Instead of cutting, try sucking!

From Manager, July 25, 2018
Above: To remove it… [Thaksin’s influence] I don’t need to use this.
On chainsaw: Section 44
Below are letters to indicate the sounds of sucking.

[Contrasts the use of the junta’s absolute power in Section 44 (here, here and here) with the Thai political tradition of “sucking” up politicians (here, here, and here).
Early in the junta’s rule, people on all sides of the political spectrum were excited about the prospect of absolute power that could be used to address intractable legal issues.
Opponents of Thaksin demanded the junta start using the power to make sure Thaksin’s influence over Thai politics would be ended.
However, Thaksin’s influence (often represented as a tree that needed to be cut down) continued despite the junta’s ability to do anything it wanted.
In the last year the military has finally found success in employing Thaksin’s own tactics of sucking up or absorbing MPs from other political groupings.
While causal foreign observers attributed Thaksin’s electoral success to the popularity of this policies, his ability to gain power and maintain power was due to his buying up of existing political groupings in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
It was these collections of existing electing MPs, as well as the sense that everyone wanted in on Thaksin’s apparently unassailable majorities, that account for Thaksin’s parties’ absolute majorities in parliament over the years.
The actions of two different military juntas (2006 and 2014) were designed to send the message that Thaksin was finished and that MPs should switch allegiances.
It appears that the current junta has finally made a convincing enough argument as there are constant signs that MPs who once supported Thaksin are switching their allegiance to military parties.]

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