Polls show political discontent amongst youth

Polls show political discontent amongst youth

Suan Dusit and Super polls show people are not happy with the current political situation after the election was held on March 24. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Suan Dusit and Super polls show people are not happy with the current political situation after the election was held on March 24. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Most people are blaming the current political situation for "destroying" their everyday happiness as disagreements over debatable election results and the resignation of cabinet ministers mounts, polls show.

The Suan Dusit and Super polls, which conducted separate public surveys earlier this month when the process to set up a new government was drawing near, both found hugely negatively responses to what is taking place in Thai politics. 

Nearly 90% of 1,295 interviewees admitted that the failure of a transition from a military regime to a democratic government was "destroying people's happiness", Noppadol Kannika, director of the Super Poll Research Centre, announced on Sunday.

The poll was conducted nationwide between May 1 to 11 during which the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) finished its final list of the 250 appointed senators while the Election Commission endorsed constituency and party-list MPs, a process which raised controversy over its calculation method under the mixed-member apportionment system.

Associated with people's unhappy feelings of how events have turned out is their fear of a return of quarrels between political camps. 

Mr Noppadol said that more than 42% of respondents believe that political conflicts are on the rise as was the case when a massive rally against the Pheu Thai-led government in 2014 ended in a coup by the NCPO.

Looking at the ages of the respondents, Mr Noppadol said teenagers appeared more sensitive to the potential for confrontation compared to adults. 

Over 58% of teenagers said political conflicts were becoming more intense when compared to 2014. Meanwhile, only 35% of middle-aged interviewees and around 47% of elderly people shared the same beliefs. 

Amid these uncomfortable feelings, “authorities should do something to manage the emotions of the public and prevent conflicts from escalating,” Mr Noppadol said.

The Suan Dusit poll, which was conducted by Dusit University, echoed similar viewpoints when their survey revealed people were doubtful of the current political scene which did not seem conducive to the establishment of a coalition government.

Over 83% of 1,187 people interviewed in this poll said they disagreed with the resignation of 15 cabinet members so that they can join the Senate of 250 members. 

They viewed the move as a “well-prepared plot” to have those close to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to work in the upper House. This was unfair and inappropriate, they said.

The 2017 constitution allows the senators to join MPs in voting to choose a new prime minister.

The NCPO has full authority to pick the senators by reserving six seats for the armed forces leaders, the supreme commander, the defence permanent secretary and national police chief and deciding on who, including those from intra-professional group voting, will make up the rest.

The poll also found more than 75% of interviewees disagreed with the endorsement of party-list MPs, following a heated debate on the calculation of their numbers, which put small parties at an advantage though they did not earn substantial votes in the election.

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