Friday, April 30, 2010

Thai Protests

It is always interesting to watch the course of democratic government abroad. Thailand has been the most recent one to dominate the headlines. Democracy is always noisy but for some reason the Asian democracies seem particularly so. The periodic military interventions don't help the situation to seem calm.

What is particularly curious about the current case is the strange equilibrium that seems to have set in with the protestors occupying the capital but not having the power to force any actual change. While hardly unique it is remarkable about how such inherently unstable arrangements form fairly frequently and seem to last for somet time. Something will eventually have to give, I'd put my money on the protestors, but these things are always fluid. I'm currently wondering if the hospital occupation will mark a new phase or if things will settle quickly back down.

While hardly charitable, sometimes it is also nice to reflect on just how settled democracy has become in our country. In so many others, whether modern democracies or that of the ancient Greek cities, democracy was always a fragile flower that seemed about to get plowed under. Best of luck to the Thais on developing their own path to stability. I doubt it will look entirely like ours so will refrain from suggesting advice but I'm sure they will get there with time.

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