Where different parties stand in Thailand’s political compass
As the general election draws near, The Nation takes a look at what the different parties stand for according to their political ideologies.
Various political parties have laid out their policies to develop the country based on their ideologies.
For instance, the progressive wing, represented by parties like Pheu Thai and Move Forward, have proposed some path-breaking policies that include abolishing mandatory military service.
The Nation takes a look at what the different parties stand for according to their political ideologies.
The origin of the political terms "left" and "right"
The terms "left" and "right" emerged in the summer of 1789, during the turmoil of the French Revolution, which marked a sea change in the country’s political situation.
As the situation heated up, the National Assembly gathered to act as the government to write a new constitution.
They debated about how much authority King Louis XVI should have. During the discussion, the anti-royalist revolutionaries sat on the left of the president of the assembly, while those who were still in support of the monarchy sat on the right.
Generally, the left stands for those who favour equality in society and more change, while the right stands for those who wish to be closer to tradition.
Pipat Luengnaruemitchai, the chief economist at Kiatnakin Phatra Securities, wrote in an article for Thai-language media that the details of left and right can be different, depending on the context and topic of discussion.
Pipat took a dig at the political situation in Thailand, saying, “It is unfortunate to see that those who call for freedom, which is a basic right of humans, are labelled as far left and a threat to the security of the nation in some countries.”
A renowned American historian Sophia Rosenfeld told The Times of London that both terms were situational and convey different meanings when talking about different issues.
Liberals gaining in popularity
Kanokrat Lertchoosakul, a lecturer at the Faculty of Political Science, at Chulalongkorn University, told Thai-language media last year that the conservative group naturally opposes change and equality and prefers that society remain hierarchical.
She claimed that the conservative bloc in Thailand could be found amongst tycoons, senior government figures, and extreme nationalist activists like yellow-shirt demonstrators.
She believes the conservative camp in Thailand is unlikely to win the 2023 election as they are reluctant to adjust to the changing social dynamic.
Several polls are showing liberal parties like Pheu Thai and Move Forward receiving strong support from voters.
For example, Nation Poll, which was carried out among 39,687 respondents in eight regional zones and Bangkok’s 33 constituencies, found that liberal parties like Pheu Thai and Move Forward were more popular than conservative ones such as United Thai Nation and the Democrat Party when voters were asked: "Who will get your vote for the constituency and party-list election?"
The position of Thai political parties:
United Thai Nation
Chart Pattana Kla
Chart Thai Pattana