Thailand’s Constitution the coup cork

It seems everyone in Thailand has their own opinion about the 2007 Constitution. Some say it is the work of the military, while others say just about anything else.

If you step way back and get a wide field of view you will see groups of people talking about changing the Constitution. However very few of those people are your average Thais who tries to keep their mind off Thai politics, but that itself is a near impossible task these days in Thailand. The people that are talking the most about it are the politicians that the Constitution seeks to keep honest.

It is understandable that adults do not like to be treated like children because it does take away their dignity. But in Thailand’s case many of those adults that the Constitution seeks to control do act like squabbling greedy children and not adults. So when viewed in that light, the Constitution seems to act like a responsible parent over children who have not yet reached an acceptable level of maturity to be given responsibility.

With that thought and taking the view that the 2007 Constitution is the work of the Military, what its primary function seems to be is to be the alternative to staging another coup. Generally speaking the most recent coup was all about taking out of control politicians out of the game, and the Constitution looks to keep them out of the game along with future politicians who would also get out of control.

So in that respect the Constitution could be seen as the cork in a fine bottle of Coup d’état. If you consider that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was also a cork in a bottle, he kept all the nastiness in check  we are seeing today. Once the Americans removed that cork, it did not take very long for Iraq to slide into whatever you want to call it. It was clear that the ruthlessness Saddam had just simply scared everyone into being good boys and good girls while in Iraq.

So if the Thai military is content with the Constitution, and signs seem to point to that when top Generals are promoting democracy and not wanting to see Thai blood in the streets again, it does leave you wondering about what would happen if the self serving politicians who are being kept honest by the Constitution are successful in changing it. So far all the changes that have been floated have been for their benefit and little if any for the Thai people as a whole.

Logic tends to dictate that tampering with the Constitution for anything other than improvement for all Thais is likely to damage that seal and let some of that Coup d’état out of the bottle. It is clear that Prime Minister Abhisit sees this, and he has also proven that a political party can function effectively withing the parameters defined by the Constitution. But when you look at Thaksin and his party and supporters, they want to simply toss the 2007 Constitution in the trash bin and reinstate the 1997 Constitution. Let us not forget gutting the 1997 Constitution was on Thaksin’s to do list as well before the coup that took him out.

So the next dot is if the Thai military saw fit to stage a coup and remove the 1997 Constitution along with Thaksin, it is an absolute no brainer that reinstating the 1997 Constitution and Thaksin would simply invite another coup.

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