From Thairath, December 26, 2003
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra: Banharn brother, you’ve been in this political world so long so you’d better understand this situation.
The vacuum cleaner has the a logo of Thai Rak Thai Party on it.
The sign post reads: Thai Nation Party
The party’s leader Banhanrn Silpa-arch is holding on to the signpost.
[It is often claimed that Thaksin or his party consistently win absolute majorities in elections. However, the blocks of elected MPs that support Thaksin are not the result of Thaksin’s organic popularity.
Thaksin simply absorbed existing political blocks and, through his complete mastery of the all parts of government, forced their leaders into retirement or silence as it became clear that his growing majority would mean that no electoral force could dislodge Thaksin from power in his lifetime.
While this represented a fundamental change in the formerly coalition-based Thai system, many cheered it as it was sweeping away old political hands like Banharn.
In the cartoon, Thaksin is saying that the old regional political blocks have to accede to the reality that Thailand needs an unopposed strong man PM like Thaksin to be able to develop further.
Of course, the irony is that Banharn, after all these years, has still managed to hold on to his independence and keep his coalition as part of a sitting government time and again. This quality is the ultimate goal of a Thai MP and is what causes MPs to stick with Banharn.]