Disrupting Thailand’s Vicious Political Cycle: Step Back and Hit Pause?

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Disrupting Thailand’s Vicious Political Cycle: Step Back and Hit Pause?

Disrupting Thailand’s Vicious Political Cycle : Step Back and Hit Pause?

Written By - Thai Business Box. 17-11-2020.

Thailand remains in a vicious political cycle of alternating between civilian government and military-backed government.

As the political crisis intensifies in Thailand and we are heading at breakneck speed towards a cliff, we need to step back and hit pause.

Importantly, we have to recognise that we are currently in the midst and thick of another vicious political cycle again and the fact that we are nowhere near breaking this cycle permanently.

When student protestors say “ It ends in this generation”, we need to test this theory.

Hypothetically, let’s say the student’s movement succeeds in all their demands, resignation of PM Prayut, rewriting of the constitution and reforming the monarchy.

After elections, a civilian government will be put in place and we will have peace for two years. Within two years, the civilian government will be embroiled in some corruption case or the other, pro-establishment groups will be out fighting with pro-government groups and chaos will reign. The military will feel the need to intervene in the form of a coup for “peace and stability” of the country and the whole cycle starts again. Continue Reading Below...


If the students succeed in their pursuit of constitution amendment, it will be our country’s 21st constitution; Thailand has had 20 constitutions and charters since the overthrow of absolute monarchy in 1932.

In an alternate scenario, the protests could culminate in violence, which is the fear and anxiety of the whole country, and end in a coup d’etat.

There are signs that violence is a possibility as both sides have come out in large numbers and skirmishes will be increasingly unavoidable. If violence escalates, the army will intervene and after two years, elections will be declared and the rest will read like the above cycle.

How do we break this cycle permanently?

Perhaps the answer lies within us. Hitting the pause button for time to reflect, may help us answer these questions.

Do we ever question the suitability and behaviour of the politicians that represent our favoured side? Do we choose sides from blind devotion rather than see if the politicians we put into power are good for the economic growth of our country? Do we remain silent or even worse keep supporting them when they prove to be corrupt or turn out to be kleptocrats?

Do we realise that no matter which set of politicians form the government they belong closer to the 1% of privileged Thais than the 99% and only the rich will get richer and more powerful?

Corruption has many faces. Political corruption or Malpolitics is the use of powers by government officials or their network contacts for illegitimate private gain or tampering of the system for power and influence. Forms of corruption can include bribery, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, influence peddling, graft and embezzlement. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is also considered political corruption.

Given this definition, it’s clear that politicians on both sides of our country’s divide has been guilty of one form of corruption or the other.These are the same people we put into power through blind belief and loyalty to a cause, system or group of people. 

We need to fix our moral compass and regardless of which side is in power we have to be vigilant and united in our protests against any wrongdoing.

Blind devotion for a particular side or the other and our laid back attitude towards corruption is a lethal combination that prevents us from having capable and accountable politicians. As it stands today, politicians are propped up by the support of their vote base who are unquestioning of their intentions, behaviour and policies.

It’s the politicians who we put in place that eventually disappoint, perpetuating this vicious political cycle. Politicians need to be reformed but first we need to reform ourselves.