The newsroom says this Bangkok gubernatorial election is boring, and I have felt the same since the election campaign kicked off. Although all the candidates, except incumbent governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra, are new faces, this fact helps so little to spice up the election. The polls seem to make reflect how uninspiring the whole thing is, clearly suggesting a two-horse race with more than 50 per cent of voters preferring a candidate running under a party banner. On top of this, as the popularity of Pheu Thai candidate Police General Pongsapat Pongcharoen rose, some even assumed that it could be a one-horse race.Recently, you may have heard that it is back to a neck-and-neck competition between Pongsapat and Democrat MR Sukhumbhand. Here we go again, a clash of the Titans.
Dominating the campaign is the "either-us-or-them" mindset, and all the same old patterns of the pre- and post-Thaksin Shinawatra era are there to see.
"Vote for us for 'seamless' management," says Pheu Thai, claiming that Pongsapat is the right choice if you want smooth cooperation between the city and the central government.
"Don't let them monopolise the whole country," cries the Democrat Party, which stresses how important it is that voters do not let the capital become the last jigsaw piece in Pheu Thai's (read Thaksin's) desire for complete control.
We are back to where we were again - a neck-and-neck race between the two main rivals.
Still, when a lot of people think the Bangkok election is so dull, it doesn't mean that you need to make it boring too. Perhaps it is time to escape from the old-fashioned battle between the pro- and anti-Thaksin sides. Let's make it a bit more exciting by voting for a dark horse. Okay, I'll help you a bit here by showing you the five reasons you should not vote for either Pongsapat or MR Sukhumbhand.
Don't vote for Pongsapat because:
He is from ruling Pheu Thai Party. Giving him victory means Pheu Thai will take absolute control of the country. The "seamless" campaign could also be interpreted as meaning that there will be no check or balance on any corruption, as many mock it "seamless corruption"!
He is a policeman. Have you ever met a good cop? Enough said.
It sounds ridiculous to have a Bangkok governor whose nickname is "Judie".
Thaksin Shinawatra said that Pheu Thai will win a general election no matter who the party fields for the Bangkok election. The words still echo in many people's ears. "Even if we put up an electricity pole, we would win."
Respectable activist-philosopher, and one of the country's most honest voices, Sulak Sivaraksa, has come out and told all eligible voters not to choose Pongsapat because it will pave the way for absolute control by the "greater" evil, which he directly indicates is PM Yingluck Shinawatra's fugitive brother Thaksin. In his Facebook message, the philosopher and author of books on Buddhism asks his followers not to make Thaksin's dream come true.
Don't vote for MR Sukhumbhand because:
He's from the opposition Democrat Party. Giving him victory means our capital will never receive strong support from a central administration led by its rival. If you can't get a clear picture in your mind, think about the lack of cooperation between the government and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration during one of the capital's worst flooding disasters, over a year ago.
He isn't a policeman. And we have seen that he hardly gets any cooperation from police when mobsters block Bangkok streets.
It sounds so old-fashioned to have a "Mom" (MR is the abbreviation of the minor royal title momrajawongse) as a governor, and every time we address him, we the commoners feel inferior.
The Democrat Party doesn't want to send an "electricity pole", but as the party stubbornly sends MR Sukhumbhand, who is not favoured by many Democrat supporters, the party seems to join its rival in believing that they can win even if they send the least favourite party member.
Sulak Sivaraksa, that lying snake and hypocrite to many, yet dubbed Thailand's leading philosopher, has asked Bangkok voters to vote for the "lesser" evil MR Sukhumbhand, after describing how bad and unreliable the Democrat Party is. He asked us to fight against Thaksin's evil power by voting for the Democrat candidate. His wish is to see Thaksin fail to control the whole country.