Thursday 20 December 2007

Thailand Election

I'm getting scared. I am actually getting a knot of anxiety slowly developing around my solar plexus. The Thai elections are coming up in 3 days time and considering the events over the last 15 months, this is going to be interesting to say the least.

I can't even begin to write about the complexities of Thai politics but it seems to all boil down to vote buying. If you line the poor people's pockets, they will turn out en masse to support you. It's all about appearances. Look at the news- that party has thousands of people supporting their rally, they must be good, lets vote for them too. Oh, no one supports that party, I'm not going to either. Party 1 = the puppet party of of ex-PM Taksin (proven to be vote buyers in the last election). Party 2 = the Democrat party who don't buy votes and are trying to clean up Thailand's widespread political corruption.

The majority of Thailand's population are from rural areas in the north (Taksin's home town) and north-east (Thailand's poorest people) so it seems obvious that whoever they vote are going to win the election. I concede that I'm probably a bit biased living in southern Thailand and listening to my husband's reasoning but even from my own observations it seems so blindingly obvious that the candidate for the People Power Party (the man that eerily resembles a pig) is just a puppet being ruled by someone more intelligent with money to burn. In yesterdays televised election debate with Thailand's major parties (including the leader of the Democrats), Samak (a.k.a. Pig Man) didn't participate. Does anyone ask why? Taksin openly supports PPP (by video tape asking Thai people to vote for them), Taksin's kids are showing up in support of them. 3 men from Hong Kong (Taksin has a house and many business associates from HK) are being investigated for illegally bringing 60 million baht into the country last week. Hmm very suspicious indeed.

One of the reoccurring themes in Thai culture or Thai lifestyle (for want of a better word) is their inability to future plan, to think about long term consequences. It's all about the here and now. Very Buddhist, but not exactly practical. It's true that farang do think too much but there has to be a middle ground between the two. So why am I feeling anxious? All the polls point to Mr Pig being Mr Big by next week. Thailand's new Prime Minister.

If you want to read in depth info about Thai politics go to bangkokpundit's blog on all things political.

3 commentaramas:

Carol said...

If it makes you feel any better Mel I think all Farangs in the country of smiles are collectively holding their breaths!!

There is definately a tension in the air at the moment.

C x

Mel said...

Not only farangs either..I think a lot of people are worried he's actually gonna get in.

Carol said...

I know.....I@m keeping my fingers crossed that enough people vote the other way.

C x