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Thread: Thai junta : Why are some opinion poll results so positive?

  1. #1

    Thai junta : Why are some opinion poll results so positive?

    Why are some opinion poll results so positive about the Thai junta?
    Saksith Saiyasombut
    Saksith Saiyasombut blogs extensively about Thai politics and current affairs since 2010 and works as an international freelance broadcast journalist. Read his full bio on about.me/saksith.
    Sep 24, 2014


    A Thai soldier stands guard in front of the Democracy Monument in Bangkok after the military seized power on May 22.

    Pic: AP.

    ”The streets are quiet, there are no protests and people are happy!”

    This is a common justification of the military coup in Thailand. And often – despite apparent ongoing repression of dissent – the proponents of the army’s actions base these claims on the results of opinion polls.

    A couple of months ago we highlighted the flawed fallacy of taking opinion poll results as a serious indicator of the mood among Thais and what they think of the current political situation, especially about the junta and their work.

    Apart from the general problems with Thai opinion polls (i.e. dodgy methodology and phrasing, small sample sizes, questions about representation etc.), the circumstances since the coup – such as the crackdown on criticism on the street, online and in the media – are discouraging people from expressing their true feelings:

    According to one pollster, a number of respondents refused to be interviewed when asked about their political views for fear that they would be “summoned” by the junta.

    As a result, the respondents are dominated by either yellow-shirt supporters or people who are politically neutral, said the source, who requested anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to the press.

    Mainstream polls have provided glowing praise of the performance of the National Council for Peace and Order since it seized power on May 22, amid orders curbing freedom of expression of the media and anti-coup protesters.

    NCPO ‘deterring’ honest opinion polls”, Bangkok Post, August 3, 2014

    Besides the likely skewed results by the established opinion poll institutes like ABAC, Bangkok University and Suan Dusit (whose results and methods have been also often criticized in the past), a new organization is raising suspicion with findings such as this:

    Up to 95 per cent of the public support
    junta chief and PM-elect Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha as the prime minister, the Master Poll survey has found. The survey was carried out by Thai Researchers in Community Happiness Association among leaders of 622 communities around the country on Friday and Saturday.

    Prayuth receives public overwhelming support as PM: survey“, The Nation, August 24, 2014
    The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has gained increased popularity since it seized power in May with latest poll by the Thai Researchers in Community Happiness Association revealing the junta’s popularity now rises to 81 percent from 70.1 percent.

    Military junta’s popularity rises“, ThaiPBS, September 22, 2014

    The “Master Poll” surveys (no reason given why they’re called that) are conducted by the Thai Researchers in Community Happiness Association (TRICHA), which emerged very shortly after the military coup on May 22, 2014. Its first poll on June 14 right away found that 80.8 per cent among 1,209 people are “happier” ever since the hostile takeover.

    Other surveys in the past couple months included asking 599 people about the weekly Friday evening TV address by outgoing army chief, junta leader and Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha (90 per cent are watching it regularly! 95 per cent like it!) or asking a diminutive sample size of 424 moviegoers if they liked the junta-organized screenings of the of the fifth installment of the nationalistic, dramatized biopic series of the 16th-century King Naresuan – guess what: 93.7 per cent of them came out “happier” because they got to see a movie for free!

    Not only are nearly all results of their “Master Poll” surveys suspiciously overwhelmingly positive towards the junta, despite a relatively small sample size (in most cases below a 1,000), but also the sudden appearance of TRICHA itself shortly after the coup does raise some questions.

    In a message on TRICHA’s website (in which the survey results are in Thai, but everything else oddly is in English), it states that, “As one of private companies in Thailand, (…) the Master Poll and Policy, Co., Ltd. plays a leadership role as one of the country’s
    organizations for academic research and policy making.
    ” (sic!) This message is signed by an unnamed “Association’s Chief”, whose profile on the website is empty as of writing, as are many other sections.

    A look at the website’s domain registration reveals that both masterpoll.net and tricha.net are registered to Mr. Noppadon Kannika, who has also been occasionally named as TRICHA’s director in the Thai press (e.g. here). According to his bio from his Alma Mater University of Michigan (where he graduated in Survey Methodology), he was director of the ABAC Poll Research Center and has held “some official positions,” including one at the Royal Thai Army – indeed, he has been research advisor to the commander-in-chief in the past.

    According to his profiles on Twitter and LinkedIn, he left ABAC to pursue another Master degree at Georgetown University in Strategy and Policy Management, while his Twitter bio still links to ABAC Poll, but has been regularly tweeting news articles about the “Master Poll” results. The masterpoll.net domain was registered on May 15, 2014 – one week before the military coup. That could be just a coincidence. However, Mr. Noppadon’s LinkedIn page lists the “Royal Thai Army” as his current employer while his job title is, according to himself, “unknown”!

    Given the relative lack of information on the TRICHA’s website, the apparently suspicious career choice its director made recently and ultimately a bunch of questionably one-sided survey results are ultimately clear indicators that these are very weak foundations to base an universal assessment of the Thai people’s happiness – especially in the current political climate where only very few options and opinions are tolerated.

    asiancorrespondent.com

  2. #2
    Cool.....no reason not to hold an election then

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by MrBlobby View Post
    Cool.....no reason not to hold an election then
    Absolutely. We should have a poll on here.

    Are you "happier" (whatever that means ) since the errrr rearrangement of thinks in this lovely country?

