Democracy Just Doesn’t Work

From Manager, June 18, 2019
Left: Shepherd’s kids
Right: Uncle tends…
Caption: I get sick of… whom I should support? [meaning the cartoonist himself is sick of both sides]

[This cartoon is the perfect evocation of the image of democracy in Thailand.
It references the political situation between the Future Forward Party led Thanathorn and the party’s spokesperson Pannika and the government led by PM Prayuth and his coalition parties.

The Future Forward Party has been criticized for trying to get attention from their supporters and the media with dire proclamations about justice and rolling back military rule. Their simple message of getting the military out of politics is a willful misreading of the junta’s motivations. The military’s actions are motivated by the desire to freeze Thaksin out of power. The cartoonist compares this to the Aesop’s fable “The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf.”
Thanathorn and Pannika have also been attacked for bad behavior and rule breaking, but their public comportment is always civil.

On the other hand, PM Prayuth and the military, in their self-described mission of being good people who can administer the country better than venal politicians, have put together a support base including the most old-fashioned and rapacious politicians. In the cartoon they are insultingly described as water monitors.
No Thai thinks that the bickering over governmental posts is an attempt to do a good job for the people, but instead knows it is a fight for political spoils which will give the parties that hold the posts an opportunity to pay themselves back for their campaign expenses and to wield influence.
Even those who support the military’s move to block Thaksin’s return must feel that the Prayuth hardly deserves to rule based on his performance.
Thus it is no surprise the cartoonist does not know who to support.]

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