For some so-called pro-democracy advocates, constitutional reform by a democratically elected government seems to be more alarming than the complete destruction of a constitution by military force.

The outrage at the proposed amendment of Section 237 of the 2007 Constitution is motivated by anything but democratic principles. Section 237 allows the Constitutional Court to dissolve a political party if one of its executives is found guilty of electoral irregularity (or failing to act to prevent such an irregularity).

Given that charge and counter-charge of electoral irregularity is part of standard conduct of Thai politics (at local and national levels) this is a recipe for political instability and for opportunistic judicial intrusion into the electoral arena. Of course, there is always room for electoral reform, but while large sections of the Thai elite remain convinced that electoral outcomes don’t reflect legitimate political decisions, handing anyone the extraordinarily heavy-handed power contained in Section 237 is a shortcut to constitutional coup.

Some serious attitudinal reforms are required before sensible institutional reforms can be put into place. Don’t hold your breath waiting.