According to the news reports, the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) is planning to form a political party. There is both good and bad with this idea, and Connecting the Dots has decided to have a look what they are.
Starting off with a bit of history, the PAD was formed in 2005 by the people to counter the corrupt government of then Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The rallies started off small with only a few thousand people in attendance in Lumpini park. However with each passing week thousands more gathered to hear what was being said. While that was going on a sense of empowerment was being felt by the people. Increasing numbers of people were turning their support away from Thaksin and the highly corrupt Thai Rak Thai party. The PAD was the voice of the people, and not the voice of a political party. Eventually the PAD became instrumental in toppling not one but 2 governments tied to Thaksin.
As it would be, if the PAD go forward with their plans to form a political party, they must give up something in return. What they will give up is being the voice of the Thai people, in turn for some power to influence the path of Thailand in an active way and not in a passive way.
This will have the effect of changing the amount of support they have in that certain Thai laws prohibit how political parties can act as it can be seen as campaigning out of season. As a group of Thai citizens, those restrictions do not apply. By becoming a political party, they will expose themselves to that wonderful set of teeth the new Constitution has.
There will also be a certain psychological change too as they essentially will become what they were fighting. No longer will they be seen as a voice of the people, but now a voice of a political party with an agenda.
Looking at what that agenda may be, the only thing Connecting the Dots can see is pushing their ‘New Politics’ idea. Connecting the Dots has expressed our views on that bit of proposed legislation here.
If this has become and obsession of the PAD leaders, then they truly need to reflect on what they plan to do. At the moment they are a very powerful political entity in Thailand, and no doubt the corrupt politicians that are lying low biding their time waiting for the political tide to ebb and turn, fear the power the PAD wields. To give up all that power to push for a single piece of legislation does seem to be less than the best choice.
As history tends to repeat, someday the democratic party will shoot themselves in the foot or worse and the corrupt will once again come into power. When that happens there will be no voice from the people to deal with them. Gambling what the ‘New Politics’ may bring, verses what the PAD as a political entity can bring is what this looks to be all about. This simply may be just one of the times Thais do not think things out to conclusion.