here's my dad's take on Thailand. I may post excerpts from his emails in the future, just because they're interesting.
"Tremendous divide here between the educated and the uneducated. Oh, fair election, yes as far as the actual voting and counting were done but vote buying is still rampant in the north with the poor masses and the current Thaksin buddies are surely the most liberal about giving the baht for the votes. This all takes place well before the election so the international press doesn't care to report about it. If Samak becomes the new Prime Minister, there will be some interesting stories coming out of the woodwork with his contempt for almost anyone who disagrees with him. Thaksin was thrown out because he was so blatant in the corruption and self enrichment to himself, his family and buddies. Sold shares of his Telephone company to kids for 1 baht and they turned around in days and resold them for 50baht each. He sold his Telephone company to another company and pulled all kinds of strings to get excepted from Capitol Gains Tax on the sale. Wife purchased government owned land for a pittance in downtown Bangkok. Oh, he was well loved by those have not's in the hinterlands because of his government give aways of baht for all kinds of programs and purposes. He knew how to buy the votes and the educated just got tired of it. The educated are also guilty of keeping the uneducated masses down by not promoting education for them which would really solve some problems."