Politicians warned not to underestimate the people
Politicians will be dead wrong if they still perceive the people as mere voters subservient to the patronage system, said Suriyasai Katasila, director of Thailand Reform Institute and vice dean of Social Innovations College of Rangsit Uiversity, on Sunday.
Speaking on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the “October 14” student-led uprising in 1973, the academic-cum-political observer said people have more expectations on the next election than the previous ones because they want politics to help solve problems the country is facing.
Even though people are fed up with politics and do not trust politicians, he said they have become more politically conscious and are demanding a greater role in decision-making.
While Thai people have been divided by colour politics, Suriyasai said they have become more politically aware and have learned more about politics.
Politicians will make a big mistake if they still underestimate the people as just their voters who can be easily tamed, he warned, adding that politicians themselves must change and adjust themselves with the new political reality which will give hope to the upcoming election.
Meanwhile, Pheu Thai Party’s core member Chaturon Chaisaeng called on political parties to unite against attempts by the military junta to stay on in power after the next election.
Speaking at a panel discussion on future of Thai politics, the former education minister of Thaksin government also dismissed fears that Pheu Thai Party would be dissolved. He insisted that there is no justification for the party to face the same fate as its previous incarnations — Thai Rak Thai and Palang Prachachon.