YOU THINK THIS IS A GAME?
>> The general prime minister went to Japan and all we got is another lousy T-shirt that says “The Election Is Next Year”.
For his sixth serious promise of an imminent general election, Gen (Ret) Prayut turned again to the man he entrusted to hear his very first promise of an election next year. And Prime Minister Shinzo Abe again took it with a straight face, just like he did the first time, on Feb 9, 2015.
Talk about deja vu. In 2015, the general prime minister was in Japan on official government business, just like last week. In 2015, he held bilateral talks with Mr Abe on the sidelines of the international conference, just like last week. In 2015, he promised to hold an election for all of Thailand next year, just like last week.
The only difference between the 2015 event and last week was ... um, well, that is, erm... there really wasn’t one. Both men were three and a half years older, does that count as a difference? They even talked about the bright future of the Eastern Economic Corridor again.
Of course since the 2015 promise to Mr Abe and Thai people of an election next year, Gen (Ret) Prayut has also made that promise several other prominent times. In 2016, he promised the United Nations General Assembly there would be an election in 2017. In 2017, he swore in writing at the White House with The Donald there would be an election in 2018 for sure.
One starts to think about that sign one sees in the occasional pub: “Free beer tomorrow”. The gullible come the next day toting their thirst, and lo and behold, that same darned sign is still there.
To the general prime minister, all of this is deadly serious. Do not, in his presence, ever employ the common sports cliches to politics.
“I don’t see politics as a game,” he stated.
That subject arose because he and others believe the Pheu Thai Party may see politics as a game. If not — and this is seriously possible — Pheu Thai people see politics as an activity to be gamed, which is different.
The PTP has two current problems in addition to having no legal leader and an internal old people-young people battle. One is that the multi-tentacled regime is bent on making the party illegal by claiming that it is under the control of Lord Voldemort na Dubai. This is an impossible claim to prove, barring immense stupidity by the Evil One himself, since it would require both mind-reading and 23rd century-level wiretapping ability. So the game, erm, that is, the legal pursuit of Pheu Thai requires that the date of dissolving that party will be close enough to the election to realistically make legal appeals impossible.
The second problem arises mostly from the first, and it’s where gaming occurs. In order to defend against dissolution of Pheu Thai, impish PTP elders have constitutionally, very legally formed two other political parties, Pheu Tham and Pheu Chart. Deny it as much as they want, these are back-up parties to resort to if (English translation: when) Pheu Thai is dissolved.
If you were to see politics as a game, you’d refer to this manoeuvre as Pheu Thai having two strong players on the bench in case of injury.
And if you were to consider it as a sport, you would look to the match after the Pheu Thai match, and scout the opponent thoroughly for weakness.
If you did that, you then would see the Future Forward Party and Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and you would set about thinking up ways to weaken Anakot Mai or make it take its eye off the ball.
By amazing coincidence, the new Election Commission, appointed by Gen (Ret) Prayut’s NCPO, found last week that Mr Thanathorn’s surging party was accepting illegal donations. Because any donation is illegal, how about that?
Were you the kind of person, unlike the general prime minister, who deals in game cliches, you would also exploit players in the junior leagues. And by another amazing coincidence that occurred last week. The current and two wannabe leaders of the Democrat Party expressed strong wishes to be elevated to the major league, perhaps by combining their team with the military’s team.
What could possibly have made them do that? It’s a mystery.
That is truly no game. But in serious politics, just as in serious games, winning is not the important thing. It’s the only thing.