There is a lot to be said about the elite in Thailand, some good and some bad. There is also talk that the new 2007 Constitution is written to keep them on top of the pile. With that said, Connecting the Dots decided to go and dig for dots in the elite’s neighborhood.
There has been plenty of comments by several people including some that have left comments here on other posts. So in fairness to all and to not be seen as just one sided, we have taken on the task of sifting through whatever this stuff is looking for dots.
The most common thing that floats around is the Constitution was written to keep the elite in power, and that the Constitution seems to favor them. At best this is a half truth. The 2007 Constitution was written to be a short leash as that is what is needed in Thailand. With all the antics and misbehaving in Thai politics, it becomes amusing to watch no matter how you cut it. The 2007 Constitution is very procedure driven that force a series of checks and balances that get in the way of bad boy self serving politicians. The simple logic is the more corrupt you are, the harder it is to operate.
In comparison the Thaksin government was off the charts when it came to being corrupt, and it is that most recent comparison that people have to go by. With that said the Constitution is more friendly to the elite, but not necessarily written for them. Should another group enter the game that was for lack of a better term, better fit to lead Thailand than the elite, the 2007 Constitution would favor them over the elite. In short it all comes down to who you are comparing.
The second and actually more disturbing is what can best be described as subliminal propaganda against the elite. To see this you need to step way back and look at the media content over the past few years starting in January of 2006 before the coup. When Thaksin was still the Prime Minister, there was significant control on the media. Only pro Thaksin content was allowed. There was not a lot being said about the democrats. In fact the percentage of air time was about 85% pro Thaksin, and 15% other.
After the coup and after the strict media controls were lifted by the Junta, a slow trickle of anti-elite propaganda started to find it’s way into the media. Just a bit here and a bit there, all generated by people that were pro Thaksin. After all a new government had not been elected yet and the elite were predicted the be the other team when things got going again. Next the new Constitution was voted on and Thaksin did his best to buy as many no votes as he could. However that attempt failed by a huge margin.
Once the elections got started the usual campaign things happened so that can’t really be called propaganda. However once the December 2007 election results were known, the anti-elite propaganda seemed to stop. It was not until the pro Thaksin group was losing the battle did the propaganda return. That started when the pro Thaksin group discovered the new Constitution has teeth, and an effort was on to forcefully change it and remove those teeth. The anti elite propaganda has continued and it looks to tie the Constitution to the elite.
In short we find that the elite are just players in the game as everyone else. The way the Constitution is worded now only seems to favor the elite because the other team is just so bad. The elite can play by the rules easier than the Thaksin team. After all you only have to look at the red shirt riots to see they have not a clue how to play by the rules, so they are taking the bully approach using anti-elite propaganda as a type of surrogate reason to rally.