rice subsidy program as assistance for the poor. “Many governments have public policies to help farmers,” she said in testimony at the impeachment hearings. “It’s the government’s duty to look after them.”
"Let's have democracy!"
"Wait... our democracy has led to the downtrodden masses receiving assistance, meaning we privileged elites are paying extra taxes!"
"Extra taxes? Good lord! Call in the military! This "democracy" nonsense has got to go!"
Thailand? Perhaps. Could equally well be many other countries. There are even factions in the US that lean this way.
We're such selfish creatures. We're so very strongly opposed to sharing our personal good fortune with those less fortunate than ourselves.
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