From Manager, May 1, 2018
On the sign at top left: Polluted politicians
PM Prayuth, bottom left: Must [big word] absorb!!! It’s Thai culture.
The cartoonist shows Thai PMs who used this strategy starting from the bottom left to right, Prayuth, Thaksin, Chavalit Yongchaiyudh
Top right to left: Chuan Leekpai, Suchinda Kraprayoon and Chatichai Choonhavan.
[Each party, particularly the big parties, will try to attract MPs to their teams with the aim to win the election and thus support the party’s choice for PM.
The cartoonist shows this as a septic tank collection pipe which sucks up useless, old-guard politicians.
The 1990s were rife with MPs being offered huge sums of money to switch parties or otherwise ditch existing alliances.
Then, for years, this process was muted as Thaksin successfully collected MPs first into his Thai Rak Thai Party. He was then able to prevent MPs from leaving his party largely due to the 1997 charter that made it difficult to switch. Those who switch alliances, like Newin, found themselves hounded out of politics.
Foreign observers often mistake the installation of a prime minister as proof of public support. However, it merely means that MPs (regional bosses who will win one way or another), have been bought up to support a certain party’s pick for PM.
This time, Thaksin’s control finally seems weakened and there is a free for all with PM Prayuth welcoming any political groups to join his alliance.
This is often referred to as a Political vacuum cleaner.]