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  1. #1
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    Thailand : Majority Backs Government’s Crackdown

    Thais Majority Backs Government’s Crackdown
    May 29, 2010



    (Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Most people in Thailand agree with the way the government forced protesters out of a camp in Bangkok earlier this month, according to a poll by Suan Dusit University. 51.3 per cent of respondents support the government’s actions, but 40.2 per cent reject them.

    Thailand has experienced more than three years of political instability, including the dissolution of the lower house, a cancelled national election, a military coup and the enactment of a new constitution. In December 2007, Thailand held a legislative ballot. Final results gave the People’s Power Party (PPP) 232 of the 480 seats, followed by the Democratic Party (PP) with 165 mandates. In January 2008, PPP leader Samak Sundaravej became prime minister.

    Samak’s government faced fierce opposition and major street protests led by the civic organization People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD). The group accused Samak of being a puppet of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was deposed in a 2006 military coup.

    In August 2008, the PAD occupied the Government House in Bangkok, demanding Samak’s resignation. Samak stepped down in September after the national Constitutional Court found that he violated conflict of interest laws when he received payments for hosting two television cooking shows. Then deputy prime minister Somchai Wongsawat took over as acting head of government.

    In November, PAD yellow-clad activists took over Bangkok’s international airport—where the government had been working from after its offices were invaded in August—demanding Somchai’s resignation. The airport was forced to shut down entirely, stranding thousands of tourists.

    In December, the Constitutional Court ordered the PPP and its two coalition partners, the Machima Thipatai Party and the Chart Thai Party, to disband after it found them guilty of voter fraud in the 2007 ballot. The court also banned Somchai and executives from the three parties from participating in politics for five years. Somchai accepted the verdict and stepped down. Protesters at the airport ended the siege. PP leader Abhisit Vejjajiva became prime minister, with the support of 235 lawmakers in the House of Representatives.

    In March 2009, Thaksin accused Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda of masterminding the 2006 military coup, and openly called for a "people’s revolution" to topple the Abhisit government.

    In April, the National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD)—an extension of the Puea Thai Party led by Thaksin and whose followers wear red shirts—organized protests in Bangkok and Chonburi.

    In June, the PAD’s Yellow Shirts formally created a political party, the New Politics Party, and chose labour activist Somsak Kosaisuk as its leader.

    On Mar. 12, 2010, the Red Shirt movement took control of Ratchaprasong, an area in the heart of Bangkok’s commercial district, demanding early legislative elections and the resignation of prime minister Abhisit.

    On May 13, after issuing several public warnings, the government ordered the military to enter the Red Shirts’ camp in Ratchaprasong and disperse the dissidents. Power, water and food supplies were cut from the camp. Eighty-five people died in the confrontations, which went on for days. The Red Shirts eventually surrendered. As they were leaving, some of them lit 36 buildings on fire, including a major shopping mall, and looted stores and banks. Another 54 people died in these events.

    On May 25, a Thai court issued an arrest warrant against Thaksin on terrorism charges for his alleged participation in the Red Shirts’ actions. Through his Twitter account, the deposed prime minister responded to the warrant saying, "As I was fighting peacefully for justice for the return of my robbed assets, I was slapped with terrorism charges."


    Polling Data

    Which of these statements comes closest to your own point of view?

    I agree with the government’s move to reclaim Ratchaprasong by cutting the power, water and food supplies to the protest venue as the country and the economy could be further damaged if it persisted
    51.3%

    I disagree with the government’s move as it has resulted in the loss of lives and properties, and damaged the country’s image
    40.2%

    Source: Suan Dusit University
    Methodology: Interviews with 1,387 adults in Thailand, conducted in May 2010. No margin of error was provided.

    angus-reid.com

    Headline and questions asked don't quite match ......................

    .



  2. #2
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    "
    Polling Data

    Which of these statements comes closest to your own point of view?

