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Coming local elections


Brunolem

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As far as I know, next October, elections will be held to renew the representatives (2 per village) at Tambon level (TAO).

In my area, they call these elected officials "obotto"...I have no idea how to spell that...

Anyway, this job is a sinecure if there ever was one, and I would like my wife to be candidate and, if elected, enjoy the perks.

Yet, I will probably have to do all the heavy work since she is not motivated for...almost anything.

Having said that, I would like to start gathering some basic information about the election process, such as: when and where does one has to declare one's candidacy, what are the formalities and the costs (besides vote buying) involved, and so on.

If anyone has some knowledge or experience in that area, please feel free to share.

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From what my wife tells me, our village votes for 2 Puyaban that hold office for 5 years. Before now, they held office until they reached 60 years old. There is a number 1 Puyaban and a number 2 Puyaban. Our number 2 Puyaban attended our Thai marriage procedure as a witness and personal reference. He did the same for our immigration visit. I assume they are like village elders or mayors as they did oversee the village workers when they cemented over a dirt roadway to the Mekong river boardwalk. Beyond this, it may not be the same in all villages.

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6 hours ago, timkeen08 said:

From what my wife tells me, our village votes for 2 Puyaban that hold office for 5 years. Before now, they held office until they reached 60 years old. There is a number 1 Puyaban and a number 2 Puyaban. Our number 2 Puyaban attended our Thai marriage procedure as a witness and personal reference. He did the same for our immigration visit. I assume they are like village elders or mayors as they did oversee the village workers when they cemented over a dirt roadway to the Mekong river boardwalk. Beyond this, it may not be the same in all villages.

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The puh yai baan is the village chief.

The obotto are representing the tambon (district)...these are two different elections...

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"Anyway, this job is a sinecure if there ever was one, and I would like my wife to be candidate and, if elected, enjoy the perks."

 

What does your wife have to say about this?

 

 

"Yet, I will probably have to do all the heavy work since she is not motivated for...almost anything."

 

Yeah, right, I can just see all the locals getting right behind you on this one.

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23 minutes ago, grollies said:

"Anyway, this job is a sinecure if there ever was one, and I would like my wife to be candidate and, if elected, enjoy the perks."

 

What does your wife have to say about this?

 

 

"Yet, I will probably have to do all the heavy work since she is not motivated for...almost anything."

 

Yeah, right, I can just see all the locals getting right behind you on this one.

Oh but indeed you can.

As a matter of fact, I was asked a couple of times to become phu yai baan, which obviously is not possible because of these pesky nationality restrictions.

Yet, a farang can popular in a village, especially after living more than 15 years there...

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Has the law from age 60 to 5 years actually changed yet? I thought it was just being discussed. Also isn't there the head and 2 assistants? Well, my village has the 3 of them anyway. What are the perks? School costs? Medical? Usually the number 1 doesnt give their number 2 or 3 any monetary perks they come into. 

Do the perks outweigh the costs (if you have to pay for the vote)? 

 

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5 hours ago, Brunolem said:

Oh but indeed you can.

As a matter of fact, I was asked a couple of times to become phu yai baan, which obviously is not possible because of these pesky nationality restrictions.

Yet, a farang can popular in a village, especially after living more than 15 years there...

Good for you chap. I steer well clear of local village politics, here and in the UK.

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2 hours ago, wildewillie89 said:

Has the law from age 60 to 5 years actually changed yet? I thought it was just being discussed. Also isn't there the head and 2 assistants? Well, my village has the 3 of them anyway. What are the perks? School costs? Medical? Usually the number 1 doesnt give their number 2 or 3 any monetary perks they come into. 

Do the perks outweigh the costs (if you have to pay for the vote)? 

 

Once again, I am talking about the "obotto", not the "phu yai baan", or village chief.

The obotto (2 per village) represent the village at the tambon (district).

In practice, they get a big budget and do almost nothing for the people they represent...a meeting here and there, nice offices and good food, plus fat year end bonuses...for them only! 

I don't intend to pay for the votes, but rather try to alert the voters that, in exchange for a couple hundred bahts (paid by the other candidates), they get nothing, nada, for 4 years, which makes their vote pretty cheap.

Instead of buying their votes, my wife would actually use the budget to improve their living conditions which, in the long run, would be much better than a couple hundred bahts spent on the same day they get them.

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2 hours ago, Brunolem said:

Once again, I am talking about the "obotto", not the "phu yai baan", or village chief.

The obotto (2 per village) represent the village at the tambon (district).

In practice, they get a big budget and do almost nothing for the people they represent...a meeting here and there, nice offices and good food, plus fat year end bonuses...for them only! 

