Source: Bangkok Post

I must admit to being somewhat bemused about the level of commentary on the damage inflicted on some election posters in Thailand (especially, it seems, those belonging to the Democrat party).

I have always considered election posters to be a legitimate target for political protest. As a youngster I spent a few cold evenings in western Sydney going around pasting home-made “No Libs in Council” signs over the election placards of “independent” candidates for local government. It was my personal protest at the Liberal Party’s habit of running party members as independents.

Is anyone really surprised, given Thailand’s recent political history, that some members of the public feel inclined to adjust, deface or destroy party political posters? Is the image of Abhisit, Yingluck or anyone else sacrosanct? Isn’t this just a natural part of the cut-and-thrust cat-and-mouse warts-and-all nature of local campaigning? Isn’t it a sign of political engagement and passion? Is anyone seriously suggesting that the ability of parties to get their message across is compromised by some roadside vandalism?

Of course, some of the poster enhancement does appear rather mindless and destructive. Nowhere near the penetrating wit of my “No Libs in Council” campaign! But it’s certainly not a threat to the democratic process. On the contrary, it’s a sign of its vigour and passion.

People care. That’s what counts.