Back in 2006, the then opposition Democrat Party chose not to participate in an election - despite being condemned by many as being against the spirit of democracy, that boycott decision turned out to be good political strategy for the Democrats.
Now, the current opposition Pheu Thai Party has chosen not to participate in the Charter amendment process.
That may also prove to be good strategy for them, but IMO it is at least as much against the spirit of democracy as the Democrat boycott decision was.
If Pheu Thai Party really was interested in improving the political (& economic, social) situation in the country, then they should be a participant in the amendment process.
Instead of being obstructionist in a bloody-minded, 'win at all costs' way, I believe a responsible Opposition should argue each amendment proposal on its merits and of course they should put up their own proposals for specific amendments (instead of simply insisting on a return to the 1997 consitution).
They would be doing a good thing for the country if, instead of looking only at the prize, they worked towards getting the framework right, so the long lasting stalemate has some chance of ending.
If, in discussing and debating each amendment proposal, they find the process is flawed or being obstructed in any way, then they should publicise their decicions & the reasons for them, keep the populace informed so they can make reasoned judgements & decisions, instead of resorting to the usual appeals to base insticts (fear, envy etc).
I can understand how the PTP 'non participation' strategy might seem attractive as the quickest way to power because the plan seems to be aimed at destabilising the coalition government so that it collapses as soon as possible in the new year especially as some of the coalition members are desperate for charter changes, and the Thaksin assets case decision is nearing.
However, unlike the Democrats electoral chances in 2006, Pheu Thai Party does now have a real chance to make a lasting improvement to the political framework.
Unfortunately, all the signs are still there that no major players in the Thai political scene are able to rise above their own self interest (and that of their backers:), and it looks like the next year will be more of the same old T.I.T. bullshit.
(is it time for another coup yet? - seems thats the only easy way to change constitutions in Thailand:)
I wish my vast readership a Happy New Year.
(hopefully its not more exciting than what we can handle:)