So newspapers here were the only ones caught out of the loop. Local reporters were fawning and predicting 2006 will be Thailand's 1966, that the decision of the oppposition parties to boycott the election undo them and propel Thaksin's ascension to legal and legitimate one-party rule. That's a national blind spot for you, but surely they should've rmembered that when history actually repeats itself, the second time is always a farce?
What they did not count on (the national blind spot!) was the constitution of Thailand, which was written to prevent precisely these travesties from occuring. In constituencies with a walkover, the unopposed candidate is not confirmed unless 20% of the voters turn up to vote for him anyway. Voters are also given the choice to cast a "no vote", essentially a vote for "none of the above" that in sufficient numbers will invalidate the winner of the election. These are safeguards that prevent the country from sliding into a one-party state with a fake opposition.
Today, Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej gives the best sign that Singapore should be the one emulating Thailand instead. Speaking out at the "complete mess" that Thaksin's snap elections caused, the monarch commented strongly: "The current election is undemocratic. Where there is only one candidate it is not considered a democracy."
King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the true senior statesman of Asia.