On January 13, LSE IDEAS, a centre for the study of international affairs, diplomacy and grand strategy at the London School of Economics, spoke to Thai politics scholar Duncan McCargo about Thai politics. A brief summary is below and Duncan’s full answer is on YouTube here:
Asking the question as to whether the Democrats could win in the forthcoming general election, which is widely anticipated to take place in 2011, Professor McCargo reviewed the party’s performance at the ballot box going back to the mid 1980s. What he noted, is that one needs to go back to 1986 to find the last time they won a decisive election victory. And, as McCargo continued through the nineties and into the noughties, a clear pattern emerged. Yes, the Democrats can win power but rarely via an election and, moreover, they struggle to hold onto it. The key point, as McCargo delicately put it, is that time and time again “extra-electoral forces” intervene to seal their fate either way. The implications in terms of the future are clear but it is not a future to be envied with further street demonstrations between the so-called red and yellow shirts likely. In addition, it is not even certain that the elections will be held in 2011.
BP: Duncan is of course the author of one of the most influential journal articles on Thai politics, namely “Network monarchy and legitimacy crises in Thailand” which can be downloaded from here. 1. Will the establishment allow an election? 2. If so, will they intervene after the next election if they are not happy with the result? BP sees most likely as the answer for both….
btw, you can check the rest of the LSE Ideas blog post for some views by Professor Peter Leyland, Professor of Public Law at London Metropolitan University.