The current red protests are proving to be a good eye opening to the Thai people, and the world, to the charade that is Thai 'democracy'.
The 2006 royalist endorsed military coup, the actions of 'non political' players in events leading up to the coup, and since, have put further pieces in the jigsaw that is 'thai style democracy'.
Whilst most tourists to Thailand don't care about Thai politics as long as they can keep getting what they crave (be it cheap, depraved or exotic), and expat businessmen similarly are only really interested in their bottom line, slowly but surely more light is being shone on matters that the 'natural' order of things in Thailand mean are supposed to be taboo.
All manner of discussions are taking place in print, film, radio, Internet and in private, in Thai, English and no doubt many other languages.
There is still considerable risk, particularly if one is a Thai in Thailand, as evidenced by the continued use of the draconian LM laws and Computer Crimes Act, against people who try to seek the truth and allow open discussion. Tantawut Taweewarodomkul and Prachatai webmaster, Chiranuch Premchaiporn are the latest victims, and add to a growing list of pending cases and convictions.
It seems Thailand is being analysed within and without, and the analysis is not just limited to obscure papers and academic journals.
Whilst the cut and thrust of the day to day colour coded politics is boring to me and I abhor Thaksin as much as I abhor Abhisit (or John Howard, George Bush, and lately Kevin Rudd etc etc), I find the bigger picture issues related to the thai system/structure quite fascinating.
I hope I'm wrong, but my gut feeling tells me continued injustice over a long period of time will inevitably breed terrorism in one form or other.
Thai style democracy is built on a noble lie, and once enough people question that lie, it has to either collapse, or be enforced - the old system can no longer function in the same way because it's foundation brick (the noble lie) has been removed.
IMO, to enforce the noble lie leads ultimately to a North Korea or Burma style future for Thailand, or more likely the southern insurgency being replicated in the north east and the north, however such insurgencies would unlikely be so 'polite' as to stay away from the capital.
The alternative to enforcement of the noble lie is to allow democracy (or 'mob rule' as Plato thought of it:)
That's the battle as I see it, and whilst I had sympathy for the original PAD protests against Thaksin's excesses, if its a choice between yellow and red, (or even red and non red, or yellow and non yellow) I now believe the non yellow or red side is the only side which offers a positive future for Thailand.
(Note: These are my views only, and do not imply that the red shirt protesters or leaders agree with my outlook - rather it means I side with the reds in the current battle because they are the only side offering anything that looks like real democracy - if another group offers democracy I will also likely side with them too)
And looking on the bright side, the elite backed military & judiciary coups, which sporned the red movement and increasing analysis of 'thai style democracy', has also contributed greatly to the democratic knowledge of the Thai people (and one Thaksin Shinawatra) - so that can only be good for the next time a popular leader is elected.