Thailand's best hope is genuine constitutional reform. Government power should be limited, especially to award economic favors. Federalism should rule, giving provinces more authority to serve communities at odds with the national government.
Thailand's capital has lost none of its frenetic motion or relaxed informality. But it is a bit quieter of late, with last year's demonstrators dispersed by the military. However, the junta, which took power in May, is not leaving.
As somebody who has a close kinship with the people and business leaders of Thailand, I'm heartbroken by the recent military coup. Over the past couple of years, I have spent a great deal of time in Bangkok on speaking tours and working with the emerging professional class.
The use of colors to identify the sides in a conflict is certainly nothing new. The U.S. Civil War was a contest between the Union blues and the Confederate grays. The Russian civil war following the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 pitted the Reds against the Whites.
Officially, Yingluck Shinawatra is the prime minister. But it is her brother, exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who calls the shots via Skype from his homes in Dubai and London. Part of the reason the power-sharing works is that the same brilliant advisor is close to both.