The political situation in Thailand


Thailand is the first country I've visited that has a fairly heightened level of political unrest (perhaps with the exception of South Africa). Almost exactly one year ago Thai protesters occupied their international airport for one week and had numerous violent protests in the streets of Bangkok, all for reasons that I had no clue about. Before arriving in the country I kept a close eye on the political climate but still didn't fully understand the situation. I tried to learn more about it while I was there both just for safety reasons and also because I found it really quite interesting.

Respect natural habitats.

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Things are finally starting to slow down a bit with school... all I've got left for the next two weeks are a couple hundred pages of reading, a 25-ish page paper, 2 70 minute presentations, a short research paper, and a final exam. w00t! I was suppose to give one of the presentations this morning, but the power was still out at the SFU Surrey campus (from yesterdays storm), so that was a no go. All in all though, at least I think I'm learning something [academic] in the grad program, which is more than I can say for my undergrad degree.
Ariane and I watched Hacking Democracy this weekend, even though it's pretty US centric, I highly recommend it (I think you can still find it on google video). I think the most surprising thing about the film was how surprised I was watching it. I've followed most of the US e-voting stuff since 2000 and had already heard about most of the stuff going on in the film. In a way, it makes me happy we still use paper ballets and hand counting in Canada.

Oh yeah, the title of the post... well, that was just the message under my Jones Soda cap today.

Election 2006 - Part I

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We're now on the eve of yet another election. It's probably been one of the most boring campaigns I've ever seen. The campaign over the past month hasn't even been about the parties. It's been about the ads. There are even ads about the ads. WTF?

Anyway, here are my predictions,

  • We will have one of the lowest voter turnouts in Canadian history. Even I'm bored of this election, and I'm generally a lot more interested than the general public.
  • Conservatives will win with a minority government.
  • NDP and Liberal combined votes will be enough to outweigh the number of seats the Conservatives have.
  • Greens, will lose ground since the last election, mostly to the NDP.
  • The Conservative minority will fall prior to the summer break for the house, leading to Election 2006 - Part II.
  • The Liberals aren't going to oust Martin even when he loses this one.

The one thing I hope will come of a Conservative minority is that the general voting public will be able to get a first hand look at what kind of a government the Conservatives will be... before they oust them. Then at least next time around everyone who's voting Conservative simply due to not wanting to vote Liberal will know better.