Wednesday, October 16, 2019

First-time voters look beyond the status quo

Mar 24. 2019
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By Phuwit Limviphuwat
The Nation

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Phon, a 22-year-old professional, says first-time voters are more willing to take risks for a better life in the long-run.

“Because there is so much that is at stake for us, we are more likely to risk stability for a better life in the long run,” she said.

“The rhetoric on ‘peace’ and ‘anti-corruption’ has really worked on older voters, especially if they are quite stable in their life now and would prefer that nothing disrupt their little privileged peace,” she explained.

For Phon, this election is a forum for the people’s voice to be heard the loudest for the first time in a long time.

She said: “It is a chance to express our agreement/disagreement with the current ruling power, which has enjoyed considerable lack of accountability, and protection from criticism.”

She believes the Thai population have not given up their rightful ability to decide their political, societal and economic fate just yet.

“Whatever the outcome, we must try, and I am so proud of what our voices have achieved, and that there is hope for next time when it comes,” she said.

“I’m a first-time voter, on my first job,” she reflected. “The little economic growth we have goes to the pockets of the few. Is this what we want for Thailand, for ourselves?”

Phon also shared her sobering view of the impacts of this election.

“This election is not going to change Thai politics, because it is not designed to do so by those who want to sustain the status quo,” she continued. “However, I hope it at least spurs more conversation on the future of the country that can lead to greater responsibility from whoever is ruling, or even another chance to cast our votes again on a more even playing field.”

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