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THAI TALK:

'Undecided' voters aren't really so indecisive

As a confirmed "as-yet-undecided" voter 10 days before the election, I am absolutely fascinated - and flabbergasted - by the appeal for the formation of a "government of unity" or a "national government" and even a "government of national reconciliation" after the big ballot on December 23.

Published on December 13, 2007



The only problem for a voter like me (and all the polls say I belong to the 61 per cent of eligible voters who haven't made up their minds yet) is: What the heck does it all mean anyway?

In other words: What are they up to?

I have my own suspicions of course. But for the sake of national reconciliation, I would rather not discuss them in public.

But if you really pressed me for an answer, I would confess that I remain undecided because all those guys talking about "unity" have yet to tell me who's going to do - or refraining from doing - what, in a "government of national reconciliation".

Does that mean that none of the political parties who have vowed to do their utmost to serve the country's interests would be willing to play the vital role of an opposition party?

Now, if that's the case, what, for me, is the difference between casting my ballot for the People Power Party and the Democrats?

Of course, the small to medium-sized parties have already effectively alienated me by declaring that they can't tell me before I mark my ballot whether they will use my one vote to form an alliance with one of the two major parties or the other.

They call that stance an expression of "political pragmatism". I say it's shameless expediency.

Now, when this election was first announced, I thought I was being given a chance to make a new choice to return to political sanity. Instead, I feel like I have been hurled back to politics as usual.

In fact, I have the strong feeling that I have been politically gang-raped. In the name of "unity", this election may threaten to "neutralise" my vote. If they really go ahead with that game of "national reconciliation", it doesn't really matter how I cast my ballot. They are going to ignore my right as a legitimate voter to make my choice because what they actually mean by a "government of unity" may be nothing but a scheme of power-sharing collusion.

Or is it because when you know you can't win convincingly, you simply propose to change the ground rules so that you won't end up losing?

Can someone, especially the parties that have been canvassing for my vote, explain to me why the same group of candidates threatening to "settle the scores" with their political foes, if they return to power, are now talking about "reconciliation?"

Obviously, the guys in the big parties don't realise that when and if I cast my ballot, it's not simply to demonstrate my preference for a certain party. It's my very important personal political statement. I don't vote for a certain party simply because I want it to be the next government.

Under certain circumstances, if I decide that it's worthwhile exercising my rights, I may cast my vote for a party that I think should serve as a good, honest and effective opposition.

If that party tells me it's jumping on that bogus "unity" bandwagon, it had better make that clear from the outset. I would reconsider my position - to either cast a "No Vote" or to stay at home and watch a television soap opera while the returns are being counted.

Don't blame me if I remain an undecided voter even if the big day is only 10 days away. This is not the confession of an apathetic voter. On the contrary, it's a deliberate decision based on a well-thought-out strategy: a voter having to deal with this electioneering farce masquerading as electoral democracy.

My personal resolution as of now is that I won't make up my mind until the very last minute. I have several issues to clear up with my conscience before I put a pen onto my ballot paper at 8am sharp on December 23. 

(Share your views in my blog at http://blog.nationmultimedia.com/ThaiTalk).


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