Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Abhisit offers a solution???

I may have been a bit harsh on Abhisit - he appears to have offered an alternative solution (not the 9 months delay) and the Red leaders either missed, or ignored that offer.

Get the tapes out - Did Abhisit offer a referendum on dissolution?

If Abhisit did make the offer, Day 3 talks should centre on pinning him down on a quick timetable for a
combined referendum/election.

The process is simple - Thanks to the following comment by The truth is out there on Bangkok Pundit's excellent site.

"Two things come to my mind.

“make a decision based on a consensus from the entire country”

It reminds me about recall election in California. The process is quite straight forward and efficient. There are two question.
1. Do you want to recall a Governor (Do you want a new election?)
2. If majority vote for recall, who do you want to vote for?

So basically, you start by ask people if they want a new election. So problem of "hearing the the consensus of entire country is answered". If the answer is no, the second question is moot.

The nice thing is that if the answer is yes, you don't need to spend extra money for election.

Every body seem to miss one point that new election does not guarantee PT to win sufficient majority. Most likely, they will win big but probably not big enough to form government by themselves. IMO, the foot print of PT after election will be fairly similar to what it is now. It is highly possible that Dem and current coalition can win sufficient majority to form a stable government. And it will be very legit one.


StanG said...

Referendum on dissolution would take months to organize.

And there's no "nice thing" you mentioned at all - "that if the answer is yes, you don't need to spend extra money for election."

Elections here mean 400 campaigns for constituency seats plus party list votes.

hobby said...

2 months maximum - anything longer would be deliberate delay, or are you implying Abhisit & the bureaucracy are incompetent?

Its a very simple question
(actually 2 simple questions when its becomes the simultaneous election)

StanG said...

Yeah, about two months for a referendum, assuming they've got the legislation in place already.

You can't combine 400 full blown elections run for "just in case" reason and a referendum into one.

I believe you can't even run a referendum for a silly reason like "should we have a house dissolution right now or maybe in December, or December next year". Referendums are supposed to be used for serious legislation, it's in the constitution, I believe.

Hobby said...

Yes, it wouldn't surprise me if Abhisit was not genuine in his offer - maybe that's why the red leaders ignored it?

A pity really, because the public (the masses) really do need to be given a chance to have a say on what they think of events since the last election.

Unlike the yellows, who dont believe in equality (one person one vote), I think its a safe bet the reds would shut up if Abhisit got any sort of mandate from the people.

jfl said...

I may have been a bit harsh on Abhisit - he appears to have offered an alternative solution (not the 9 months delay) and the Red leaders either missed, or ignored that offer.

Hobby... this "offer" was made by someone who wouldn't even sign his name to his post... calling himself "The truth is out there"... that's like calling yourself Stang... or Hobby... it's an anonymous outsider's suggestion for a solution. It has nothing to do with the government or the Red Shirts...

Abhisit never said anything remotely like this.

Or maybe I'm wrong... if he did... where and when?

Hobby said...

JFL: I'm pretty sure Abhisit did offer a referendum on dissolution, but not sure if he was serious or not. I recall the twitter live translators mentioning it, and also Giles says this in his Day 2 summary:
"Abhisit offered a referendum to decide whether people wanted fresh elections. The Red Shirt leaders should have risen to this challenge"

The California referendum example was just something I extrapolated to the Thai situation based on 'The Truths' comment at BP's site (so please go easy on him, and me:)

StanG said...

I think it was mentioned when Weng said we have 20 million asking for dissolution and Abhisit jokingly replied: "Should we have a referendum on that?"

Hobby said...

StanG: Even if he said that way, I think the red leaders should have used it as a negotiating point.

There's no way 9 months is needed - Thai's can make things move quickly when there is a genuine will to do so - look how quickly things changed on Sunday from Abhisit's no negotiation in the morning to the nationally televised sit down meeting in the afternoon.

btw, did you change your name to 'renamed' over at Bangkok Pundit's site to do some gloating? :)
"With the army commander in place, all the independent agencies under control, the appointed part of the senate on-side, the judiciary tied up, and so on, an election loss won't be a huge problem. Get a weak coalition in place, lots of moles inside the pro-Thaksin coalition (assuming it would be this) and the parliament means little. Elections don't matter much."

jfl said...

From your link to Ji's post on the second meeting between the putsch and the Red Shirts:

Abhisit introduced yet another condition for holding elections in order to buy time and stretch out the time before elections.

 1. He said that elections could not be held until the economy stabilised.
 2. He repeated that constitutional amendments and a referendum to approve such amendments would have to be made first before elections.

In effect he was saying that elections could not be held until at least the end of 2010 and maybe even later. It might even be the case that it would take longer to achieve these things than the one year and nine months. That is when new elections must be held according to present the military Constitution.

Point 1 is tying the structure of the Thai government to events beyond its control.
Point 2 is about Consitutional amendments. It is Abhisit's "reason" for not having elections, but it must be that to which you refer.

