March 21, 2010

Will a King’s Death Kill Democracy?

Sixty years ago this week, King Bhumibol Adulyadej arrived back in Thailand. The 22-year-old had lived abroad most of his life. Named king four years earlier on his brother’s death, he was coming home for his coronation. The royal navy was drawn up for review. A jet squadron soared overhead. Half a million people lined the streets in celebration. As one biographer writes, “To astrologers, the heavens proved the great event: three days before Bhumibol arrived, hail fell on Bangkok for the first time since 1933.”

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April 10, 2009

A System That Works is Democratic Enough

THAILAND – What do you call a democracy in which women cannot vote, slavery is openly practiced, elected office is reserved for wealthy white landowners, and national laws define an entire race of people as three-fifths of a human being?

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