An electorate of morons

5 04 2012

Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva apparently thinks that Thailand’s electorate (and international observers) is composed of morons and dolts. After all, his recent statements at the Bangkok Post, where he is claimed to have called for a “new blueprint” to prevent “the Thai political system was being monopolised” presumably by the electorally popular pro-Thaksin Shinawatra parties, including Puea Thai.

PPT reads this statement of monopoly as being a claim that is plagiarized directly from the ultra-royalist and rightist yellow shirt groups. While he doesn’t dare use the same terminology, his perspective jives with that of, for example, People’s Alliance for Democracy leader Phipob Dhongchai who said his movement “stood ready to step out and fight against the domination of rogue capitalists over the political system.” Tul Sitthisomwong has said similar things as have his conservative ultra-royalist buddies like appointed  Senator Kamnoon Sidhisamarn, an ASTV/Manager journalist.

We guess he thinks that his audience is too stupid to notice that he is simply lifting “ideas” and slogans from the more extremist elements of royalist politics.

PPT also reads Abhisit as complaining that the electorate rejects his declining and increasingly decrepit party because of political “tricks” when he refers to “[n]ew political tools” that are “introduced to maintain a [Thaksin] political monopoly…”.

Abhisit must feel that his complaints here are explaining something about why his party loses. Perhaps he would be better served by not considering the public as morons but rather looked at the repeated electoral failures of the royalist Democrat Party in every election since 2000. Indeed, perhaps the party could look at why it almost always fails to attract voters despite being the country’s oldest party.

Abhisit then declares that one of the “new political tools” that cause his party’s repeated defeat is “populism.” He claims that “populist schemes” are just to “woo votes” rather than “to solve grass-roots economic problems.”

Huh? What was Abhisit doing at the head of the Democrat Party and as prime minister when there was an attempt to unashamedly plagiarize Thai Rak Thai/People’s Power/Puea Thai policies and to even out-populist the pro-Thaksin lot? Does he believe that people simply forget what he and his party did and promised? Whether one likes so-called populism or not, the Democrat Party seemed to be swimming in it not that long ago.

Abhisit now comes to the conclusion that “the people have become poorer with household debt rising sharply…”. If that were true, then the anti-Thaksin governments of 2006-11, including the one Abhisit led should take their share of the blame.

[As a footnote on this, see Bangkok Pundit’s recent post on household debt, and while none of us at PPT read economics at Oxford, it would seem to dismiss Abhisit’s statement.]

Abhisit now reckons that to “transcend the trap of populist policies, all sides should help design a new blueprint for the country.” What a surprise to learn that the true blue Democrat Party have “devised strategies which … could be used as a fundamental guideline for the blueprint.”

Abhisit doesn’t explain why, when in government, they had no such strategies, plans or blueprints, apart from a political strategy that drove Thailand into the company of authoritarian states.

With that in mind, it is jaw-droppingly ironic to hear Abhisit say that “Thais of different political ideologies must unite.” He must believe that the public have a contagious political amnesia.

More so when he brazenly declares:

The party will play a leading role, but it must be borne in mind that reconciliation cannot be achieved by force, intimidation or the majority vote. It also should not be used to whitewash cheating politicians.

Can it be done by an auto-whitewashing by an elitist leader who has no respect for the people or their votes?

Finally, the man responsible for blocking, censoring, and repressing on a scale that puts even some military regimes to shame, Abhisit comes up with his final conjuring trick, declaring without a hint on embarrassment that:

Politically, Thailand needs true democracy with people having complete freedom to express their views while respecting the rights of others to do so as well.

Politics is partly about memory, and PPT believes that the average person in Thailand can easily remember what Abhisit and his regime really did when hoisted to power on the shoulders of the military brass who kept hold of some of the puppet strings. As much as Abhisit and his ilk may believe it, the people are not stupid children who need elite lads to whip them into shape.