Monday, September 1, 2008

PAD v's Samak - A Proposed Solution

It seems no one wants to lose face, and that is what's stopping the political compromise.

PAD demanding the government resign is a ludicrous situation, but at the same time Samak and PPP have shown no sign of backing off the constitutional amendment/PPP/Thaksin exoneration strategy - what will be the end result?
Once the violence starts it will be hard to stop, and even if it is crushed for now, it will remain bubbling away for ages.

A reasonable compromise would be for PAD to withdraw the resignation demand, and Samak & PPP to back away from the constitutional amendment rush, and let the matter be debated in parliament and come up with proposed amendments which they agree are to be put to a public referendum after a reasonable consultative period.

Even if PAD do not moderate their demands, Samak and the PPP need to act in a competent and reasonable manner, which I think means they should do the following:
- Address all of the PAD concerns in a reasonable manner.
- Dismiss (with proper explanation) those demands that are unreasonable and outlandish.
- Agree that the constitutional amendment process be a consultative process with parliamentary debate, followed by a public referendum.
- Undertake a public education program outlining how they have addressed the legitimate concerns of the PAD, and also outline how the unreasonable demands are bad for democracy.
- Once the above has been done, the PPP should set a deadline for the PAD protesters to disperse, and if the PAD protesters still fail to disperse then the deadline should be enforced with appropriate/reasonable force (such as tear gas & water cannons).

Simply dismissing the PAD as an unlawful mob and falling back on its own electoral legitimacy is not good enough and in my opinion is poor governance.

It is up to the government to act in a competent and reasonable manner, even if the PAD leadership wont!