Thai voter attitudes surveyed

Thai voter attitudes surveyed

While Thai people’s faith in democracy has declined over the past 20 years, they believe it will one day turn around and improve, according to academics at the King Prajadhipok’s Institute (KPI).

At the KPI Election Forum yesterday, Thawilwadee Bureekul, deputy secretary-general of the KPI, unveiled the results of a survey on the behaviour and attitudes of Thai voters.

She said the information came from two sources — questionnaires sent to samples of voters aged 18 and older nationwide late last year, which were part of the Asian Barometer Survey, and a study on voter behaviour, with more than 30,000 samples across the country, conducted in collaboration with the National Statistical Office.

Regarding people’s understanding of politics, most respondents were not convinced that they will be able to have a participatory role in politics or influence the government, Ms Thawilwadee said, adding such beliefs have been around for 20 years.

The survey also found that people have become less satisfied with democracy, though they still favour democracy over other forms of government, she said.

Ratchawadee Sangmahamad, an academic at the KPI’s Research and Development Office, said that the Pheu Thai Party, the Palang Pracharath Party and the Democrat Party were best at publicising their policies for the upcoming elections.

As part of that, the use of social media is playing a greater role in election campaigns, Ms Ratchawadee said.

Stithorn Thananithichot, director of the KPI’s Office of Innovation for Democracy, said that in the next poll, political parties will have to rely on the clout of political clans in local areas, in addition to parties’ popularity, to win constituency seats.