Thailand and Mass Politics

Thailand and Mass Politics – WSJ, July 3, 2011
…The incumbent Democrat Party and the challenger Pheu Thai fought this contest primarily on the basis of party platforms and the personal appeal of the candidates. That may sound unremarkable, but Thai politics used to be the province of bland characters who campaigned on their ability to bring benefits to their local constituencies.
Patronage and vote buying continue to play a part in Thai politics today. But it’s striking that in the last few weeks both parties mobilized their supporters on the basis of their visions for the nation as a whole. The pro-Thaksin Pheu Thai set the agenda of rural development and globalization, and the Democrats were forced to follow…

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