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Candidates, Vote-Canvassers, and Voters in Thai Provincial Administrative Organisation Elections

Pensute, Chanintorn (2015) Candidates, Vote-Canvassers, and Voters in Thai Provincial Administrative Organisation Elections. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis focuses on the study of the provincial elections in Thailand in which direct elections of the head of Provincial Administrative Organisations (PAO) have emerged since 2004. This thesis uses participant observation and in-depth interviews to explore the practices of political campaigning, the candidate selection process, the work of vote canvassers during the election cycle, money politics and provincial voters’ behaviour during the PAO head elections in the Dao and Noraburi provinces during the 2012 and 2013 elections. The aim of this thesis is to understand the changing trends of provincial elections following the rise of colour-coded politics in Thailand since 2006 due to the conflicts between supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra (red shirts) and the anti-Thaksin factions (yellow shirts). This thesis shows that, since the emergence of colour-coded politics, national politics has played a crucial role in provincial elections, from the processes of candidate selection to political campaigning. After 2006, the majority of provincial voters vote for candidates because of the influential roles of political parties, rather than candidates’ personal characteristics and qualifications. The core chapters of this thesis reveal that candidates who receive an official endorsement from national level political parties have a greater chance of winning elections than candidates without such support. Vote canvassers have also adapted their roles after the emergence of colour-coded politics by inviting MPs and other public figures to attend mass gatherings to attract more voters to vote for the endorsed candidate. This thesis also examines how money politics has not diminished in Thailand and shows that, in fact, the contrary is true. Money politics has worsened in recent years and has spread to provincial and local elections. Vote canvassers often use disguised forms of vote-buying in order to avoid being caught by the authorities. Finally, the perceptions of voters have changed. After the emergence of colour-coded politics, voters vote for candidates mainly because of the national political party that each candidate represents.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Local Politics, Elections, Decentralisation, Vote Buying
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Politics & International Studies (POLIS) (Leeds)
Depositing User: Miss Chanintorn Pensute
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2015 12:41
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2015 12:41
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9299

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