This House believes launching a military coup against a democratic government can be justified
Coups are a regular occurrence around the world. The most recent happened in May 2014 when the Thai army overthrew the government of Yingluck Shinawatra. From 1945 to 2006 there were 261 coups of all descriptions.1 A coup can be defined simply as “a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a governmment”.2 This can mean that the seizure of power is by the people after a protest as in Ukraine but much more often this is done by someone with military or police forces at their disposal. It is such cases which will be looked at here.
This debate will only be looking at democratic ...view middle of the document...
2'coup', Oxford Dictionaries, http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/coup
3Thyne, Clayton L., and Powell, Jonathan M., 'Coup d’état or Coup d'Autocracy? How Coups Impact Democratization, 1950–2008', Foreign Policy Analysis, 16 April 2014, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/fpa.12046/abstract
* Points For
* Points Against
Necessary to restore peace to the country
The clearest, and most common, reason for the military stepping in is to restore peace to the country. When the stakes are so high, power through control of government, the ability to distribute resources, it is something well worth fighting for. The result can be that democracies become unstable and violent with election campaigns particular flashpoints. The runup to the Thai elections in 2014 shortly before the coup left 10 dead and 600 injured1 with no sign of stability returning after the flawed elections General Prayuth Chan-ocha the head of the army said the coup was necessary “in order for the country to return to normality quickly, and for society to love and be at peace again.”2 When there violence creating violence it is the military's role to step in the prevent such instability.
1Wilkinson, Laura, 'Thailand elections: Violent clashes in Bangkok over disputed poll', The Independent, 2 February 2014, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/thailand-elections-violent-clashes-in-bangkok-over-disputed-poll-9101656.html
2Hodal, Kate, 'Coup needed for Thailand 'to love and be at peace again' – army chief', The Guardian, 23 May 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/22/military-coup-thailand-peace-general-prayuth-chan-ocha
In a country that is so polarised that there is violence at elections the chances are the military is not neutral. In Thailand the royalists had been calling for military intervention because they know it is unlikely they will win an election. A coup cannot therefore be considered to be likely to end violence; Egypt is a case in point as there have been more than 3,200 deaths in the 7 months after the coup against President Morsi.1
1'More than 3,200 Egyptians killed since coup', Middle East Monitor, 9 April 2014, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/africa/10798-more-than-3200-egyptians-killed-since-coup
A technocratic government is needed to prevent corruption
Democracy does not mean that a country is not corrupt, or that the political leadership is not corrupt. There are many countries where democratic elections stand side by side with a large amount of corruption; Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq countries that have recently had elections following western intervention are ranked 175, 172, and 171 out of 177 on the corruption perceptions index. Even countries with long established democracies can be perceived as being corrupt, India is 94th.1 If...