The accusation is often made that Thailand can never change. However, over the past six years, propelled by political crisis, there have been many changes, which some some would say are for the better. Some would argue the opposite, but at the end of the day it is up to the Thai people to steer the direction of change.
The events of April and May 2010, culminating in the military crackdown on the red shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) on May 19, could be viewed as the climax of Thailand's most recent political crisis. The general election in July 2011 that ushered the Pheu Thai Party into power could be viewed as a return to normalcy.
But in this state of normalcy we also see the continuation of a system that has not been changed, and won't likely be changed anytime soon _ the deeply entrenched patronage system, the feudalistic foundation that continues to hinder the development of Thailand's democracy. This foundation is characterised by cronyism, nepotism, corruption, tribalism and cults of personality.