    I agree with the government’s move to reclaim Ratchaprasong by cutting the power, water and food supplies to the protest venue as the country and the economy could be further damaged if it persisted
    51.3%

    I disagree with the government’s move as it has resulted in the loss of lives and properties, and damaged the country’s image
    40.2%

    Source: Suan Dusit University
    Methodology: Interviews with 1,387 adults in Thailand, conducted in May 2010. No margin of error was provided.

    angus-reid.com

    Headline and questions asked don't quite match ......................"

    --





    Just more pro-government spin under the pretense of a legitimate poll.

    So 600 out of 1200 people selectively polled agree with the government cutting off water and power to the redshirt protesters. Doesnt gell at all with the headlines inferring that a majority supported the crackdown involving the military shooting unarmed protesters.

    Would be interesting to see what the big poll on election day reveals about what the majority of people really think about the governments actions. But of course thats unlikely to happen any time soon, as its that big poll that Abhisit and his backers fear most.

  3. #3
    DaffyDuck
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    Nice poll results. Seems to agree the same 51% results before the crackdown, that agreed with an eventual crackdown.

  4. #4
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    I seriously doubt the majority of Thais support the crackdown at all, no details are given of the audience location or socio-economic groupings, when it was held, how the questions were phrased (the ABAC polls for example are almost completely meaningless due to the incompetence of the question designers) so it's hard to tell how much credence to place on the alleged result.


    What's easy to tell is that the government is very good at saying this sort of thing, which is probably just an opinion-shaping move, designed to cash in on the Thai emotional need to conform.

  5. #5
    Pedantic bastard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panda View Post
    "


    Methodology: Interviews with 1,387 adults in Thailand, conducted in May 2010. No margin of error was provided.


    Headline and questions asked don't quite match ......................"


    So 600 out of 1200 people selectively polled agree with the government cutting off water and power to the redshirt protesters. Doesnt gell at all with the headlines inferring that a majority supported the crackdown involving the military shooting unarmed protesters.

    Well no, it was 51.3% of 1387 adults.

    As far as I am aware, 51.3% does, indeed count as a "majority". Infact, anything above 50.00% also is a majority....

    There for headline and data do, in fact agree.

    ...as noted though, the critcisms would be as to the selection of the respondents, and the margin of error....

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg
    There for headline and data do, in fact agree.
    interesting observation given there is no mention of the deaths in the poll question

  7. #7
    DaffyDuck
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panda View Post
    Just more pro-government spin under the pretense of a legitimate poll.
    Translation = "I will disagree with any poll that doesn't agree with, because it obviously has to be rigged. Any poll that agrees with me, though, is a paradigm of truthiness"


    Quote Originally Posted by Myofb View Post
    I seriously doubt the majority of Thais support the crackdown at all, no details are given of the audience location or socio-economic groupings, (...)
    Yep -- unless there's a poll that agrees with you, then it doesn't matter how the results were arrived at, n'est ce pas?


    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg View Post
    There for headline and data do, in fact agree.

    ...as noted though, the critcisms would be as to the selection of the respondents, and the margin of error....
    Don't confuse them with intelligent criticism, or suggestions on the right questions to ask -- they just love their uneducated, opinionated hatred, and they'll have it no other way. Apparently, being a textbook example of the typical expat, that's all they have.

  8. #8
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    Its the big poll on election day that Abhisit is scared of. A poll he knows he cant win. Unlike these carefully managed polls that represent a carefully selected cross section of less than 0.004% of the voting public. Good luck when you have to face the real world Mr Abhisit.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panda View Post
    Its the big poll on election day that Abhisit is scared of. A poll he knows he cant win. Unlike these carefully managed polls that represent a carefully selected cross section of less than 0.004% of the voting public. Good luck when you have to face the real world Mr Abhisit.
    I strongly suspect that BJT are going to have something of a torrid time come the day too. A lot of BJT MP's are going to find themselves pot-less and window-less.


    With any luck.

  10. #10
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    For me, the fact that the pro-governments have a majority is not important.

