Politics: Addressing a bad poll? Up the salary!

A track record of throwing money at problems

  • By Tammy, Thai Intel’s humanity journalist

What happens when one thinks one can buy anything?

Can loyalty be bought or does that just insult people even if they take the money?

Over the week-end the ABAC poll released a poll result that showed that in Bangkok, the opposition Pheu Thai Party was leading the Democrat Party of the Abhisit government by about 10 points-leading up to the election a short time in the future.

The Thai journalist off course went to ask the Democrat Party top echelons what they think. And Abhisit, the Thai prime minister of the Democrat Party said, quote, “The poll is as the situation stands today and not in the future when the election will take place.”

Whatever that means, on Monday, a day later and after the poll result released, the Democrat Party government, in a cabinet meeting, proposed a plan to up the salary of top Bangkok city officials salary by about 10% across the board.

Abhisit, if Thai Intel readers have been following the news-have in the past up the salary of just about everyone in Bangkok that it has control over.

Bangkok is heavily populated by civil servants, teachers, state enterprise workers, soldiers, police and others that Thai Intel can not remember all of them. Well, Thai Intel’s readers guessed it-all of the mentioned people salary were increased some 5%-10% across the board. Then off course, taxi cab drivers, motorcycle taxis and street hawk also got loads of populus policies.

We are talking about over a million people here-after Thai Intel did some rough calculations of those that got a salary increase.

Bangkok is a city of about 10 million people. But the interesting fact is that if we look at the voter base, discounting those not eligible to vote, there might be only about 4-7 million eligible voters in Bangkok.

So that 1 million Bangkokians that got their salary increase, obviously can vote and represents roughly 20-25% of the Bangkok eligible voters. And thus, it is quite a large chunk of voter base that the Democrat Party have increased their salary-in many cases, just recently and ahead of the election.

What is interesting, is that while ABAC poll is like never on the money, it can still help indicate a “What If Scenario.”

The ABAC poll, again saw about a 10 points differences-with the Pheu Thai Party winning in Bangkok. And so what are the Pheu Thai party tools in winning the election and more importantly, who is voting for them?

Thai Intel does not have a clue-except that in Bangkok, the Pheu Thai Party is aligned to the Red Shirts and the Red Shirts have been active. And as recent as last month there was a censure debate-where the poll also gave the government poor marks in their response to the Pheu Thai Party charges.

But media wise, the Pheu Thai Party is isolated-like they hardly even get good coverage. Mostly it is critical news the Pheu Thai Party gets. For example, the powerful Thai Rath, in practically every analysis that governs the newspaper tone-says it out right that Thailand’s problems is about Taksin-who started it all.

After doing all the plus and minus and look at the result-like salary increases and press control by the government-then look at what the Pheu Thai Party has going for it and what is against it-and look at the poll result-it is a curious quagmire.

Does not the increasing salary of about a million people helped? Or even with the vote buying help, this is like the best from the government! What if there is no vote buying, would the bottom fall further? Does not controlling the media important at all?

Like seriously, what is going on for the Pheu Thai Party to be doing so well-even if the poll are hardly ever right in Thailand? Is it just the Red Shirts and the censure debate? Likely not!

Thai Intel has a theory and it is about “Over Kill”, “Over Confidence” and the result is in “not addressing problems.”

The typical Thai in Bangkok is well-informed, there is no getting away from it. Many, may be superficial, but even the Thai prime minister Abhisit-says days before the ABAC poll came out that, quote:  “The people of Bangkok are well-informed.”

Thai Intel would like to add that the people of Bangkok are not just well-informed, but they also face real difficulties and are educated enough to know the solution.

The problem with the government, in Thai Intel’s analysis is simple-they rely on buying votes and control the information flow-but the bottom line is that the people of Bangkok-are mostly beyond that.

Thai Intel speculates that the people of Bangkok wants, quote, “Real Solutions to Real Problems.”

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