Thailand‘s governing system, at the provincial down to the grass-roots level, is a mixed bag of democracy and dictatorship, some leaders are elected and some are appointed by the Interior Ministry out of Bangkok. One such remnants of dictatorship, is the Kumnun System, loosely governing several villages like a district and the Village Headman, who are elected. But usually, these representatives stay in their post to like retirement at 60, so while elected, it becomes more of a career civil servant.
So each village has a headman called “Poh Yai Ban” but the Kumnun System, encompasses a larger village grouping. There have been much attempt in Thailand to have the Kumnun and Poh Yai Ban terms be limited, for such as a 5 years duration, so they will act more like representatives, not civil servant. But the Thai Kumnun Association, is a very strong association and have resisted all such attempts. One of those who have attempted to change the Kumnun System, with a term limit, is Yingluck’s government, and the result, is that the Kumnun Association have come out against the Yingluck government, participating, in some protest and at some level against the Yingluck’s government, joining up with movements to topple her from power.
There has always been a risk to Yingluck that the Kumnun Association will join with the Fascist Suthep’s movement. However, the latest from the association, is that they made a statement in support of “One Man One Vote” which Fascist Suthep’s movement is against, and Suthep’s wanting instead for Thailand to be government by the un-elected, so called “Good people.” The association have also called on Fascist Suthep, to stop calling himself “Kumnun Suthep.”
The Kumnun, again loosely and a little larger than village headmen, is the main connector, of the Bangkok power, to the grassroots. To the villagers, the Kumnun and Poh Yai Ban are seen as a semi-father, an uncle-like, to the village people, offering help on nearly all aspects of their lives, bringing to them, the resources and knowledge of the central government in Bangkok, to the grass-roots people. The Kumnun and Poh Yai Ban and the people of the villages share a very deep and inter-twine relationship, again, often seen, as a semi-father figure, an uncle with connection to Bangkok, to the entire village.
However, that semi-father figure and uncle, to the villagers, keeps up the “Patronage System” in Thailand, which is in competition with democratic principles. That “Patronage System” that reaches the village level, however, exists with other democratic systems that reaches the village level, such as election of not much larger population governing units in the province, like Tam Bol and province local representatives. This interjecting of democratic principles to the grass-roots level, have offered a counter-balance to the “Dictator Tendency” hidden under the Patronage System, of the Kumnun and Poo Yai Ban system.
It can be argued, that at the grassroots level, the people have been exposed and enjoying democratic principles, and perhaps, with Kumnun Suthep’s ranting that the provincial Thais, outside of Bangkok are too stupid to vote and that “One man One Vote” does not work in Thailand, has so much alienated the people outside of Bangkok, that the Kunman Association is feeling and sensing their anger and objection, to Kumnun Suthep. Perhaps, that is why, at this point in reporting, the Kumnun Association, has basically slapped Suthep’s in the face, with a rejection.
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- Fascism: Abhisit’s Dems Fascist attempting to take control of Thailand (thaiintelligentnews.wordpress.com)
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