One of the ways to get out of the colour-coded political rut is for rival parties to set a common agenda on shared problems, visualise a more just future together, and work toward what their children will be grateful for. This sounds easier said than done. But civic groups in Chiang Mai have already shown the way.
Despite different political allegiances, they agree that the problems their home town is facing _ from heavy traffic to haze _ stem from top-down control from the Bangkok government and officialdom. No matter what government is in power, they believe their problems will never be solved when policies and budgets are made in Bangkok. Decentralisation is their answer. So for the past year, they have been working together to map out decentralisation blueprints for Chiang Mai and lobby their politicians to answer to their demands for bottom-up democracy.
This is a lesson women politicians and women's groups in Thailand can learn from.
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