If anyone would say that Thailand’s 2007 Constitution was not effective in changing the behavior of politicians, they simply would be dead wrong. Not only has the Constitution brought about desired change in the behavior of bad boy politicians, it has created a whole new breed of ‘Top Gun’ politicians who’s only focus is to get their opponents tossed in jail.
This goes without saying that the playing field has gone from whining politicians who would simply say ‘It isn’t fair’ because they got busted doing their dastardly deeds, to now going on the offensive. This whole new game has taken on a life of its own. To many Thais this constant battle has become old and frankly they have grown tired of it. But if you look at the bigger picture, you will see evolved politicians, and it does not matter if it is the good guys or the bad guys, they have evolved and upgraded.
The new Constitution was designed to keep bad boy politicians in check, so no wonder that ripping up the Constitution and replacing it with one that takes them off their leash is the top agenda item for the bad boy politicians. The good politicians actually tend to thrive with the new Constitution, simply because it forces accountability, something the bad boy politicians don’t want to know about. So it is little wonder that Thaksin Shinawatra wants to get rid of the Constitution so he can be whitewashed, return to Thailand, and start to make his enemies disappear in the old school way.
So as the bad boy politicians have changed and are now using the law to thwart their opponents, unfortunately their emphasis is still focused on how to be bad boys and get away with it. The good politicians always had the Thai people in mind, unfortunately populous policies tend to trump good intentions come election time.
So looking at what seems to have stopped or is greatly limited is the thug approach to getting rid of the competition. Risking jail time or even the death penalty for knocking off their opponent has now been replaced with using the law to keep them preoccupied defending themselves in court, and not paying attention to the bad boy stuff they are trying to do.
Now when we say new school, we must clarify this some. This is new school for the bad boy politicians as the good politicians have more or less been using this approach for several years. So call it an upgrade or adaptive politics or whatever, how Thailand’s politicians do their thing has changed at least on the top level. Further down the line in local governments, things are the same old way because the Constitution did not focus on them. So no doubt that will be the topic on another entry at some time in the future when some mid level politician gets involved with a big time corruption scheme like the rice pledging scheme.