  4. #4
    Dusit Poll: Over 80 percent are satisfied with NCPO’s performance
    October 26, 2014




    Dusit Poll says that over 80 percent of the people are satisfied with the performance of the Nation Council for Peace and Order during the first five months in the office as political conflict has eased and the council has been trying to drive the country to move forward in all directions.

    The opinion survey was conducted during October 21-25 by Suan Dusit Poll of Ratjabhat Suan Dusit University. A total of 1,677 selected people from throughout the country were interviewed.
    The followings are the results of the poll:

    On the question of how the interviewees think about the NCPO’s performance in the past five months, the results are:

    82.17 percent said the council was in control of the situation as there was no violent political conflict;

    81.24 percent said the council began to face problem with criticism that the council wants to monopolise power through the National Legislative Assembly;

    77.21 percent thought the council has tried to resolve all problems to move the country forward.

    On the question of their satisfaction with the NCPO’s performance in the past five months, the poll results show:

    55.14 percent said they were satisfied;

    31.46 percent said they were very satisfied;

    10.28 said they were not satisfied and 3.12 percent said they were not satisfied at all because of the council’s dictatorial tendency and obstruction of free expressions.

    On the question of the outstanding features of the council, the results are:

    42.06 percent said the council was decisive and straightforward;

    35.30 percent said that the council was involved in the efforts to resolve all problems to strengthen the society in all sectors;

    22.64 percent said the council has a clear roadmap of what to do and has a clear timeframe.

    Regarding the obstacles of the NCPO, the results show:

    37.68 percent said economic slowdown was the main factor affecting the livelihood of the people;

    32.64 said the council has obstructed freedom of expressions;

    29.68 percent said that the council’s policies and working style might not satisfy the people.

    Regarding their expectations from the NCPO, the poll results show:

    43.95 percent said they wanted the council get rid of all forms of corruption in earnest;

    35.98 percent said they expected to see honest administration; and 20.07 percent said they wanted to see all opposing sides to cooperate for the benefit of the country.

    In term of scores received by the council for the past five months, the results are:

    8.82 scores for the first month;

    8.87 scores for the second month;

    8.80 scores for the third month;

    8.57 scores for the fourth month and

    8.52 scores for the fifth month.

    englishnews.thaipbs.or.th

  5. #5
    Thailand Lifer sabang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid View Post
    A total of 1,677 selected people from throughout the country were interviewed.
    How selected, I wonder?

  6. #6
    ^ Probably selected during their promotion interview.

  7. #7
    Thailand Lifer Texpat's Avatar
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    43.95 percent said they wanted the council get rid of all forms of corruption in earnest;
    And 56.05 ? Fascinating.

    rearrangement of thinks in this lovely country
    Nice wordplay luckyjim.

  8. #8
    ^ Highlights the importance of knowing the poll questions rather than just the reports stemming from them:

    43.95 percent said they wanted the council get rid of all forms of corruption in earnest;
    35.98 percent said they expected to see honest administration; and
    20.07 percent said they wanted to see all opposing sides to cooperate for the benefit of the country.
    The three % above add up to 100%, which suggests the question went something like:

    Which of the following three do you think is the most important for the NCPO at this time.....

  9. #9
    Prayut must stay on as PM until problems solved: survey
    November 2, 2014

    Prayut

    Most community leaders want Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to serve as the country's PM for as long as it takes to resolve the country's problems, according to a survey released yesterday by Master Poll.

    Of 626 community leaders surveyed, 63.6 per cent want Prayut to continue in his post till the problems facing the country are solved.

    Another 7.7 per cent said they would give him time to work one more year, 14.9 per cent would like him to continue working for two years, 5.8 per cent wanted him to work for another three years, and 8 per cent said he should continue working for four years.

    Assoc Prof Chet Ratchadapannathikul, chairman of the Thai Researchers in Community Happiness Association, said the survey showed the Prayut government and the National Council for Peace and Order receiving a job approval rating of 8.5 out of 10.

    The government work that received the highest score was promoting His Majesty the King's sufficiency principle, with a score of 8.68, followed by the state subsidy to rubber farmers - at Bt1,000 per rai with a maximum of 15 rai - with a score of 8.39.

    The high score for the subsidy for rubber farmers came despite reports that leaders of rubber farmers had expressed disappointment, and had attacked the scheme as only a short-term remedy. They have called on the government to provide sustainable solutions to plummeting rubber prices, for instance, by establishing an industry to buy rubber instead of solely relying on exports.

    Other projects mentioned in the survey that received relatively high scores were the debt moratorium for poor farmers; supporting poor people with vision disability; establishing industrial and agricultural zones; the achievements of the PM by attending the Asia-Europe Meeting Summit in Italy and that he was able to get the world community to understand the situation in Thailand.

    Others were developing rail lines between cities, developing highways to link production bases with other countries, developing land transport networks to reduce traffic congestion and projects to increase air transport potential and to boost water transport networks. The survey was conducted from October 25-31.

    nationmultimedia.com

  10. #10
    "Of 626 community leaders surveyed, 63.6 per cent want Prayut to continue in his post till the problems facing the country are solved."

    Not bad or maybe not so good. Depends on where the 626 are located. If "community leaders" are amphoe chiefs and provincial governors 626 is far from the total. 926 amphoe chiefs and 76 govs. If factor in all are appointed/approved by Minister of Interior General Anupomg Paochinda not surprised consensus is Prayuth should remain PM til the problems are solved. However long it may take.
    Last edited by Norton; 11-02-2014 at 11:43 AM.

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