As the campaign enters its final weeks, the election remains anyone’s contest. Thaksin’s tenacity and squirrelled-away billions may well win him a route back to Thailand – and power. Alternatively, the military forces, led by General Sonthi Boonyaratglin, may choose to continue the legal stranglehold on Thaksin’s money, prolonging his exile. In any eventuality, there is a spirit of eagerness to embrace the benefits of prosperity: higher education, award wages, free elections, better health care and real job incentives. All hope that the results of the election restores democracy, and turns the country off a path towards further political confrontation and turmoil.

– Extracted from the conclusion to: Phil Thornton, “Between a rock and a hard man”, The Diplomat, January/February 2008, pp.14-16.