Isaan voters have a long track record of their candidates winning and then eventually losing. Northeasterners picked parties whose leaders became prime ministers in 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011, and 2014. But they lost to coups (twice), court rulings (two or three times), and election annulments (twice). The overwhelming choice of Isaan voters (and the majority of voters throughout the country) now face a new challenge: an unelected Senate. Will its beloved Pheu Thai Party rise to the occasion and save democracy? Or will it take the premiership and break the pro-democratic bloc? Does it have any choice?
The Isaan Record launches its series, “The new generation of Isaan rises up.” How does the current student movement in Thailand compare to other student movements historically? We ask the noted scholar Thongchai WInichakul to weigh in.