On the election

2 02 2014

Some thoughts on the election from across the Web:

Andrew Walker at ANU: “Respecting the electorate’s judgement may be an impossibly bitter pill for the anti-government forces to swallow. But it would be in their interests to do so.”

Oddly, because we usually agree with Walker’s commentary, we find this piece a bit shallow. The election is important for the symbolic support of voting and elections in the face of threats to them. We do not think that anyone will “respect” the outcome for much more than this. Blame the Democrat Party and their monied supporters for that. Ironically, money has become a symbol of opposition to Thaksin-backed parties.

Money and noA Bangkok Post editorial is lukewarm at best: “Set against a background of tumultuous political conflicts and held despite strong opposition from many parties including the Election Commission (EC) itself, the general election today will be mired in controversy and will likely yield more questions than answers to the ongoing political strife….  Still, the poll is being held as decreed by law and no matter how imperfect it has been, voters nationwide have a duty to cast their ballots.”

At The Nation: It shows its royalist anti-democrat colors by having an editorial on Syria…. It did have an election editorial the previous day: “Whether you are for or against the election, we all a share common duty in preventing violence. ” The editorial seems to diminish the act of voting and to want to scare potential voters.

Prachatai had an election story a couple of days ago: “In many countries, an expression of political will through voting, despite inconveniences and danger, is seen as an admirable act: a fulfilment of a civic duty…. But here in Thailand, voters who fought obstructions and risk their safety to cast the ballots last Sunday were given different labels: ‘traitors’, ‘buffalos’ and ‘the uneducated’.”

Siam Voices made useful points: “As Thailand holds what is considered the most controversial elections in its recent history Sunday, the battle over the country’s future is being fought anywhere but at the ballot…. The anti-election thuggery of last Sunday spoke volumes, when mobs obstructed advance voting in all of Bangkok and parts of the South and thus denied their fellow Thai citizens their right to vote. And we have to expect more of that on election day…. Granted, this coming election won’t solve the political stalemate. But to deny your fellow countrymen the right to vote and to paint everybody who does cast their ballot as ‘traitorous’ is not the way forward…. We’re still battling over how we are going to define the future of our country – and more people should have more freedom to have their say, not less.”



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