Democrat Party desperation

1 03 2013

The election for Bangkok governor is a major test for the tainted Democrat Party. The current leadership of the appears desperate for a win despite the fact that they wanted someone other than the princely incumbent Sukhumbhand Paribatra to stand for them. Sukhumbhand threatened to stand as an independent if his party went with another candidate and the party realized that this would mean a certain loss, even if his performance as governor has been lackluster.

So it is that The Nation reports an interview with Democrat Party election director Ong-art Klampaibul that produces some remarkable nonsense. Of course, we have to assume that The Nation reports accurately….

In his interview, Ong-art apparently “admitted that it was tougher for an incumbent candidate to retain his seat in comparison to new faces. He explained that a new face would always have an advantage because people will have already seen the incumbent’s performance, while people would want to test a newcomer.” Well, yes, an if the “old face’s” performance has been poor, then they might also vote for a “new face.” The idea that voting based on (poor) performance is a negative for the Democrat Party does, however, appear to have been proven in past elections.

Still, Ong-art reckoned that Sukhumbhand had a chance of re-election because “the Democrat Party had mobilised its MPs and high-profile members to beg for support so the incumbent Sukhumbhand can complete his unfinished projects.” “Beg” is an interesting term.

Ong-art then meandered into relationships and argued against voting for a Puea Thai candidate just because he can work with the national government. He argued that:

… previous Bangkok governors, who were from the Democrat Party, had no problems working with the state government over the past eight years, citing governments led by Thaksin Shinawatra, Surayud Chulanont, Samak Sundaravej and Somchai Wongsawat. He added that Sukhumbhand only had problems with the Pheu Thai-led government over the past six months or so….

The thread here seems to be that voting for a Puea Thai candidate who can work with the government is not a good idea, even though the ability of former Democrat Party governors to work with the national government is sold as a positive. Yet he then says: “this so-called seamless cooperation will never be real…”. So it wasn’t real when he claimed it was for his party? It appears Ong-art missed that class on logic at university.

He then went on to his big sell, saying that he “hoped Bangkokians would come out in full force to vote for Sukhumbhand Paribatra and relay the message that they do not want the entire country to be controlled by just one family.” He added: “This election has special significance because it will decide whether Bangkokians are willing to give all the power to Pheu Thai, a certain group of people or a single family…”. He means the Shinawatra family.

Ong-art proudly pointed out that:

the party has created a new set of pink stickers to put on Sukhubhand’s campaign posters to try and win more support. The stickers carry messages like: “I work hard for Bangkokians”, “I’m honest, not a cheat”, “This Democrat stays put for Bangkokians” and “Joining forces against monopoly”.

Is it just us or does this sound like Democrat Party desperation? Perhaps they realized that failed tactics from their rout in the July 2011 election campaign and a tainted party leader still weren’t working. Maybe.



2 responses

4 03 2013
Gubernatorial election round-up | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] weeks. We did post on Abhisit Vejjajiva as damaged political goods and had a comment on what was Democrat Party desperation as the polls were against […]

4 03 2013
Gubernatorial election round-up «Political Prisoners of Thailand Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] weeks. We did post on Abhisit Vejjajiva as damaged political goods and had a comment on what was Democrat Party desperation as the polls were against […]

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