Thailand: Sham Elections Unravel in Humiliation

Less than half the nation bothers to vote at polling
stations uninterrupted by protests indicating a vote of no confidence in
both the current regime, or the so-called “democratic process” it
presides over.

Image: Nepotist-appointed
proxy PM Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of deposed dictator Thaksin
Shinawatra would complete the humiliation of the regime’s sham elections
February 2, 2014, by placing her ballot witlessly into the wrong box.
She would then blame election officials for misdirecting her in yet
another display of serial deferral of personal responsibility. 

….

February 3, 2014 (ATN) – While the New
York Times and other Western media sources supporting the regime of
billionaire convicted criminal, fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra attempt to
claim protesters disrupted elections on Sunday, February 2, 2014, voter
turnout at polling stations unaffected by the protests tell a different
story entirely – especially in the north and northeast regions of
Thailand where the regime allegedly draws the majority of its support
and where polling went uninterrupted.

In Bangkok Post’s article, “Lowest voter turnout in Samut Sakhon,” it reports: 

The
Northeast region recorded the biggest overall turnout with 56.14 per
cent, followed by the North with 54.03 per cent, the South with 44.88
per cent and Central region with 42.38 percent.

The Bangkok Post would compare these turnouts with 2011, where a 74% turnout was recorded, and stated that the overall voter turnout this year was 45%. It should be remembered that voting is compulsory in Thailand.

The
abysmal voter turnout alone is an indictment of the illegitimacy of the
ruling regime, since not voting was considered a sign of support for
the ongoing “Occupy Bangkok” campaign,
now entering its fourth week. However, those that did vote, did not
necessarily vote for the ruling party – the only major party on the
ballot. Many defaced their ballots in protest, while others checked “no
vote.” While the regime is gloating over their “victory” in its
one-party election, the fact that less than half of the population even
bothered to vote means the vast majority of Thais have either lost faith
in the process or are directly opposed to the regime, or perhaps both.

That
has not stopped the regime’s Western backers from claiming victory for
the embattled dictatorship. The New York Times in its article, “Protesters Disrupt Thai Voting, Forcing Additional Elections,” claimed:

Protesters
seeking to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Yingluck
Shinawatra disrupted Thailand’s general election on Sunday in what
appeared to be a prelude to more political upheaval.

The
opposition forces, who represent a minority of Thais and are seeking to
replace the country’s elected government with an appointed council of
technocrats, said they would challenge the election results in court
while continuing to hold street demonstrations in Bangkok, the capital.

Clearly
if more people didn’t vote than did, the opposition is not a minority,
it is now the majority. And while the NYT attempts to portray the
protesters as the “Bangkok establishment,” it should be noted that many
roads in the north and northeast region claimed by NYT to be strongholds
of the regime are blocked by rice farmers cheated by the regime’s 2011
vote-buying rice scheme that has since collapsed in scandal, corruption, and bankruptcy.

Image:
In Thai, the election turnout from 2011 (in blue) versus the election
turnout this year (in red). Despite many more eligible voters this year
than in 2011, fewer came out to vote. While the turnout at polling
stations undisturbed by ongoing protests indicate a drastic vote of no
confidence in both the regime and the “democratic process” it presides
over, the regime and its Western backers have desperately tried to
leverage the charade as a renewed mandate to perpetuate their grip on
power. 

….

The
NYT admits that voting went smoothly in the north and northeast but
cannot account for the abysmal turnout, there, and elsewhere where
voting went on uninterrupted.

Another curiosity was the
noticeable lack of violence, indicating that the regime itself has been
behind the months of bloodshed overshadowing an otherwise peaceful
protest – with the one event they wanted to be a peaceful “success”
violence free.

What’s Next

The
regime will now be forced to remain in the unfavorable role as
“caretaker” for months as it tries to finish an election process that
will only yield an underwhelming, questionable mandate, while protesters
will continue occupying, marching, and calling for mass mobilizations
as they have done so for the past 3 months.

Strategies
by the regime and its Western backers revolving around an anticipated
military coup have also been utterly confounded.

In the interim,
while the regime slowly implodes in on itself, with large sections of
its own support base turning on it, protesters who have been focused on
street action can now focus on breaking off into groups and focusing on
developing their agenda into local organizations and institutions that
will displace the corrosive, ineffective, corrupt ministries currently
run by the Thaksin Shinawatra regime.

These could focus on education, agriculture, technology, public accountability, alternative media,
or a combination of disciplines and solutions that could form the
foundation of the necessary reforms and improvements both desired and
indeed necessary in Thai society. The protest leadership could also take
this time to draft a comprehensive, enumerated Thai and English reform
policy for mass distribution to lay to rest the myth that their “reform”
is “undefined” and “undemocratic.”

Time is on the
side of the protesters, with a regime now reaping the full consequences
of its short-sighted unsustainable vote-buying schemes promised in 2011.
Thaksin Shinawatra, his proxy regime, and indeed his Western backers
will only hemorrhage support, legitimacy, and credibility in the weeks
and months to come as their options begin to narrow. Conversely, the
protest movement has many options at its disposal – whether it decides
to maintain its large scale occupation or consolidate sites – but will
stand the biggest chance of success if it takes advantage of its current
victory while resisting complacency or overconfidence.