A Tale of Two Nations
Former Prime Minister: Thailand: Thaksin
Nepal: Koirala/Deuba collective
Financial Undoing: Thaksin: Shin-Corp.
Koirala/Deuba: Lauda Air and others
Elections: Thaksin: Held Snap elections in an effort to hold on to power. Koirala/Deuba: Attempt to cling to power by refusing to hold elections.
Will of the People: Made Thaksin step down as elections became a referendum on his corrupt administration. Koirala/Deuba realize that Nepalis won't act against corruption; they take this as a cue to falsely say they represent the people.
Respect for the System: Thaksin stepped-down Under public pressure and elections, bowing to the democratic process. Koirala/Deuba refuse to admit error or defeat. Respect the electoral and court system only when it works in their favor.
Public Demonstrations: Thailand: Used, in this context, as a tool to alert citizens to unconstitutional acts and corruption. Nepal: Used as a tool for advancing individual agendas with no regard for national unity.
The King: Thailand: Revered and Respected. Has acted As an impartial arbiter and final word on corrupt government practices. Nepal: Held as a pariah by many Western talking heads for, essentially, doing the same thing as Thailand’s King.
So now, on the eve of the big Maoist/Party protests, we try to find some meaning. The bottom line here--and why blogdai has supplied this little comparison--is: Do we believe in democracy? Are we committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes? Can we bear to have our personal agendas made subservient to the greater needs of all citizens? If we in Nepal were truly committed to democracy, then we would have found a democratic solution to our current problems. No lines of communication--Royal or Party--would have been severed. Talks are democratic, constant disruptive demonstrations are not.
The trouble is, Nepalis really don't believe in the democratic system. We demonstrate this every day. The big example is the 7-party/Maoist alliance with their unilateralism and tunnel vision, for sure; yet, the King is at fault as well, hiring a cabinet full of idiots who are no better than the fools they replaced. If we were to be honest with ourselves we would realize that, perhaps, the biggest blame lies with us: The Citizens of Nepal. Democracy means involvement and participation. We have not kept up our end of the bargain in that regard, so we really have no one to blame but ourselves. Apathy kills good ideas. Apathy is the great enabler of corruption.
It is ultimately WE who have allowed the Maoists to flourish; WE who stood by and did nothing while the Koirala's and the Deubas robbed us blind; and WE who try to escape into tribalism instead of speaking with a single, unified national voice.