It’s election weekend here in Thailand and some mongers are worried about what it means in the future and how it will impact them. No need to worry. I’m here to explain.
Everything Changes And Nothing Changes
Thailand hasn’t had an election in 4 years or something like that. Don’t quote me on exact dates because I am too lazy to look it up. Just know that for the first time the Thai people sorta have an opportunity to vote on an elected government.
Voting for officials for the first time in a long time is a big deal around here. People could not assemble and discuss politics in large groups, all parties were banned, and in effect, any form of dissent was viewed dimly and if you pissed anyone off you may end up in a re-education camp for a week or two. So having elections means all this is now in the past. Least in theory.
The theory part is the new constitution was written by the military and it heavily favors them. Thailand has always been this way with the military holding a vast amount of power even during democracy. It has always been this way and it will remain this way. Again, I am too lazy to look up how many constitutions Thailand has had but it’s double digits for sure.
What Does It Mean For Mongering
People are worried the new government will change everything and Thailand will fall into chaos and the bars will be a distant memory. That is false. I won’t go into details why but let’s just say the bar industry is a money maker for a lot of people. There is also tax revenue generated off bars so it’s a lucrative business.
What I will disabuse you of the notion is that bars for foreigners are the money earners. You would be dead wrong. The bulk of the business comes from the locals. In every country where there is tolerated prostitution, the locals are the biggest consumers. They are there constantly and spend the money consistently. Foreigners are just a quick hit and done. I doubt we make up more than 10% of total profits.
Guys worry whenever there is a change in governments but it’s nothing to worry about. There won’t be civil unrest, there won’t be a crackdown or anything else. It will be business as usual. So keep your trips planned and come over. The weather is nice and the natives are friendly.
If you happen to be in town this weekend keep in mind a couple of things. Bars are closing at 6 PM on Saturday night and will not open again till Midnight Monday aka Sunday night at Midnight. Yes, some bars will be serving coffee and juice but most aren’t going to risk it. The police will take a dim view of it and seek maximum penalties. Last weekend was early voting so there was some skating around it. This weekend not so much.
If you are in town, go to 7-11, Big C, Tesco, whatever and stock up if you are afraid of having a dry weekend. If you want a girl, arrange for one now and keep her on retainer. Legally she is required to vote but I haven’t seen a Thai turn down money yet.
Just realize one thing, you are a guest in this country. Those of us that live here have some leeway on what we can talk about. You generally don’t. So keep that in mind. Let them do their politics on their own and you worry about where to stick your weenie for 24 hours or so.