February 01, 2014 00:00
By Chanon Wongsatayanont
Eight people were asked what they plan to do when the elections come around on Sunday. Here are their answers:
Punsak Srithep, 47
Taxi driver, Nonthaburi
I have created a Facebook page called “Go to the election, but don’t vote for Pheu Thai”. I lost faith in the party after the blanket amnesty bill. I will vote for a small party instead of casting a ‘no vote’.
I have never really picked a specific party before, but have voted for Yingluck [Shinawatra] as I believed that she, as a woman, would help ease the conflict.
Buntoon Sedsirot, 45
Director, Good Governance for Social Development and Environmental Institute
I am going to cast a ‘no vote’ because I want to show my disapproval of the election system, which only seems to have form but no content. There’s no reason to vote, because no parties have proposed any policies for us to choose from.
Previously, there were never any clear differences in different parties’ policies because they all tended to be populist-oriented to win more votes. Now, since the parties are becoming more polarised, I think we will see policies that are more diverse.
Pinyapat Prapaisanitkung, 32
I will cast a ‘no vote’ because I think reform is required before a new government is put in place.
Previously, I mainly voted for specific people, rather than political parties or policies, because honest people can be trusted to carry out their policies.
Somboon Chirayus, 52
I will not turn up, as I don’t support the February 2 election. I advocate the movement for reform before election because the current electoral system is flawed. While holding an election is the best system, it should first be reformed so there is no vote buying – a practice that is prevalent in rural provinces.
In earlier elections, I have always chosen the Democrat Party because it was the best choice available, as it is more fairly run than other parties.
Narumon Jirarattanatairoj, 36
Business owner, Phuket
I will cast a ‘no vote’ because it is my right to vote and I am not against elections. I want to declare that I pick no one.
I’ve mostly picked Democrat candidates before, even though I don’t particularly like the Democrat Party. I am aware of the political game that is going on and realise that most people in the North and Northeast will vote for Pheu Thai. So, I have to vote for the Democrats to counter this. Otherwise, Pheu Thai will have too much power.
Jiraporn Maneeporm, 40
I will vote because there is already a party I believe in. I have voted for this party in the past and they have truly helped, like during the 2011 flood crisis. I have not seen any other party help like they did.
Sumlee Utsa, 35
I will not go back to Nong Khai to vote. Though I want to exercise my right, I have realised that if I vote, then everything, such as the rice-pledging scheme, will remain the same. So, why should I vote? I will just abstain, as it’s my right to abstain. I have also stopped reading news reports. I only read headlines and blurbs.
Karnsupa Khamlor, 34
I haven’t decided if I will go to Chai Nat to cast my vote. I am now closely monitoring the news as the election might end up being nullified. If I go, I will cast a ‘no vote’. I have never missed an election in the past or cast a ‘no vote’ before.