    What is very important is that this poll indicates that the Thai people are split! - half support the government, just under half do not and a small % has (presumably), no fcuking clue.

    If that is not a recipe for civil war, I don't know what is...

    Simon

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panda View Post
    "
    Polling Data

    Which of these statements comes closest to your own point of view?

    I agree with the government’s move to reclaim Ratchaprasong by cutting the power, water and food supplies to the protest venue as the country and the economy could be further damaged if it persisted
    51.3%

    I disagree with the government’s move as it has resulted in the loss of lives and properties, and damaged the country’s image
    40.2%

    Source: Suan Dusit University




    \\


    \
    Methodology: Interviews with 1,387 adults in Thailand, conducted in May 2010. No margin of error was provided.

    angus-reid.com

    Headline and questions asked don't quite match ......................"

    --





    Just more pro-government spin under the pretense of a legitimate poll.

    So 600 out of 1200 people selectively polled agree with the government cutting off water and power to the redshirt protesters. Doesnt gell at all with the headlines inferring that a majority supported the crackdown involving the military shooting unarmed protesters.

    Would be interesting to see what the big poll on election day reveals about what the majority of people really think about the governments actions. But of course thats unlikely to happen any time soon, as its that big poll that Abhisit and his backers fear most.
    Good to see your math hasn't improved.
    51.3% out of 1387 is not equal to 600 out of 1200.

  12. #12
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    Interesting that this very small poll allowed to be published by the government censorship powers indicates only 51% were in favour of shutting off water and power to the redshirt protesters. I wonder how many would be in favour of killing them?

  13. #13
    The Pikey Hunter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon43 View Post
    For me, the fact that the pro-governments have a majority is not important.

    What is very important is that this poll indicates that the Thai people are split! - half support the government, just under half do not and a small % has (presumably), no fcuking clue.

    If that is not a recipe for civil war, I don't know what is...

    Simon
    No, sounds like a normal democracy to me.
    You, sir, are a God among men....
    Short Men, who aren't terribly bright....
    More like dwarves with learning disabilities....
    You are a God among Dwarves With Learning Disabilities.

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panda
    I wonder how many would be in favour of killing them?
    the same 51% is the inference of the article .

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid
    Thailand : Majority Backs Government’s Crackdown
    Thank you Dusit for your input. Interesting but I will wait for the only poll which has any meaningful conclusion as it relates to support or lack there of for the government. In the mean time, keep up the good work.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

  16. #16
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    Panda - what will these polls on "election" day you are talking about really matter?

    The democrats will lose and the Reds and Puea Thai party will win. This will be followed by the Yellows taking over an aiport or something simliar without any charges filed or military / police action. Then a coup or judicial coup resulting in the Democrats being back in office. The elites will not loosen the grip on this country through an election. The ugly truth is that blood and lots of it will no doubt have to be shed in order for the current class system to be brought down.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by noelbino View Post



    Good to see your math hasn't improved.
    51.3% out of 1387 is not equal to 600 out of 1200.
    OK. 707 out of 1387 polled. 51% rather than the rounded off 50%, 600 out of 1200. Happy now? Jeeze, the idiots one has to deal with here.

  18. #18
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    Thais Majority Backs Government’s Crackdown

    of course they do. - As plenty of people here like to think of Thais as thick sheep, the headline here proves they're smarter than you think. Just a little less outspoken.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by noelbino View Post



    Good to see your math hasn't improved.
    51.3% out of 1387 is not equal to 600 out of 1200.
    OK. 707 out of 1387 polled. 51% rather than the rounded off 50%, 600 out of 1200. Happy now? Jeeze, the idiots one has to deal with here.
    Frustrating, isn't it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by chitown View Post
    Panda - what will these polls on "election" day you are talking about really matter?

    The democrats will lose and the Reds and Puea Thai party will win. This will be followed by the Yellows taking over an aiport or something simliar without any charges filed or military / police action. Then a coup or judicial coup resulting in the Democrats being back in office. The elites will not loosen the grip on this country through an election. The ugly truth is that blood and lots of it will no doubt have to be shed in order for the current class system to be brought down.
    You are probably right there Chitown.

