One week has gone by since tanks rolled through the streets of their city. How do Bangkok residents feel about the coup now? Local newspapers published a poll shortly after the coup, but who trusts a poll conducted under the barrel of a gun? Today I conducted my own poll. I spent an hour this evening riding public ferry boats up and down the Chao Phraya -- the big river that runs through Bangkok. I asked commuters two questions.
First question: "Coup - thumbs up or thumbs down?"
Second question: "Thaksin - thumbs up or thumbs down?"
One person I spoke with at some length was a cheerful banker named Chai Narong -- the only one in my survey who gave Thaksin a thumbs up. Chai said, "Corruption is a long-time-ago problem and Thaksin's just a scapegoat." I got some of Chai's thoughts on video.
Jotman’s Methodology for the River Poll: Of the 25 Thai people I approached, five declined to participate. Of those who agreed to answer questions, 13 were men and 7 women. All but 3 were between 20 and 40 years of age. I went out on the ferry boats because I thought I could get fairly mixed demographic as a ride costs under $.30. Asking 2 questions served as a check to reduce the chance of misunderstanding.