Opinion: Not all royalists are extreme, some are willing to have hard conversations

The current political divide in Thailand can be summarized as a conflict between conservative and progressive forces. In any society, there is no singular viewpoint and it is impossible in a society that everyone would think the same way.

But the weakness in our society, perhaps its biggest problem, is that both sides of the political divide do not see eye-to-eye and are incapable of dialogue.

The groups that currently call themselves royalists and take extreme measures to protect the monarchy do not speak for all royalists. Not all of us are extreme.

Being a royalist does not mean we have closed our eyes and ears to discussions and that we are incapable of accepting different ideas. For me, royalism is a belief in the system but one must also be open to criticism and discussion about the system.

Thus, when conflict arises within society, as it has now, there is room for discussion and open conversation and the ability to listen to opposing opinions.

The best grounds to have this conversation is in parliament where representatives of the people can make a strong case on the constituent’s behalf.

Unfortunately, the parliament today is not constructed in a way where a free exchange of ideas can happen. You only have to look at the powers of the military-appointed senate in clause 272 or clause 256 that makes it virtually impossible to fix the constitution. Society is evolving but our parliament is not.

The solution of the current political conflict is to reform the constitution and start a dialogue on sensitive issues like the monarchy. Open discussion can never be a bad thing.

As a royalist, I respect the brave students calling for reform of the constitution and I agree with them. As an MP, I have shown that I am willing to assist them in ammending this broken, undemocratic charter. Once we do, the conversations to fix our society can be had.

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