Changing strategy

Poor polling numbers, egg attacks like the one yesterday in Samut Prakan and tough competition are causing the Democrats to start reminding voters of last year’s unrest.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban avoids eggs thrown at him during a campaign at Samrong Market in Samut Prakan. SOMCHAI POOMLARD

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Changing strategy

Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva looked and sounded like a prime minister yesterday as he answered journalists' questions in Jakarta.

Here at home, however, his party's election campaigners were having a tough time of it.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban had eggs thrown at him when he made a campaign stop at the Samrong Market in Samut Prakan.

Korbsak Sabhavasu, chief of the Democrat Party's strategy panel, spent much of the day explaining away recent poll results showing Phue Thai with a significant lead in Bangkok.

The polls were inaccurate, he said, because they tended to ignore those voters in the middle-class and working class.

"We are unfazed by the poll results because we believe in figures that will actually happen," he said, referring to election day on July 3.

The poor polling numbers appear to have prompted a change in strategy for the Democrats, however. They are starting to remind voters of last year's unrest and the burning of Bangkok.

Mr Korbsak said many Bangkokians had bitter memories of the violence.

He said many top figures of the red shirt UDD are now running for the election on Pheu Thai's party list and some of them are likely to be given cabinet portfolios if Pheu Thai wins the election and forms the government.

The public should be able to imagine what kind of government they would get, Mr Korbsak said.

Yingluck Shinawtra, Phue Thai's No 1 party-list candidate takes a helicopter ride from Phrao district to Chom Thong district in Chiang Mai during her trip to promote party candidates in the North.

Meanwhile, Puea Thai's candidate for prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, had a much smoother time of it campaigning in the North, a party stronghold.

She downplayed the party's policy of seeking an amnesty for those involved in the post-coup unrest which would include, of course, her elder brother and former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra.

Instead, she said her first priority as head of government would be tackling problems affecting the people.

Adapted from stories in today’s Bangkok Post.

strategy– a plan or method for achieving something, especially over a long period of time ยุทธวิธี, แผนการ 
journalist – a person who writes news stories or articles for a newspaper or magazine or broadcasts them on radio or television ผู้สื่อข่าว
campaign – a planned series of activities designed to persuade voters to vote for a particular candidate or political party การรณรงค์หาสียง
campaigner – a person who is campaigning or is helping someone to campaign
tough – difficult to do or to deal with ยาก  ยากลำบาก
panel – a group of people who make decisions or judgments คณะกรรมการ
recent – happening or starting a short time ago  เร็วๆ นี้
poll – an occasion when a lot of people are asked about what they feel about something – การสำรวจความคิดเห็น
significant – large or important enough to have an effect or to be noticed  ซึ่งมีความหมาย
lead – the position ahead of everyone else in a race or competition  ตำแหน่งนำ
inaccurate – not completely correct or exact ซึ่งคลาดเคลื่อน,ซึ่งไม่ถูกต้อง
tend – to be likely to behave in a particular way or have a particular characteristic มักจะ
ignore – to fail to pay attention to; to pretend that you have not noticed or do not know about something เพิกเฉย
unfazed – not worried or surprised by something unexpected that happens ไม่กังวล
figure – a number representing a particular amount, especially one given in official information ตัวเลข, จำนวนเลข
prompt – to cause someone to take action กระตุ้น
remind – to make someone think of something they have forgotten or might have forgotten เตือนความจำ
unrest – angry or violent behaviour by people who are protesting or fighting against something สถานการณ์ที่ไม่สงบ
bitter – involving very angry feelings ความขมขื่น
memory – something that you remember from the past; the ability to remember information, experiences and people ความจำ
violence – physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people ความรุนแรง
figure – someone who is important in some way บุคคลสำคัญ
United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) – the group originally formed to demonstrate against the 2006 coup and which supported the Somchai Wongsawat government against the PAD and which is now leading the fight against the current government. They are known for wearing red shirts แนวร่วมประชาธิปไตยต่อต้านเผด็จการแห่งชาต
party list (proportional representation system) – a system that gives each party in an election a number of seats in relation to the number of votes its candidates receive ระบบสัดส่วน, ระบบปาร์ตี้ลิสต์
cabinet portfolio – control over a ministry; all the responsibilities of a government minister ตำแหน่งรัฐมนตรี
imagine – to form a picture of something or someone in your mind นึกคิด, จินตนาการ, นึกฝัน
meanwhile – at the same time ในเวลาเดียวกัน
candidate – a person who is trying to be elected ผู้สมัครรับเลือกตั้ง
stronghold – bastion; an area where there is a lot of support for a political party  ฐานเสียง, ฐานที่มั่น, ขุมกำลัง
downplay – to make something seem less important or less bad than it really is แสดงหรืออธิบายถึงสิ่งใดสิ่งหนึ่งโดยแสร้งว่าไม่สำคัญหรือไม่แย่นัก
policy – a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group นโยบาย
amnesty – a situation in which a government agrees not to punish people who have committed a crime การนิรโทษกรรม
post- – after
coup (d’etat) – the seizure of power in a country by a group of people, usually members of the armed forces รัฐประหาร
elder – older ที่อายุมากกว่า
priority – something important that must be done first or which needs more attention than something else การมาก่อน
tackle – to make an organised and determine attempt to deal with a problem จัดการ

Related search: Thai general election 2011, Suthep, Korbsak, Yingluck

About the author

Writer: Terry Fredrickson
Position: Education Marketing and Support Manager