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After a solid win for the Pheu Thai Party in Sunday’s Bangkok by-elections, the party’s leader has called on the Thai PM to dissolve parliament and hold a snap election. Chonlanan Srikaew has welcomed the win and said PM Prayut Chan-o-cha should now dissolve parliament so that fresh elections can be held. Speaking yesterday, he said the government’s failure to ease the ongoing financial burden of Thai people led to by-election defeat for the ruling Palang Pracharat Party. According to a Thai PBS World report, he says the best course of action available to the PM now is to dissolve […]

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It is a call to be expected, but a welcome one.

Thai politics are entering into an interesting phase, with a sense of both new opportunities and 'same, same' concurrently.

I am not a fan of the Pheu Thai (no one really is, it seems), but realistically they are the only party from outside the Bangkok Establishment that can form an alternate government anytime soon, so we all have to grin and bear it. How would they govern? Likely not all that different from the current mob, except there would be a few flagship programs for the poor (good thing; yeah 30 Baht Health Care!)). However, they would be shackled in and prevented from making serious, permanent change like a proper land tax, at least initially. If, and it is a very big 'IF', they manage to last until an opportunity to get re-elected comes along, they could then do more in a second term. To me, all I would want out of a PT government is to see it get re-elected, thus setting a precedent that Thai governments have to come through elections. Yes, a big 'Ask', but there must be some hope.

The PPRP is going to implode, simply because it has no reason for being other than power itself, and that won't be handed to them again. Seriously, what do they stand for? Nationalism? Competence? Ideology? Economic prowess? They got nothing and people are tired of them. It'll take some time to wipe them out completely, but their time leading a government has come and gone forever; they'll disband within two years.

Move Forward is interesting, but won't be a big player for a while yet; it might have attained much more under its initial leadership, but that is gone. Their problem is that they appeal to Bangkok's young and they can be influential due to location, but the relevant fact is that LOT more people live outside of the Capital who vote, and they tend to be more conservative; it is worth remembering that old Poly Sci adage "the Capital Proposes and the Country-side Disposes". However, if they handle themselves well, gain some experience and network outside the capital, they'll be a force eventually.

The Dems (sic) and the BJP will carry on, but neither has a national reach and won't once the old election system returns. Neither has distinguished themself under the current Regime, so they will simply continue on as "Sucker Fish".

I am quite certain that we will see an election this fall; I don't believe that the Bangkok Elite want Prayut to continue because they won't want the Help to get ideas above their station.

Thailand has a great deal of instability coming up, and the possibility of yet another coup can never be discounted.

It is trite, overused, and a cliché, but the old adage of... 

'May you live in interesting times'

...is upon us.

 

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22 minutes ago, Shade_Wilder said:

It is a call to be expected, but a welcome one.

Thai politics are entering into an interesting phase, with a sense of both new opportunities and 'same, same' concurrently.

I am not a fan of the Pheu Thai (no one really is, it seems), but realistically they are the only party from outside the Bangkok Establishment that can form an alternate government anytime soon, so we all have to grin and bear it. How would they govern? Likely not all that different from the current mob, except there would be a few flagship programs for the poor (good thing; yeah 30 Baht Health Care!)). However, they would be shackled in and prevented from making serious, permanent change like a proper land tax, at least initially. If, and it is a very big 'IF', they manage to last until an opportunity to get re-elected comes along, they could then do more in a second term. To me, all I would want out of a PT government is to see it get re-elected, thus setting a precedent that Thai governments have to come through elections. Yes, a big 'Ask', but there must be some hope.

The PPRP is going to implode, simply because it has no reason for being other than power itself, and that won't be handed to them again. Seriously, what do they stand for? Nationalism? Competence? Ideology? Economic prowess? They got nothing and people are tired of them. It'll take some time to wipe them out completely, but their time leading a government has come and gone forever; they'll disband within two years.

Move Forward is interesting, but won't be a big player for a while yet; it might have attained much more under its initial leadership, but that is gone. Their problem is that they appeal to Bangkok's young and they can be influential due to location, but the relevant fact is that LOT more people live outside of the Capital who vote, and they tend to be more conservative; it is worth remembering that old Poly Sci adage "the Capital Proposes and the Country-side Disposes". However, if they handle themselves well, gain some experience and network outside the capital, they'll be a force eventually.

