Thailand’s government is playing with fire by wanting to change the constitution for self serving reasons. The reason they want to change the constitution is because several parties face dissolution for not following the rules during the elections. So it is very obvious they wish to whitewash themselves to stay in power.
The constitution that was voted on and adopted by 57.8 % of the Thais, then signed into law in late August 2007 . That constitution provides substantial punishment for bad boy politicians and encourages self policing of political parties. Politicians that play by the rules and by nature are good politicians hardly notice the changes because all the changes do is insure what the good politicians were doing already.
With the ruling party People Power Party (PPP) the list of executives looks like the roll call roster of the local prison. Nearly all of them either have a conviction some place in the appeals process or are under investigation for graft. No wonder they can’t play by the rules.
The Election Commission recently ruled that the PPP is in fact a proxy of the Thai Rak Thai (TRT) a party that was banned last year for electoral fraud. The head of this bunch is Thaksin Shinawatra the deposed Prime minister. Thaksin made a habit of removing laws that were in his way of making money. In this case a strong constitution is the culprit that must go in Thaksin’s eyes. Thaksin faces several criminal cases and changing the constitution could let him off the hook.
From the outside it looks like giving the prisoners the keys to the jail, and this has stirred the divisions that run deep in the Thais. There seems to be no middle ground with Thaksin. People either hate him or love him. The divide runs mostly along educational attainment. The higher the education, the less people like Thaksin. In unrelated news Thaksin is the new club owner of Manchester United and in the last few days Thaksin has started to show his true colors, and a major downturn in popularity has happened. Some papers talk about it as his private dictatorship.
Reading the local media some scholars are predicting the return of the 1992 violence that polarized the country if the self serving drive to change the constitution continues. Across Bangkok there are open discussions as to when the next coup will be. The word ‘if’ has long since past in those discussions.
The PPP was elected into power by mostly undereducated Thais of the Northeast. The Populus policies that elected the TRT we simply used again. However being under educated they we bought for pennies on the dollar so to speak.
The path Thailand is now on will most likely take it on a repeat performance of 2006 resulting in a coup. The PPP has already taken some action to reduce the risk of that by placing loyalist in key positions in the military. The next coup is likely to have bloodshed where as the 2006 coup was bloodless and welcomed with roses and yellow ribbons across Bangkok. It is a shame how so few with greed can harm so many.