In Thailand it has taken a while for the qualities of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his government to be recognized. The convicted fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra has been slipping in his attempts to paint Abhisit in an unflattering light. But that is not to say things are going to get better any time soon.
The latest polls do not lie, people are generally pleased with the performance of Abhisit, but show that there are still improvements that can be made. There is also a concern that Abhisit may not be strong enough to weather a prolonged assault by Thaksin, but Connecting the Dots is looking ahead and sees other things.
In general what we see is once the economy starts a significant recovery that can be credited to Abhisit and the coalition parties, it will become increasingly difficult for Thaksin to discredit Abhisit. Up to now and seemingly always Thaksin has lied and distorted things from the word go, and virtually everyone even his most avid supporters see this now. It is just too obvious to ignore. Arguments that support Thaksin are increasingly sounding like smokers excuses to smoke and make little if any sense when challenged.
Thaksin got his popularity by getting money down to the poor people in Northeast Thailand in an area called Isaan. Abhisit has recognized this and has set about doing it as well. The one difference is Abhisit is doing that by removing the open hands of corruption that stand between the government coffers and the people. The first major showing of this is in the Ministry of Public Health where already some have fallen.
Once the hands of corruption are reduced or removed, money will simply start flowing down to the people it was intended for, and that will be much more than the crumbs Thaksin offered. Thaksin is well aware of this and that is another reason he is working to take Abhisit out of the game as soon as he can. Time works against Thaksin in every column he is tracking.
The only category Thaksin may get some legitimate traction in is has to do with the unrest in southern Thailand. But in reality, diplomatic approaches have failed in every country that is dealing with similar problems. The only active effective model is going on in Pakistan when dealing with the Taliban by sending them to go and meet Allah.
So Abhisit must get some high profile marks in his column if he expects to keep his momentum going. Thaksin will attack in every possible way, and as we have seen involving other countries like Cambodia in Thailand’s political turmoil is well within Thaksin’s plans. Translation nothing is off limits for Thaksin to try.
As the Thai people start to get some of their international face back by being more accepted by other countries who have respect for the law, they will eventually fall more behind Abhisit. Thaksin has simply become a taboo for many politicians from other countries. Simply because they respect the Thai courts, and courting Thaksin would be very wrong politically at home if they expected to get reelected. Everyone that gets involved with Thaksin gets damaged one way or the other. Thaksin has made an international spectacle of himself and that will be used against politicians from other countries who work with him come election time.