Thai poll

Thaksin's enduring attraction

We asked readers in our web poll last week to help explain Thaksin Shinawatra's allure. The verdict: shameless populism.
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Thailand's poor are convinced that billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra is the answer to their problems (AFP)
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<div style="text-align: left;"> Thailand's poor are convinced that billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra is the answer to their problems (AFP) </div>

The formidable strength of Thaksin Shinawatra’s political allure was confirmed at the ballot box last week when his sister, Yingluck, led his supporters to victory in the country’s general elections. Clearly, the exiled former prime minister can still pull in the votes, despite his five-year absence.

We asked our readers last week to help explain this enduring appeal in our web poll. The top answer was unsurprising Thaksin and his successors in the Puea Thai party are shameless populists. Yingluck led a campaign crammed with vote-winning policies aimed at the poor majority, including credit cards for farmers, a tablet computer for every high-school student and a 40% hike in the...

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