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kamui

THE election result thread

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Maybe one of the current expats can explain something to me.

 

I admit, I don't know a lot about Thai politics - seems very complicated!

 

However, from what I can ascertain, Takky's party wins votes by being populist - giving the poor and less educated sectore of the population: 30 baht health care, a free sarong, a few bags of rice and free vet care for the sick buffalo or things to that effect.

 

If this policy works so well in obtaining votes from people who only want to see a direct benefit to themselves as the result of electing a government, and not think of "the bigger picture / corruption" affecting the country, then why don't the Democrats offer the same populist policies if they're going to result in a lot more votes?

 

Can someone enlighten me please? :dunno:

That is not just a Thai thing, happens in all countries, people look after themselves as the 'bigger picture' is out of their reach.

 

In Oz we jut had an election, where the second most incompetent government of all time was voted back in, so now we have the most incompetent government with a leader who cannot speak properly, acts like a child, cannot deal with simple business issues on a day to day basis, and has adopted the American populist policy, i.e., the only policy is reelection.

 

Australia will go like Greece, where those who pay tax keep paying more and more to an ever growing welfare sector, who keep voting these people in ... until they squeeze so much the middle class is exhausted and broke, and the rich will still keep their fortunes.

 

So, even in the enlighten west the people will vote the same as they do in so clled poorer countries, vote for those who offer a few more trinkets, who promise bonuses (when the fools even suspect that such bonuses will be savaged by future hidden cuts/taxes/fees etc) :beer:

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I think this is a distorted Farang view.

 

First: for a working democracy all relevant groups need to participate on equal terms. I do not see that the old elite is really interested in democracy. The are only shades less corrupt than Mr. T. and his cronies.

 

So then tell me where Thaksin is interested in real democracy? Back in 2002 he famously sated that democracy isn't the goal but just a vehicle to reach his goal. True democrat huh?!

 

[color:blue]I never said that Mr. T. was good for the country. But I am saying that the rest of the elite isn't that much better. Also' date=' as others said before, people don't vote for the good of a country, but for the good of their family and their peers.

And Mr. T as a populist pretended to do them good. And for a short period of time he even did - with means that are not sustainable, but that's how populists do politics.

[/color']

 

While the Abhisit government was a disappointment, I prefer it 100 times over Thaksin, Samak, Chalerm, or Somchai. In the first years of Thaksin's rule corruption rose by 30%.

 

Second: the electorate needs to be educated. The elite is not really interested in the education of the masses. Now they are educating/organizing themselves, using the new media and even using channels from outside Thailand. The old elite and the democrats wasted many years by doing nothing.

 

It has been Abhisit who gave them free education but that isn't what they want. They want money or gimmicks (e.g. mobiles, tablets...) which PT promised them. Just wonder who gonna pay all this?

 

[color:blue]Education takes at least a generation. Here on the board you can read frequently how bad the Thai education system is. The old elite should have started with it two decades ago.

Their general ignorance empowered first Mr. T.'s rise and now his foreseeable return.

For example for to upgrade the infrastructure like schools you need a lot of money, but instead of supporting this, as I understand the Thai elite takes at least 10% from every public project while not paying tax at all...

[/color]

 

Third: it's a misunderstanding that the electorate always decides for right person.

Just have a look at California, the eights largest economy in the world. They just voted for a governor who had defrauded the country out of millions (billions?) of USD and who doesn't have any experience in politics and who now is despised by a large majority of the people even inside his own party...

 

Fully agree and so they get the government they deserve. However, there is a difference between if an (mostly) educated electorate like in California makes a wrong choice or an electorate in Thailand who isn't even capable of understanding the evil schemes of Thaksin.

Therefore, I think Thailand (among other countries)isn't ready for western style democracy.

 

----

 

 

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"It really is about what most of the Thai people want."

 

Bingo!

 

 

Yet only 2/3rd of the voters turned out. Predictions were it would top 75%. So what happened? Maybe 1/3rd just didn't like any of the choices.

 

 

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I was just reminded of something Fly said to me years ago. He was dead set against the military interfering to get rid of Thaksin. He argued that the wanker should be allowed to proceed until the people could see what a charlatan he really was and get rid of him themselves. Unfortunately, it seems that majority still don't.

 

Also, Takky's picking his sister was brilliant. Thais love novelty, and voting for a woman (and clone) was something new. Let's see how long it takes her to get "old" like the rest of the politicians.

 

 

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One of my neighbours, a retired taxi driver from Issan, said it to me and it is worth remembering. "Thaksin is history. If he comes back, he'll be shot." Hopefully, Takky has enough sense to realise that. I hate to think of the reaction if he were gunned down here. His foes are passionate though, and don't forget the rumours that the reds had a million baht bounty on Abhisit last April. Somebody did try a hit on yellow shirt Sondhi, and it was much more professionally done than the usual Somchai-on-a-mo'cy shooting.

 

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I'm sure Thaksin is well aware of that possibility. He'd probably like to shoot a few people himself. Interesting times ahead.

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