Thailand

The Shinawatras have long divided the country in two. The poor peasantry love the Shinawatra family, who do their best to make the farmers’ lives easier. The richer people believe that they are corrupt, and there are question marks over the Shinawatra family’s wealth and acquisitions. Furthermore, the majority of the voting citizenry are poor, and they could well have targeted them as their voting base, hence creating programs to help the needy.

And while brother Thaksin is in exile, sister Yingluck is desperately fending off the opposition. Thailand’s political situation is a mess, and there’s no sign of improvement in the near future. The military could yet pull another coup d’etat at request (or for personal motives), and from what I know, the king has not spoken either. The capital is crippled by the long-running protests, which have erupted into sporadic violence.

Is there a solution? I’m not sure. Shinawatra’s influence in politics is immense. Even after Thaksin left the country and his party was disbanded, the new party formed under Yingluck won a huge majority of votes. The majority of the country loves the Shinawatras, and any democratic process will see them form the government. The opposition government formed after Thaksin was overthrown was just as corrupt, and ineffective; it’s unlikely they can ever win an election fairly.

Is a military coup the only way out? That’s not going to work long-term either, because people will revolt. That’s not to mention the military’s reluctance to intervene this time. If there’s no power to gain from getting involved, Thailand’s already significantly power military will probably avoid it. Can the king do anything? He can speak, and people will listen, but will they obey and let Yingluck continue in office? I doubt it.

Eventually, Thailand could collapse into a state of anarchy. There’s just no easy solution to fix the long-standing political issues that have plagued the country.

I’m lucky to live in a stable country, even if Singapore might not be the freest country in the world. Freedom is important, but freedom without growth? Is that desirable? Not to me. Am I a socialist then? I’m certainly more left-wing than right. Am I rambling now? I think so.

Maybe when the king speaks, Thailand can finally find unity via compromise. If not, then it’ll be a long while before the Shinawatra influence wanes enough for other parties to step up.

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