    But the unknown question is where the military leaders will stand if it comes to a all out conflict. Only if they are assured of a victory will the military go into battle against the people. And it has been reported that there are split loyalties in the military at the moment. Such is the reason Abhisit is so desperate to hold off elections until he gets his own people in charge of the military. Even then, it could come to a point where the rank and file desert their posts rather than to kill their own families and friends under orders of their superiors. Right now the government is able to use the military to put down unrest by bringing in soldiers from ethnically dissimilar regions to do the dirty work in a confined space. But that wont work if unrest erupts on a wider scale across the nation.

    I do believe that the change when it comes will either be bloodless with an army back down or very bloody with many thousands of dead. But change it will be one way or another, sooner or later.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by chitown View Post
    Panda - what will these polls on "election" day you are talking about really matter?

    The democrats will lose and the Reds and Puea Thai party will win. This will be followed by the Yellows taking over an aiport or something simliar without any charges filed or military / police action. Then a coup or judicial coup resulting in the Democrats being back in office. The elites will not loosen the grip on this country through an election. The ugly truth is that blood and lots of it will no doubt have to be shed in order for the current class system to be brought down.
    Agreed, I've written very much the same thing myself on several occasions.

    There's no end in sight for this madness. Whoever gets in power, the other faction will raise hell, seemingly just because...

    And around and around we will go.

    Something has to give.

    The only other real worry is if the military decide to step out from the shadows of the Prime Minister and enact a Burma-esque style dictatorship.

    However, other events in the near future may make all of this irrelevant.

    Right now I'm dreading thinking about what Thailand may be like in only a few years, these may be halcyon days by comparison...
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by noelbino View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Panda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by noelbino View Post



    Good to see your math hasn't improved.
    51.3% out of 1387 is not equal to 600 out of 1200.
    OK. 707 out of 1387 polled. 51% rather than the rounded off 50%, 600 out of 1200. Happy now? Jeeze, the idiots one has to deal with here.
    Frustrating, isn't it.
    Indeed. Lets not take the actual data, and argue its validity or short comings. lets make up our own numbers and put the spin on that.....

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaffyDuck View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Myofb View Post
    I seriously doubt the majority of Thais support the crackdown at all, no details are given of the audience location or socio-economic groupings, (...)
    Yep -- unless there's a poll that agrees with you, then it doesn't matter how the results were arrived at, n'est ce pas
    Not at all, these are sensible questions which sensible people should ask. whatever their view. In fact the polling agency should make that detail available but of course this is Thailand so they struggle a bit with competence and integrity.


    But if you agree with the skewed results and you're a silly duck, then not only would you not ask them, but you would slag off anyone more sensible who did. Which is exactly what you did - perhaps predictably.


    Didn't you have me on ignore…? I recall you announcing that with great huffing and puffing… must have been toys out of the pram time.

  24. #24
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    of course the majority of Thai approved the crackdown, and I don't think anyone is having any tears about the ones killed,

    it seems that a minority think they can dictate the rules for everyone else, fuck them

    I hope those red leaders and a few protesters will get the death penalty

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid
    I agree with the government’s move to reclaim Ratchaprasong by cutting the power, water and food supplies to the protest venue as the country and the economy could be further damaged if it persisted
    51.3%
    I'd like to see a Poll that actually asks if the majority approves of the crackdown before I say that BF. Given the numbers on the question asked above, I doubt it. That happened before the main Crackdown [Edit- there was the 'Bridge incident' though] , by which I mean the actual shooting of protesters mostly around Ratchaphrong.

    The other thing I vaguely recall is this is the same Uni (teachers college really, it's a Rajabhat) that came out with very skewed numbers during the PAD riots. No details of where they took their surveys- so, where do you think? It's a Bangkok university.
    Last edited by sabang; 29-05-2010 at 11:02 PM.

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