I don't intend to pay for the votes, but rather try to alert the voters that, in exchange for a couple hundred bahts (paid by the other candidates), they get nothing, nada, for 4 years, which makes their vote pretty cheap.

Instead of buying their votes, my wife would actually use the budget to improve their living conditions which, in the long run, would be much better than a couple hundred bahts spent on the same day they get them.

All the village chief talk sidetracked me. 

Tambon mean sub-district, not district I thought.
 

The 'obotto' is a small municipality yeah? The person (politician) is 'sor obotto' isn't it? Not big enough to be classed a municipality? Isn't the government still currently trying to change the law to take out all 'obottos' and the neighbouring municipalities will pick them up? Which will potentially bring in more candidates if that does happen (bigger budget, potential for more sneaky money). 
 

What your saying is that there are the 2 politicians of each village, rather than of a municipality, but of an 'obotto' - so 'sor obotto' (what you want her to run for). If that is correct, I am with you now.

The budget is only big if the Mayor works hard and pushes through the paper work. Unless in industry regions so can tax a lot of business'. 

 

You cannot buy votes with the budget, nearly every politician in Thailand is in big debt to pay for votes. They believe that once in the position the sneaky money they get will pay off the debt, it almost never does though. Also that sneaky money only ever happens if the Mayor decides to give them the money (which most don't). Then they complain and abuse the Mayor for being corrupt (when it is the opposite), because they cant be corrupt themselves. Then the village turns into a shit storm. Our village politicians just seriously voted against lines being painted on the road because the Mayor refused to pay them to vote for that. Mayor ended up having to threaten them with the Governor will come and ask why they didn't vote in favour of the project. 

I know it's a nice thought, but I think many Thai are unfortunately of the belief that money is still more important than morals (as the above example). However, there is a law that is trying to be pushed through at the minute that will have more severe penalties for paying for votes at election time. 

But yes, good for people who want a salary with not much work...i guess that is the perk if do not pay for the position. 

Edited by wildewillie89
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17 hours ago, wildewillie89 said:

All the village chief talk sidetracked me. 

Tambon mean sub-district, not district I thought.
 

The 'obotto' is a small municipality yeah? The person (politician) is 'sor obotto' isn't it? Not big enough to be classed a municipality? Isn't the government still currently trying to change the law to take out all 'obottos' and the neighbouring municipalities will pick them up? Which will potentially bring in more candidates if that does happen (bigger budget, potential for more sneaky money). 
 

What your saying is that there are the 2 politicians of each village, rather than of a municipality, but of an 'obotto' - so 'sor obotto' (what you want her to run for). If that is correct, I am with you now.

The budget is only big if the Mayor works hard and pushes through the paper work. Unless in industry regions so can tax a lot of business'. 

 

You cannot buy votes with the budget, nearly every politician in Thailand is in big debt to pay for votes. They believe that once in the position the sneaky money they get will pay off the debt, it almost never does though. Also that sneaky money only ever happens if the Mayor decides to give them the money (which most don't). Then they complain and abuse the Mayor for being corrupt (when it is the opposite), because they cant be corrupt themselves. Then the village turns into a shit storm. Our village politicians just seriously voted against lines being painted on the road because the Mayor refused to pay them to vote for that. Mayor ended up having to threaten them with the Governor will come and ask why they didn't vote in favour of the project. 

I know it's a nice thought, but I think many Thai are unfortunately of the belief that money is still more important than morals (as the above example). However, there is a law that is trying to be pushed through at the minute that will have more severe penalties for paying for votes at election time. 

But yes, good for people who want a salary with not much work...i guess that is the perk if do not pay for the position. 

Yes, I think we are talking about the same thing...the "obotto" or "sor obotto"...and I also heard about this reform project, but have no information on whether it will be implemented before October 2017, the supposed time for the next election.

In my area, the former candidates have gone into debt to get elected, but they have made up nicely after that, judging by the houses they all have built for themselves, while not spending a dime for the population who voted for them.

A very good "return on investment" for these corrupt local politicians.

Having said that, do you have any idea of where I could get some solid information about the coming, or not, obotto elections?

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22 hours ago, Brunolem said:

Yes, I think we are talking about the same thing...the "obotto" or "sor obotto"...and I also heard about this reform project, but have no information on whether it will be implemented before October 2017, the supposed time for the next election.

In my area, the former candidates have gone into debt to get elected, but they have made up nicely after that, judging by the houses they all have built for themselves, while not spending a dime for the population who voted for them.

A very good "return on investment" for these corrupt local politicians.

Having said that, do you have any idea of where I could get some solid information about the coming, or not, obotto elections?


