Bangkok youth still pessimistic about current state of poltics

Originally published at Siam Voices on June 6, 2011 Last year, we blogged about a survey that found out that 60 per cent of the Bangkok youth did care little to nothing for politics, most of them irked and weary because of conflicts, untrustworthy politicians and generally headache-inducing complex issues. So much so that 90 per cent said that there's no way under the current circumstances they'd enter politics.

The Nation picked up on the story about the country's (a)political youth (on a much smaller scale) and has done a straw poll among a few university students. Unlike the previous survey, the opinions are more diverse this time:

"Thailand's colour-coded politics is far from over and will remain so even after the election," said Wiripone Artitraungroj, 19, from the Faculty of Science at Kasetsart University. (...)

Kasetsart University's Na-Bhattara Ongwaranon and Montree Somjai said they often discussed politics and the election among close friends, but steered away from talking with others whose political views they did not know.

"Politics is really a boring topic for youth," said Noppadon Sroything of Dhurakij Pundit University's Political Science Faculty. "But [taking part in] the election, I think, is better than street protests." (...)

Wattanapol Charoenpongteera, 21, from Srinakarinwirot University said people of his generation should pay more attention to politics and, if possible, have a role in it.

"Students believe July 3 election won't end political conflict", The Nation, June 6, 2011

When asked about a favorite who they'd give their vote to, the almost unanimous result is somehow surprising:

Many students said they liked Chuwit because of his extreme, colourful, straight and funny campaign.

"Personally, I think Chuwit campaigns colourfully while other parties are simply boring," said Wiripone.

Other political parties have simple campaigns of visiting and greeting people, but Chuwit's is interesting, said Watthanavut. "It is easy to recognise and remember Chuwit's posters while others are all the same," he said.

"Chuwit is interesting as he has a clear stance and looks sincere, not pretentious," said Boonporn.

"Students believe July 3 election won't end political conflict", The Nation, June 6, 2011

Yes, you read that right - Chuwit Kamolwisit, the outspoken and highly entertaining former massage parlor tycoon seems to be a favorite among the young Bangkokians, very likely for his straight-talking, no-holds-barred, in-your-face campaign posters and his announcement to be an opposition watchdog.

Even though these are just a few voices, they seem to draw a different, more diverse picture of opinions on the current state of affairs. Nevertheless, if the title is to be trusted, most are all realistic enough to see that elections alone cannot solve the deep political problems (with education being one of the more severe issues). But it is still no reason not to vote - especially if it's your first time!