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Thread: Thai Politics

  1. #1
    Senior Member nelsonone's Avatar
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    Mar 2013

    Thai Politics

    another great article from Voranai Vanijaka which touches on the apathetic education system in Thailand as the reason for the state of politics in Thailand today....

    i tend to agree that the public powerplays do seem to have eased somewhat lately compared to flashpoints over the last few years and the Thaksin Govt seems to be getting on with business setting itself up for a long term stay...

    can this actually happen? the old guard losing its grip?...will it be allowed?

    It's all about thaksin

    Over the past two years or so, anti-government groups have launched many rallies and campaigns to regain power. Thus far, they've all failed to gain much momentum.

    • Published: 18/08/2013 at 12:00 AM
    • Writer: Voranai Vanijaka

    Currently, the yellow-shirt People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) seems irrelevant. The Pitak Siam group inspired more than 20,000 protesters, but then wilted quicker than the Thai national team against Barcelona FC. The multi-colour and V for Vendetta groups so far seem nothing more than nuisances to the Pheu Thai government, as was the Democrat Party-sponsored rally earlier this month. Anti-government groups are angry and frustrated, but seemingly there isn't an issue that can inspire enough passion and commitment to make them go for broke.
    Abuse of freedom and human rights? This is Thailand; we are all used to it. The Democrat government was guilty of the same, and even more so where lese majeste is concerned. Corruption? This is Thailand; we are used to it. If Pheu Thai has the rice pledging scheme, the Democrats had the palm oil scheme.
    Dumb politicians saying and doing dumb things? This is Thailand; it's been around for as long as we can remember. General incompetence and arrogance from the government and bureaucrats? Again, what else is new?
    Put it all together and at the end of the day, we're still average, in the middle of the pack. But this is more a testament to the sorry state of the world _ past, present and future _ rather than anything to do with Thailand itself. Digression aside, then what?
    A plot to overthrow the monarchy? That worked for a while, and a few people have claimed to have evidence of it. But it's been more than half a decade since the current political struggles started, and no one has revealed such evidence. So what else is there? What else other than simply the hate-Thaksin campaign?
    Hating Thaksin may be strong enough grounds to inspire the people to come out. Many believe he warrants vilification, and his track record justifies the argument somewhat. This can hardly be an entire political platform _ but this is what the nearly decade-long Thai political squabbles have come to. This should be a surprise to no one, although the platform has been modified somewhat. Now the rallying cry is against what has been dubbed 'the Thaksin regime''.
    Meanwhile, the Pheu Thai government and the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) are considered to be merely tools of Thaksin.
    Will the anti-Thaksin regime movement be successful? Time will tell. But let's consider this. Beneath the surface this is a struggle for power between the old elites and the new elites, both galvanising their support by exploiting the vulnerability and gullibility of society _ a society that throughout history had been shaped through propaganda, superstition and conformist education.
    But that's too complicated for the masses on either side to grasp. It's a political thriller that might win prizes at cinematic award shows and praise from critics, but fail miserably at the box office.
    After all, who would want to watch a movie that portrays them as vulnerable and gullible?
    Even if said theme is true to one degree or another in pretty much any society across the globe.
    On the surface and easiest to digest is simply that one side loves Thaksin and one side hates Thaksin. This political struggle, stripped of all the other facades through the years _ including that little well-exploited concept called democracy _ has simply come down to being about just one man.
    Superhero or Dr Evil, it's a plotline the masses are able to enjoy and digest. It might win the Razzie award for worst picture, slammed by critics, but it's a sure blockbuster hit at box offices across the globe. The irony is that while the so-called Thaksin regime is vilified, the only real difference between it and any other Thai regime of the past is that in the Thaksin regime, Thaksin is in charge. Otherwise, it's all pretty much the same: A nation built upon a cult of personality (whether a person wonderful or deplorable) and managed through a feudalistic, strict hierarchy and centralised budget. We have an appointed or CEO governor while powerful regional political/criminal clans run the provincial show for the central authority.
    It's all underlined by a rote, robotic and conformist education system that will always be the subject of reform talks, but will never be reformed. Why would the powers-that-be ruin a good thing that helps keep the public vulnerable and gullible, and thereby subject to exploitation whenever needed?
    It is unfortunate that the abuse of freedom and human rights, the corruption, general incompetence and arrogance of all past and present Thai political regimes, including Thaksin's, are not enough of a platform to inspire a mass rally that would actually bring change. These injustices are too complicated to rouse passion, too idealistic to grasp. But that's simply because we as a society have been shaped and moulded to worship personalities and adhere to superstitions. Hence, we lack appreciation for a story's theme and plot, meaning and consequences.
    Ours is a culture of celebrities and superstars, hallow and superficial, lacking in substance. To one degree or another, the same can be said across the globe. Such is the state of the world.
    We have learned to live with bad plots, poor acting and low production value, which we nevertheless whine and cry about. But all is fine as long as we have our celebrities and superstars, a cult of personality to worship.
    When we march, no matter the colour of the shirt or mask, we march for personalities and we fake the chants for democracy, human rights and justice. This is no different from producing bad movies with inflated budgets, and proclaiming them to be ''inter'' and Oscar-worthy. Hence, a teenage girl worshipping a superstar with amazing looks but little talent is very much the same as an elderly man worshipping a political personality with a snazzy marketing campaign but little virtue. The teenage girl may have hope of one day growing up, however dim it may be. But for the elderly man, is there hope? Well, given the world as it is we can always hope to stay average or just slightly below as a nation, yet remain at the top of the heap as a tourist destination.
    Contact Voranai Vanijaka via email at

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2013
    I like his articles.

    I do hope he comes from a well-connected family.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Geespot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    UK & Khon Kaen
    Great stuff from him, telling us how it is

    Ruffling a few feathers I'm sure

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