Why many new generation Thais are migrating to Thaksin-land

Take six years of the Thaksin Shinawatra Regime versus seven years of the Prayut Chan-o-cha Regime. The sum is the new generation prefers Thaksin. Why? The economy is number one among a long list of reasons.

The new generation clicks “like” when Thanathorn Juangrungruangkit talks about reforms. They click “right now” when Thaksin talks about the economy.

Last week, Pimry Pie went head-to-head with Thaksin. The latter cracked a joke against the government about hospital beds, saying the government should just let Pimry Pie do it. The former lashed back, attacking Thaksin for possibly getting her into trouble with the government.

The storm of backlash proved that for the new generation, even a young super-influencer had got nothing on a 72-year-old exiled politician in the world of social media.

Thaksin’s political career has experienced high and low points. But in the 2021 world of Clubhouse (where Thaksin goes by the name Tony Woodsome) and social media videos, his popularity is resurgent, especially among the new generation, from teenagers to twenty- and thirty-somethings.

Ask a Digital Agency that does “social media listening,” and they would tell you, Thaksin is even taking away new generation votes from Thanathorn. Especially among those whose most immediate concern, other than COVID-19, is how to make a living.

Why? According to social media listening, the reasons are competent management of the country in general and the economy in particular. Thaksin has a six-year track record as prime minister. Thanathorn has zero. General Prayut has a negative seven.

Corruptions and human rights abuse in the 2003 War of Drugs? Take the six years of Thaksin versus the seven years of General Prayut; the new generation still takes Thaksin.

Communication is key, according to Digital Marketers. People flock to watch a Thaksin social media video or conversate with Tony Woodsome on Clubhouse. Love him or hate him, as opposed to General Prayut, Thaksin speaks with knowledge, and he makes sense.

Move Forward and the Progress Movement position themselves on the left regarding reforms, including monarchy reform. Pheu Thai and the C.A.R.E group position themselves in the middle. The strategy is to stay clear from the kingdom’s most controversial topic, monarchy reform. The purpose is to appeal to the silent majority, whose foremost concern is the economy.

Love him or hate him, but you don’t win every single election over the past 20 years, including the 2019 election, unless you know how to play the game. The new election is likely coming around year-end or the beginning of 2022, according to political insiders.

When combining Move Forward’s reform banner and Pheu Thai’s economy banner, it’s still a colossal task to defeat General Prayut’s 250 senators. This fact alone proves that while the economy may be the most immediate concern for many, reform should concern everybody.

And of course, neither Thaksin nor Thanathorn is eligible in the election.

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