Raping the constitution



Raping the constitution - from Manager, November 26, 2010
Banharn is saying to Newin: He says he is a British graduate and is not a lustful man... why is he the one at the front of the line?

[This cartoon reflects PAD's hostility to PM Abhisit's desire to amend the constitution. It shows Abhisit at the front of a line of politicians wanting to rape the constitution. This also reflects the very hostile attitude the PAD and their allies have taken towards the Democrat Party now that the PAD have formed their own political party--the New Politics Party (NPP).

Since the political aspirations of the PAD have become clear, their original enemies--pro-Thaksin groups and Newin and his Bhumjaithai--have expanded to include the Democrat Party. The Democrats are now portrayed in the same ultra-harsh tones as Thaksin and his former allies. While the Pheu Thai and the Red Shirts are attempting to broaden the appeal of their movement, the PAD and their supporters seem to be intent on creating an ever broadening circle of enemies.

The Democrat Party was always happy to quietly support and then take advantage of the PAD movement to unseat Thaksin, but now feels betrayed that the NPP will be challenging them in their own strongholds. It does seem peculiar that the NPP is mainly seen as a threat to Democrats--rather than working to weaken Thaksin's grasp in provincial areas.

The Democrats still have influence over key figures within the PAD and NPP. It is highly likely that the recent odd-ball turn in PAD activities--including their touting of the conspiracy theory that Thailand will loose massive amounts of land to Cambodia--is due Democrat efforts to push extreme figures to forefront of the movement and thus weaken it. This, coupled with the recent lack of success that new political factions have had in elections means the NPP is unlikely to be a force in the future.

None of this is necessarily good news for the Pheu Thai and Thaksin's aspirations. The recent continuing MP defections indicate that, despite likely electoral success, there is very little likelihood that a party that campaigns on pardoning Thaksin and is perceived as being hostile to the monarchy will be allowed to take power. Since the only goal of an MP is to be in power to reap the spoils of government, or at least be assured that his political party will be assured a turn in the next government, there is little incentive to remain in a party that will remain in the opposition.

If there are continued defections, this will indicate continued fear they will not be allowed to join a coalition. However, if a more conventional political figure like Chalerm Yoobamrung comes to the fore (that is, someone who is uninterested in political power for Thaksin) then the party could solidify.

The establishment would prefer a venal figure like Chalerm to come to the fore. He could give lip service to Thaksin demands and bemoan imprisoned Red Shirt leaders, but still have the expectation of joining a government as he would not really be committed to Thaksin's goals.]
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