Abhisit is saying that an amendment/amendment(s) must be proposed by the present, unelected regime and then offered to the people in referendum before elections can be held.

Presumably you and "The truth is out there" are proposing to short-cut this step and bundle the questions :
 1. Shall we amend the constitution? with
 2. the amendment(s) they propose.
voters then vote yes/no to 1, and in the event that 1 is yes : yes/no to the amendment(s) in 2.

Still no election. The parliamentary election depends upon the outcome of the referendum on the constitutional amendments?

In any case it all happens after "the economy has stabilized". This is not serious. This is a stall.

There are two tracks :
 1. electing a government, and
 2. constitutional reform.

The two are orthogonal. They can be pursued independently of each other. So Abhisit is wrong from the get-go making the one depend upon the other.

Since we're being free with prescriptions for what the Thais ought to do:
 1. Hold a parliamentary election,
 2. hold a referendum on the 1997 and 2007 constitutions: take your pick, and
 3. let the new parliament from 1 debate amendments to the constitution selected by the people in 2.

jfl said...

might as well go the whole way...
 4. let the people initiate amendments to the constitution chosen in 2 themselves.
 5. let the vote in a referendum on the fruits of 3 and 4 above.

StanG said...

Korbsak gave the time table for referendum on Const amendments followed by elections. Works out dissolution at the end of the year with elections next January.

Biggest delay is putting referendum results through the legislature (two readings involving parliament and senate).

Hobby said...

JFL: I don't think I am disagreeing with you.
There are numerous ways of doing it - I was just trying to cut through Abhisit's bullshit delaying tactics.

If he had any real character & integrity he would dissolve parliament immediately and let the new parliament deal with the reform process.

But unfortunately we now know that he is severely lacking when it comes to character & integrity, so I saw an opprtunity for simple referendum on dissolution (which he offered), combined with an actual election, the results of which only come into play if the answer to the dissolution question was YES.

It's a simple process, despite the line the Abhisit, StanG & Korbsak's of this world are feeding us, and could be done & dusted within 2 months (3 months maximum).

A delay of any longer than that is really quite obscene, given the interference that has taken place since before the coup.

If the bkk elites keep this up, sadly the only future I can see for Thailand is the southern insurgency being replicated in Isaan & Lanna.

john francis lee said...

Puea Pandin against a charter referendum

' Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva proposed during talks with the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) that the governemnt would organise a public referendum so the people could decide which of the six changes they want, before proceeding with the charter amendment process and finally calling a general election, with a House dissolution in nine months. '

I hope you're wrong on the "insurgency" in Isaan and Lanna... too :)

Anonymous said...

Right now, Abhisit is a lame duck, he's nicely fucked - literally can't win for losing.

Where is Terry's blog these days?

Hobby said...

Terry made a somewhat cryptic post yesterday about the reds objective still on course.

hobby said...

He looked down and out last April too, but came out smelling of roses.
Support in the right high places goes a long way towards success in Thailand, so I'm not prepared to call it yet.

Fall is usually very insightful, and this is what he predicted over at Pundit's site:
"My prediction is there will be a crackdown by the army.
It will be hard and bloody, so that the rural horde must not think of coming to Bangkok without getting away unscathed.

Sure, Abhisit and Anupong does not want to, but do they have a choice? Now is the time to repay the debt of their rise to power, or to put it another way, their usefulness is spent.

Army would crackdown hard on protester, Abhisit and Anupong will take the responsibility and step down. New PM and C-in-C, but same old puppeteers..."

Anonymous said...

@ Hobby:

Perhaps you're right, but having been down to Ratchaprasop and talked too a few of our ruddy friends, I am not sure that this strategy will not precipitate the civil way that has threatened for a while. The reds did not seem in a mood to put up with any more shit from Prem and Anupong from what I could see and hear.

I think any clamp-down will see a huge influx from the north-east and a bitter guerilla war of attrition, which the reds can only win and the amart can only lose. This is the nature of things.

Allegedly, Prem is on his last legs and I am sure he does not wish history to remember him as the butcher of 2010 as well as the butcher of 1992.

Also, nobody I've spoken to recently is under the lightest impression that Prem was acting without the explicit consent of the boss vis-a-vis the coup. I think that was a huge blunder by the palace. Huge. I believe a crack-down will bring the monarchy into considerable disrepute in Thailand, and I don't think for a moment that is what the CP wishes to inherit. What a turn-around from 2006 eh?

One more factor. I don't think the watermelon tahans out there have any appetite for a slaughter. By all accounts from the news, Anupong has already refused to assist (becoming a habit with him isn't it?).

All in all, a blood-letting is on the cards but not to the extent that people might think. A blood-sacrifice certainly, but in 5 years we will see a very different Thailand, and then we can all move on.

But I guess we'll see soon enough.

Hobby said...

Next days will be interesting.
btw, I agree with much of what you said, although I hope it doesn't take 5 years.

john francis lee said...