The Dems (sic) and the BJP will carry on, but neither has a national reach and won't once the old election system returns. Neither has distinguished themself under the current Regime, so they will simply continue on as "Sucker Fish".

I am quite certain that we will see an election this fall; I don't believe that the Bangkok Elite want Prayut to continue because they won't want the Help to get ideas above their station.

Thailand has a great deal of instability coming up, and the possibility of yet another coup can never be discounted.

It is trite, overused, and a cliché, but the old adage of... 

'May you live in interesting times'

...is upon us.

I'm not a Khaosod fan, but they had a very interesting and well researched analysis of the election results yesterday, and although there's a 'wind of change' it's far from as clear or as one-way as Pheu Thai thrashing Palang Pracharat.

https://www.khaosodenglish.com/politics/2022/01/31/analysis-bangkok-by-election-results-signal-a-wind-of-political-change/

"Saralrasmi [PP] was not just defeated, she came not second or even third, but fourth with only 7,906 unofficial votes late Sunday night, while her main rival and winner Pheu Thai MP candidate for Chatuchak-Lak Si constituency Surachart Thienthong received 29,416 votes."

But at the same time:

"... two other MP candidates from new royalist political parties, while not part of the ruling coalition, vowing to generally support the government of Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha ... gained a combined total of over 26,000 votes. Atavit, a former Democrat Party MP, won 20,447 votes and came third. ...

At fifth place is Phanthep from the new ultra-royalist Thai Pakdee party getting 5,987 votes.

Combine the three pro-establishment parties, then one has 33,040 votes – enough to emerge ahead of the winning Pheu Thai candidate if combined. This is still substantial, though it says a lot about how divided conservative parties have become.

On the other hand, when combining the votes from the two opposition parties, Pheu Thai and Move Forward, one has 49,777 votes. It is significantly more than that of the ruling party and conservative camp combined."

Three things are clear:

The conservative establishment is as divided as ever.

The progressive opposition are as divided as the conservative establishment, but there are now considerably more of them.

Thailand is still as divided as it it has ever been.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Stonker said:

I'm not a Khaosod fan, but they had a very interesting and well researched analysis of the election results yesterday, and although there's a 'wind of change' it's far from as clear or as one-way as Pheu Thai thrashing Palang Pracharat.

https://www.khaosodenglish.com/politics/2022/01/31/analysis-bangkok-by-election-results-signal-a-wind-of-political-change/

"Saralrasmi [PP] was not just defeated, she came not second or even third, but fourth with only 7,906 unofficial votes late Sunday night, while her main rival and winner Pheu Thai MP candidate for Chatuchak-Lak Si constituency Surachart Thienthong received 29,416 votes."

But at the same time:

"... two other MP candidates from new royalist political parties, while not part of the ruling coalition, vowing to generally support the government of Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha ... gained a combined total of over 26,000 votes. Atavit, a former Democrat Party MP, won 20,447 votes and came third. ...

At fifth place is Phanthep from the new ultra-royalist Thai Pakdee party getting 5,987 votes.

Combine the three pro-establishment parties, then one has 33,040 votes – enough to emerge ahead of the winning Pheu Thai candidate if combined. This is still substantial, though it says a lot about how divided conservative parties have become.

On the other hand, when combining the votes from the two opposition parties, Pheu Thai and Move Forward, one has 49,777 votes. It is significantly more than that of the ruling party and conservative camp combined."

Three things are clear:

The conservative establishment is as divided as ever.

The progressive opposition are as divided as the conservative establishment, but there are now considerably more of them.

Thailand is still as divided as it it has ever been.

 

That is an interesting article you cited (Cheers, Mate), but 'interesting' is also a word I use to describe my father's cooking.

First, the author downplays the reasons for the Dems' (sic) majority wipe out; the by-election was held because her husband was tossed out of Parliament for fraud and by-elections are notorious for being protest events. Simply put, there was never even the remotest chance that the Dems (sic) were going to win or even do well; none, nada, not a chance, nil, zip, etc. However, it isn't clear to me that in the upcoming General Election, with a different candidate than the Fraudster's wife, that the Dems (sic) would do so badly; they could even win the seat if they are lucky (this kind of thing has occurred in many jurisdictions in many countries).

