The Shifting Overton Window of Election Pledges

The Pheu Thai Party recently announced that it would give every Thai above the age of 16 around 10,000 baht in digital currency, should it win the next election. The money would be provided to a digital wallet and was to be spent within six months in shops within a radius of six kilometers.

The proposal, unsurprisingly, sparked furor. It was attacked for its lack of clarity: what, exactly, is the digital money that Pheu Thai wanted to create? Is Pheu Thai usurping the authority of the Bank of Thailand? Is giving everyone 10,000 baht, all at once, not going to super-charge inflation? And does the Thai government even have the capacity to do this without further borrowing, worsening public debt and simply showing a tremendous lack of fiscal discipline?

These are worthy questions, and even the party itself has struggled to answer them, with their responses sometimes shifting day by day. But let’s be clear: in having this conversation, all the parties are fighting on terrain that Pheu Thai chose.

Click here for the full piece at Thai Enquirer.

(Cover image credits)






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