Time to pick a lesser Mr Wrong
We all know what the upcoming Bangkok gubernatorial election means. Politics makes us all a sad lady having to choose a lesser male devil from a dreaded lot that takes us for granted 99 per cent of the time. The worst part is, most of us won't even act like a woman scorned and screw them all on March 3. That, we fear, could play into the hands of the one we hate the most. Admit it, elections are not necessarily proof of empowering democracy; they sometimes exist only to trap us in a kind of romantic slavery.The city election is a great example. There is no prince charming. The candidates are those who give us goose bumps for the wrong reasons. But we will have to go to vote. We are afraid that if we don't exercise our right, we will have to live with others' poor judgement. We know our choice might be bad, but essentialism tells us to stick by our decision, so come what may.
But talking about essentialism, it's doubtful we can be much different from the others on March 3. From early opinion polls, Twitter messages and Facebook updates, 4.3 million Bangkok voters seem to be divided into eight groups or so. Yes, you want to stand out as a wise chooser, but this is no climax of a fairy tale. In other words, everyone is in the same boat, without exception. The frog you kiss on the day will remain a frog. If it doesn't become something worse, that is.
So, all Bangkok voters out there, let's see what kind of lady you are, going into the gubernatorial election:
Miss Do It To Me One More Time. Sukhumbhand Paribatra has hurt you, and your feeling coincides with his own party's apparent reluctance to nominate him for a second term. However, you take one look at his closest opponent and the party that supports him, and voting for Sukhumbhand is a foregone conclusion.
Miss Pongsapat Who? But I Don't Care. Pheu Thai candidate Pongsapat Pongcharoen cannot be classified as a new kid on the block, but he's someone you never thought of, who came out of the blue shortly after Thaksin Shinawatra's conspicuous comment, "We would win even if an electricity pole ran for us". It doesn't matter. You take one look at his closet opponent and the party that supports him, and voting for Pongsapat is a foregone conclusion.
Miss Enough Is Enough. Sukhumbhand has disappointed you, big time. And although Thaksin publicly endorsing Pongsapat makes you cringe like nothing else, you can't give the incumbent a second chance. You know that voting for the likes of Suharit Siamwalla or Seripisut Temiyavej will boost Pongsapat's chances of "working seamlessly with the government", but you tell yourself, "So be it."
Miss It's New So Sue Me. Sometimes - often, in fact - women buy new shoes not because they look great, but because they are new. But where this Bangkok election is concerned, strange-looking things on offer won't attract much attention. This group of voters is smaller than the first three. You are not ideologically attached to any big party, and the idea of having an unorthodox DJ with a penchant for outrageous outfits and avant-garde stage shows, Suharit Siamwalla, at the forefront of city flood prevention, traffic solutions and garbage disposal is sexy to say the least.
Miss Screw The Ideology. This is the smallest group. You don't care which candidate comes from which party, or which "independent" is possibly a decoy. You check their backgrounds, give personal qualifications the attention they deserve, and put non-political interests above anything else. You may dislike Thaksin, but you're prepared to choose Pongsapat if your research tells you he's good. On the other hand, you may abhor the way the Democrat government treated the red-shirt protesters, but you could vote for Sukhumbhand if you conclude Bangkok needs him more than it does the others. You will also give Suharit, Seripisut and other candidates an equal study.
Miss Screw The Ideology, Pretentiously. This group is considerably large. You go on telling people that "political colours" don't matter, only you lie. Somewhere in the back of your head, something tells you to think of the "Bangkok massacre" or the "city burning", depending on which side you've been on.
Miss Glass Closet. You are like Miss Screw The Ideology, Pretentiously, only people can smell your "colours" from miles away. If you are in this category, don't be too hard on yourself. Politics never creates a Snow White out of us. What it does is dress up a nightmare as a fairy tale and put you in it.
Miss Scorned. Another very small group. You can't forgive the Democrats for their take-Sukhumbhand-again-or-leave-it contempt, and you find Thaksin Shinawatra to be equally insulting when he said that even if Pheu Thai fielded an electricity pole in the election, it would win. I'm having nothing to do with this contest of electricity poles, you tell yourself. You will either mark abstention on election day or stay home and re-watch "Raeng Ngao" on the Internet.
Writer's note: "What about you, Mr Writing From Your High Horse?" you may ask. I know a lot of people are wondering. All I can say is, I'm as much of a bitter voter as the Bangkokian next to me. See you on March 3.