The electorate in Thailand is now “less pessimistic” than it was in 2009, according to a survey of 1500 adults by the Asia Foundation.
The 2010 National Survey builds on another survey conducted twelve months ago with the aim of testing attitudes towards national reconciliation as well as the red and yellow political movements, which famously clashed in the Red Shirt protests of 2009 – 2010.
The findings suggest that only 12% of Thai voters identify themselves as red or yellow with 76% professing no colour attachment. Only 54% agree with the statement that “the country is going in the wrong direction” – a decline of 4% on the previous year.
In 2009, only a third of the respondents thought that their personal economic situation had improvement or stayed the same over the last 2 years. In 2010, that figure had jumped to 59%. As a result, the economy moved down the list of critical problems and political conflict moved to the top.
93% state that democracy is the best form of government and two thirds of the population belive that Thailand is very or somewhat democratic. 97% also believe that Thais are united by common values in spite of differences over politics. Respondents were split of the issue of censorship and displayed a much higher interest in politics that other Asian populations.
Half of respondents did not think that amending the 2007 constitution would solve the ongoing political conflict and were divided over how it should be amended. A majority were in favour of decentralisation as a lethod of reducing political conflict.