Further to the paragraph above, it doesn't make sense to take too seriously either of the other two 'Royalist' parties' vote total. One easily viable scenario for the next election is that the Dem (sic) vote rebounds to something normal, then the vote totals for the other two "Royalist' parties tumble (were I a betting man...). It often defies common sense, but people tend to keep voting for 'their' traditional parties, and I would expect the Dems (sic) to do much better in a General Election and the two 'Royalist' parties do much worse.

My main 'beef' with the Khaosod analysis is that it is Bangkok-centric. Sadly, Thai media is quite limited these days and almost all based in Bangkok. Further the PTB have spent the last eight years focusing everything on what I call the country of "Bangkok and Surroundings", but Thailand is bigger than that. Finally, Bangkok is not the heartland of the Pheu Thai; the North and North East are. Taken together, the fact that the PT did so well in what has to be considered a bit of a 'Royalist' stronghold I think shows the PT to be much stronger than this result seems to show. Do you think that the 'Royalist' parties will do as well in the NE? I don't. Would the Kla Party even register in Chang Mai? Doubtful. Yes, other parties are going to challenge the PT in the N and NE, but they are also going to be a wee bit tainted by their association with Prayut & Co.

I tend to agree more with the PT on this; this was a HUGE victory for them. And, if the next election is somewhat 'Free and Fair', it bodes well for them winning handily.

Now, if only we knew how 'Free and Fair' things will be...

Sigh.

Double Sigh...

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Shade_Wilder said:

 

 is an interesting article you cited (Cheers, Mate), but 'interesting' is also a word I use to describe my father's cooking.

First, the author downplays the reasons for the Dems' (sic) majority wipe out; the by-election was held because her husband was tossed out of Parliament for fraud and by-elections are notorious for being protest events. Simply put, there was never even the remotest chance that the Dems (sic) were going to win or even do well; none, nada, not a chance, nil, zip, etc. However, it isn't clear to me that in the upcoming General Election, with a different candidate than the Fraudster's wife, that the Dems (sic) would do so badly; they could even win the seat if they are lucky (this kind of thing has occurred in many jurisdictions in many countries

 

As I said, I'm not a Khaosod fan (I read a cross section, even the Thaiger!), but it does give a good breakdown of the numbers to parties and pro-government or opposition which isn't available elsewhere.

21 minutes ago, Shade_Wilder said:

Further to the paragraph above, it doesn't make sense to take too seriously either of the other two 'Royalist' parties' vote total. One easily viable scenario for the next election is that the Dem (sic) vote rebounds to something normal, then the vote totals for the other two "Royalist' parties tumble (were I a betting man...). It often defies common sense, but people tend to keep voting for 'their' traditional parties, and I would expect the Dems (sic) to do much better in a General Election and the two 'Royalist' parties do much worse

Well, it may not "make sense" to you, but the three 'royalist' parties that got over 20,000 votes weren't "traditional parties" but were new parties, and that's about a quarter of the vote.

30 minutes ago, Shade_Wilder said:

My main 'beef' with the Khaosod analysis is that it is Bangkok-centric. Sadly, Thai media is quite limited these days and almost all based in Bangkok. Further the PTB have spent the last eight years focusing everything on what I call the country of "Bangkok and Surroundings", but Thailand is bigger than that. Finally, Bangkok is not the heartland of the Pheu Thai; the North and North East are. Taken together, the fact that the PT did so well in what has to be considered a bit of a 'Royalist' stronghold I think shows the PT to be much stronger than this result seems to show. Do you think that the 'Royalist' parties will do as well in the NE? I don't. Would the Kla Party even register in Chang Mai? Doubtful. Yes, other parties are going to challenge the PT in the N and NE, but they are also going to be a wee bit tainted by their association with Prayut & Co.

I tend to agree more with the PT on this; this was a HUGE victory for them. And, if the next election is somewhat 'Free and Fair', it bodes well for them winning handily.

Now, if only we knew how 'Free and Fair' things will be...

Sigh.

Double Sigh

I don't think it's so much about whether the Thai Pakdee, Kla or others register or "do well" in Issan and elsewhere as whether the growing opposition manage to get their act together and present a more united front -  and there's little to suggest that's likely. 

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