Younger Thais on Thai Politics

In Thailand’s election next month, there will be 5.6 million first-time voters. We’ve heard a lot of conjecture in the news about what these “new voters” are thinking or supporting, with articles tending to opine that new voters are gravitating mainly towards the Future Forward party. I remained skeptical, however, about this generalization. Many of […]

Vote Future Forward

“By three methods”, Confucius once observed, “we may learn wisdom. First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is bitterest”. If Thailand has gained wisdom, it has indeed been through bitter experience. Repeated military interventions that disrupts democracy, a corrupt political culture and an economy that […]

Thailand’s 2019 Election, Explained

Thailand is (almost certainly) having a general election this year. With new political parties, new leaders to watch, a new constitution and a reconfigured political landscape, this election can feel complicated and quite different from polls in the past. To try to make Thai politics more accessible and the election itself easier to analyze, this […]

Spraying Water and Sweet Words

The most consistently disappointing part about Thailand country is its governance. And this week, as Bangkok becomes enveloped in ever-thickening smog and the air quality index climbed up, we all have our faces in our palms asking: what is the government doing? Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha took to Twitter to assure the nation that “the […]

No More Uniform Thinking

The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘uniform’ as remaining the same in all cases and at all times; unchanging in form or character. Thailand’s thinking on school uniforms has remained, if you may excuse the pun, horrendously uniform over the past couple of decades. Bangkok Christian College, a prestigious private school, launched an experiment to allow students […]

Thailand in Crisis: Unanswered Questions

Thailand’s current political crisis has lasted almost two decades. Three constitutions, two military coups, seven prime ministers, extreme political polarization, numerous color-coded protests and endless turmoil: it is the story of a crisis that has engulfed Thailand in both chaos and tragedy, involved all from the elite to the masses, and still shows no clear […]

Thailand in Crisis: The 2014 Coup

This is the ninth post in the Thailand in Crisis series. The previous post, Amnesty and Anarchy, traced Yingluck Shinawatra’s rule and Thailand’s descent into anarchy after attempts to past the amnesty bill. By May 2014, Thailand was essentially anarchic. Yingluck Shinawatra had been removed from office by the courts and was replaced by a relatively unknown cabinet minister, Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan. The PDRC protestors remained on the streets, but with no clear road ahead. It was political stalemate. Eyes slowly turned towards that traditional kingmaker of […]

Thailand in Crisis: Amnesty and Anarchy

This is the seventh post in the Thailand in Crisis series. The previous post, Battlefield in Bangkok, described Abhisit Vejjajiva’s chaotic premiership and the bloody red shirt protests. When the results rolled in after the polls closed on July 3rd, 2011, one could be forgiven for thinking they had watched this movie before. The ruling Democrat Party, which had dissolved parliament a month previously, was once again trounced. […]