Small parties will have a say in the make-up of the new coalition government, should no party gain an absolute majority. Since a minimum-winning coalition formula doesn’t seem to be the normal practice of coalition formation strategy in Thai politics, at least one medium-sized party along with their smaller counterparts will likely be part of the next coalition. Because of the new electoral rules, these parties only need roughly 250,000-300,00 votes to get a party list MP. These small parties represent an appealing alternative to the two major parties for many millions of “undecided” voters, particularly in highly contested areas such as Bangkok.
Having followed the campaign trail of several parties in the capital city for the past two weeks, I admit I’ve been most entertained by charismatic leaders of the small parties. While these one-man-show parties are clearly riding on the reputation and personality of their leaders, it’s still fruitful to know what they stand for and what role they may play in the next government. Here is my summary analysis of Rak Thailand Party, Rak Santi Party and Matubhum Party.