Asia Foundation survey – Part 2: What do the PDRC protesters want?By Bangkok Pundit Mar 03, 2014 10:00AM UTC
BP has already blogged (part 1 and part 2) on the November Asia Foundation survey which surveyed both the PDRC and UDD protesters on November 30. In the middle of January, Asia Foundation conducted a new survey, although this time only of the PDRC protesters, and BP blogged Part 1 on who are the protesters here. The PDF of the complete survey is here.
Chart 10: Motivation in Attending Political Demonstration
BP: For the November survey, it was 48% to end the Shinawatra family political dynasty and 14% to protect the monarchy although now you also have compelling Yingluck to resign and to prevent the government from pursuing bad policies which are also aimed at Thaksin.
Chart 11: Good things of Shinawatra regime:
BP: It should be noted that people are specifically asked what are the goods things of a pro-Thaksin government. What is more noteworthy that 42% find no good examples or that 58% can find something good?
NOTE: Why regime for Shinawatra, but government for the Democrats?
Chart 12: Bad things at Shinawatra regime:
BP: Corruption, corruption, corruption…..
BP: It is not surprising that PDRC protesters are more favorable to the Democrats than to a pro-Thaksin government, but you still have 8% of protesters who say “Nothing’s good” and 4% say “No comment”. Aside from that the answers are not too surprising.
Chart 14: Bad things of Democrat government
BP: Obviously, they have to chose one answer, but it can’t be positive that only 4% gave “no comment” to a bad thing of Democrat governments. This doesn’t mean that they will not vote for the Democrats as many will still vote for the Democrats as the lesser of two evils in comparison with a pro-Thaksin government.
Chart 15: Prioritizing Issues in the Proposed PDRC Reform Agenda
BP: Am glad that the Asia Foundation did a ranking of this. It is clear that corruption is No. 1. However, for all PDRC supporters nationwide (as opposed to only those attending the protests) you will get more from outside of Bangkok and they may give a higher priority to decentralization.
Slight change from the charts
Q16: PDRC has called for a “People’s Council” to take the place of elected government and preside over a reform process. Some people say that People’s Council should include fair representation of all sectors, including those with opposing political views. Do you agree with this statement? (emphasis added by BP)
BP: The answer is agree 84% and 16% say no. However, what PDRC protesters see as a fair representation may not be the same as others.The People’s Council proposal is just a way of removing power from the rural and urban poor by its focus on representatives from professions.
Q17: Formal Commitment to a Reform Mandate Some people say that there should be a legislation (such as a Royal Decree) to guarantee that any party winning the next [February 2, 2014] election must be obliged by it to have reform mandate. Do you agree with this statement?
BP: 76% agree and 24% disagree. Although, those who disagree just may not want to have an election in the first place. Legally, am not sure how can you comply a party to have a reform mandate. More importantly, the reform that some parties might want may be different from the PDRC wants so would those agree then still agree?
Q18: If the winner of the next [February 2, 2014] election was legally required [by royal decree or other formal mechanism] to initiate a national [democratic; political] reform process, would this lead you to abandon the present political demonstrations?
BP: See above.
Q19: Some people say “the decision of some main political parties to boycott the [February 2, 2014] general election will weaken democracy in Thailand.” Do you agree with this statement?
BP: 81% disagree with 19% agreeing. Then again if you really think that reform before elections is necessary then the answer is not surprising.
Q20: In your opinion, given the current political situation, is intervention or a coup by the military is justified?
BP: 73% say no with only 27% saying yes. But see Q21.
Q21: If the current political situation was to deteriorate to the point that violence occurs, would military intervention then be justified to prevent further violence?
BP: 57% say yes and 43% say no.
Q22: Do you think that there are some situations where it is justifiable to use violence in order to achieve political objectives?
BP: 38% say yes and 62% say no. Then again, with the violence since mid-January and the involvement of the “popcorn warriors” and few public objections from protesters the current numbers may even be higher.
Chart 22: Prioritizing Issues in the Proposed PDRC Reform Agenda
Some Thais have suggested that “Thais are not yet ready for equal voting rights.” Thinking about this statement, which of the following three options is closest to your view?
BP: Ok the 30% is fairly clear that they agree with the one person one vote philosophy. The 35% ones about accepting reality and 35% but some some people misinterpret it are less so, but are more not believing in the one person one vote camp.