Building Broad Support for Constitutional Reform

My new article in the Bangkok Post on building consensus for constitutional reform in Thailand:

As is characteristic of our polarised society, opinion is deeply divided on whether the 2017 constitution should be amended.

Some will say that constitutional revision is effectively hopeless, a remote possibility until the powers that be permit an amendment. The government has placed constitutional revision as one of its urgent priorities due to coalition pressure, but little action has been taken.

The past few weeks have not been encouraging for outside activism, with opposition leaders being accused of sedition after an academic suggested amending Article I at a town hall in the deep South. But incendiary proposals were never a good means to convince would-be supporters; instead, it is simply more likely to alienate those who otherwise would be open to this discussion.

Instead, advocates need to focus on attracting a larger coalition in support of revision, not alienating them. And in the absence of official urgency, only sufficient societal pressure can lead to change, no matter how difficult that may be. Therefore, the path forward for constitutional revision appears to require the building of broad consensus, even with those unlikely to already support amendment.

Read the full article here.






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