The last few days in Thailand there was a sense of familiarity that for the most part resembled a family reunion. The political landscape looks like it is about to change, but don’t hold your breath just yet.
If you take things on face value and what is being reported in the media, you would think Thailand’s backward movement is about to change. The convicted fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra seems to have fallen out of grace with many of his elected supporters, and they appear to be flocking to the democrats. The question many may have is why now. Stepping way back to look at the big picture may answer some questions.
The first thing is the nature of Thai politics is that love is not forever. The I will scratch your back if you scratch mine is essentially part of Thai culture. The old school politics (prior to the 2007 Constitution) it was all about corrupt politicians pooling together to bring in more money for themselves. Now in the new school, many politicians are just now turning off their MP3 players and starting to listen to the teacher. The teacher is the new Constitution and that teacher is also the judge and executioner.
Connecting the Dots has pointed out that not every member of Parliament is of the same mind set. Some have slept well while others have had countless sleepless nights over the last several months. To be following the convicted fugitive Thaksin on what can only be called a psychotic crusade can bring on heaps of long term problems down the road.
Thaksin has pushed things so far they will not soon be forgotten, and that guilt by association will be a stain that will hinder careers. Many of the members of parliament were lucky enough thus far not to have their name directly associated with Thaksin in the media in recent months. It will be those people that still may have some chance in politics. For the others, that 5 year ban some are forced to take may be just the half way point before forgive and forget may be given. It will be their actions off camera that will be the make or break on return to politics.
The moral cry that I have changed and I must do what is right for Thailand and I now pledge my allegiance to support the democrats is at best just the best option for the moment. Essentially they still have not changed inside, but no doubt there is a grown respect and fear of that new teacher / judge / executioner. Until they can sort out how to deal with it, it is best to keep your head down, and that means follow the democrats for now.
Connecting the Dots has been avoiding Thai politics for the last few days because simply there are over 500 players involved in this part of the game. It becomes entirely too hard to predict what will happen. All the re-posturing of the pro Thaksin team suggests that they have not thrown in the towel. That simply does not happen on psychotic crusades.
Thaksin still has his puppets hand on that Parliament drain plug, but it at best will not be totally painless if Thaksin orders the plug pulled. There are several members of Parliament that once belonged to the recently torpedoed People Power Party (PPP) that just changed to the lifeboat party in the last few days. The time frame that is called out for the snap election is shorter than the time requirement that a person must be in a party before they can run for election. Their may be some legal challenge to that as they were incumbent.
What that means that the PPP members that changed just now probably can’t run in the snap election if parliament is dissolved. That means all new candidates and they must already be a party member at or longer than the minimum number of days. So running the numbers Thaksin tends to lose people and not gain them. That means he needs to buy people.
However on the same note people from the other parties that were dissolved face the same problem. As the democrats seem to be immune from this, they could field several candidates and not be challenged by a pro Thaksin candidate. In short, a very complex algorithm that must be sorted out.
However if Thaksin sees a no win situation by not dissolving parliament, he will order the plug pulled and do his best to influence the snap elections. After all, that is the way called out on page 42 in the Do it yourself psychotic crusade for idiots manual.