Under rational analysis Abhisit would dissolve the parliament, take credit for preventing a bloodbath, and run on a program of decentralizing power and building up the rural infrastructure including farmers' co-ops and credit bureaus. If he read the sign over the door when he shows up work he'd see it said Democrat Party.

But in this lunatic game Abhisit and the Democrat Party are committing suicide, their only hope at a shot at power, at any relevance at all, is as the front for continued rule by the putsch, the way they're playing it.

And that is not going to happen. The Thai people are not going to let the putsch continue in power.

I suppose it's interesting for psychologists to speculate on why Abhisit is working against his own interests as well as the country's... Thaksin never made that mistake, he always looked out for his own interests... but it's the utterly unnecessary strife and ill-feeling that is consciously being nurtured by the Democrat Party that is beyond explanation, really.

Throw in the towel, call elections, get back in the game as a political party. Don't commit suicide, hari kari with a rusty bayonet.

They've shut down the Red Shirts' TV station...

john francis lee said...

Prachatai is shut down too... call it what you want... there's been another coup.

hobby said...

Agree the rational way forward is a fresh election ASAP to let the people decide who they want to represent them in the political reform process - that clears the air.
The people have had over 4 years to gather information and they will not be any more 'informed' than they are now.
(Abhisit & his backers know that - hence delay at all costs, until all the instruments of government have been manipilated such that it won't matter if the 'Democrats' get booted out)

btw Prachatai is back up, and PTV still works on the chaingrai24.tv site (for the time being).

john francis lee said...

Prachatai is being blocked again. Thanks for the other link. It's great. I can't believe I didn't know about it. If you have anymore please let me know... out of band if you think that's required. If you click on my label you can always get an email address. Thanks again. Communication literally makes making one and we want to be one with the Red Shirts in their struggle for democracy against the putsch... oops... spoke too soon... the internet channel is no longer audible and the picture is frozen.

This is what it is like to live under a Totalitarian Regime. I hate it.

john francis lee said...

The prachatai server is now responding... it's putting up the "It works" notice that the apache server shows by default when it's first installed... The Regime has Cracked Prachatai, trashed their server, and now they're trying to bring it back up again?

If this is the case the putsch can only be described as pure evil.

john francis lee said...

The internet channel is now off the air... no more picture... nothing.

I remember 19 September 2006... I couldn't believe that a bunch of gangsters had just taken over the government... my Thai friends exhibited a tired resignation.

I will never be resigned to a bunch of thugs just grabbing power and terrorizing the populace.

The internet station has switched to some British-sounding newssource... Al Jazeera, I think... there was the briefest reference to Thailand and that was clipped.

This is what it is like living under a Totalitarian Regime and I do hate it.

hobby said...

JFL: The original UDDthailand link is back up at present (lunchtime Thursday)
btw email sent too.

antipadshist said...


"But in this lunatic game Abhisit and the Democrat Party are committing suicide..."

nope, they don't commit any such suicide. but rather they are doing precisely what they have been planning ever since Feb 2006: sharing the "cake" - the GIGANTIC mountain of money, the "stimulus package". that's their main objective and purpose.

I bet they do know what's coming - when inevitably sooner or later USD completely collapses, and domino effect would rip through the world. it would be much bigger than 1997-8 crisis. at least that time they had somewhere to burrow from. but this time, when it happens (because it is not a question of IF but - when) - that time there is no chance that anyone would be able to borrow elsewhere.

that's why they are now desperately in hurry ! :)
just do search on Nation for words Korn, borrow, stimulus, and you'll see that it is "hidden in plain sight" : the main actual reason of why Korn rallies his own mob, as well as ALL the other "cake-sharers" (like 300 pink ajarns - Education Min needs 2 more months to submit their budget request) - in order to urge / push gov to disperse red-shirts ASAP, like ... yesterday (not tomorrow ! :) )

they are in great hurry to get their one chunk of "cake". and naturally pissed with red-shirts.

so, "cockroach party" (the so called "Democrats") never make mistakes when it comes to money. they rather make very calculated course of actions. certainly they are not committing a suicide. because money is power, and power is money. for example, somewhere (on Nation ?) was mentioned that it is required 20mln per each MP to be able to organize election campaign. that's why all the coalition parties also prefer to support Abhisit's 9 mths proposal. coz that way they'll get their chunk of "cake" - through all sorts of projects, - and thus will be able to get money enough to perform more or less well enough in elections after 9 months. "Democrats" are especially so depend on this opportunity, coz they are fully aware that merely by popularity their chance in elections is very slim.

so, friend JFL, do not underestimate slyness of Korn the bankster, former chief of Thai JP Morgan. he's calculated everything out already.

antipadshist said...


"2 months maximum - anything longer would be deliberate delay"

of course it is deliberate delay - is there any doubt of that ? :) they are sharing MONEY ! not simply 400bln "stimulus", but 2 trillions of budget ! and according to Korn all the bills would be ready by Oct.