In terms of the 'obotto' being connected into municipalities, that law was pushed but had a lot of pressure. Basically due to the fact the Mayors would automatically lose the election as the municipalities have more people to vote (a 6-1 ratio for example). When it was really being talked about the Mayor of an obtto near us called my father in law (Mayor of a municipality) and said he wouldn't even bother running against him at election time because of that very ratio. I find it difficult to believe that the change will get up though. So obottos will remain in my opinion, but the army government do see them as a waste of time. 

Elections will be when the army decides. So really depends on how much pressure is put on them.


Do you live in a developed area? In terms of many businesses or factories etc? You wonder if they are building houses, that they have just gone and stupidly taken high interest loans (to pay for the vote and house), rather than actually pay the house off with their corrupt money. Both illegal either way and Thai think in the present rather than of any future ramifications (like losing their land papers because the corrupt money isn't as much as they thought). 

I have one uncle and one auntie (different sides of family) who are both politicians (and the builder of our house)...they make no money. Although they never paid, only because they are super respected in the community. It can divide families up pretty fast sometimes. 


The father in law i think is ranked 11th best Mayor of 7,853 (from memory) Mayors just since the last election (his first term) due to how much he has developed his area. So I know you cannot make money and develop by the book at the same time. But it also depends on how much tax the place gets from businesses in the area. It is an odd one, you can develop by the book and the villages benefit but you make no money. Or you can develop off the book, the village gets a crappy project but politicians get money. Either way to make the corrupt money you need paper work being done to push through projects. Also if just a politician it is harder to make money. As the Mayors pay them to vote through projects in many places. So if the Mayor doesn't want to pay (like in my village), then the village can suffer greatly as the politicians complain they aren't getting any corruption money and vote no. Luckily, the father in law is ex army, and his brother is the boss of police in the city so he can bluff his way out to get stuff through.
 
Thai politics really can be incredibly slow and frustrating dealing with ignorant people better not to go into it if you ask me haha. Also  very dangerous. The Mrs, Director of Public Health, has bullet holes in her office, from the last people who held it (not attack on the position - as that is not an elected position, just the administration), Not uncommon for the father to get threats and have police drive up and down past his house  He only finds out about them from actual police investigations, rather than direct threats.  The locals don't understand politics or the law at all, but fight it in crazy ways (usually a mix of jealousy, ignorance and alcohol). . 

Edited by wildewillie89
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35 minutes ago, wildewillie89 said:


In terms of the 'obotto' being connected into municipalities, that law was pushed but had a lot of pressure. Basically due to the fact the Mayors would automatically lose the election as the municipalities have more people to vote (a 6-1 ratio for example). When it was really being talked about the Mayor of an obtto near us called my father in law (Mayor of a municipality) and said he wouldn't even bother running against him at election time because of that very ratio. I find it difficult to believe that the change will get up though. So obottos will remain in my opinion, but the army government do see them as a waste of time. 

Elections will be when the army decides. So really depends on how much pressure is put on them.


Do you live in a developed area? In terms of many businesses or factories etc? You wonder if they are building houses, that they have just gone and stupidly taken high interest loans (to pay for the vote and house), rather than actually pay the house off with their corrupt money. Both illegal either way and Thai think in the present rather than of any future ramifications (like losing their land papers because the corrupt money isn't as much as they thought). 

I have one uncle and one auntie (different sides of family) who are both politicians (and the builder of our house)...they make no money. Although they never paid, only because they are super respected in the community. It can divide families up pretty fast sometimes. 


The father in law i think is ranked 11th best Mayor of 7,853 (from memory) Mayors just since the last election (his first term) due to how much he has developed his area. So I know you cannot make money and develop by the book at the same time. But it also depends on how much tax the place gets from businesses in the area. It is an odd one, you can develop by the book and the villages benefit but you make no money. Or you can develop off the book, the village gets a crappy project but politicians get money. Either way to make the corrupt money you need paper work being done to push through projects. Also if just a politician it is harder to make money. As the Mayors pay them to vote through projects in many places. So if the Mayor doesn't want to pay (like in my village), then the village can suffer greatly as the politicians complain they aren't getting any corruption money and vote no. Luckily, the father in law is ex army, and his brother is the boss of police in the city so he can bluff his way out to get stuff through.
 
Thai politics really can be incredibly slow and frustrating dealing with ignorant people better not to go into it if you ask me haha. Also  very dangerous. The Mrs, Director of Public Health, has bullet holes in her office, from the last people who held it (not attack on the position - as that is not an elected position, just the administration), Not uncommon for the father to get threats and have police drive up and down past his house  He only finds out about them from actual police investigations, rather than direct threats.  The locals don't understand politics or the law at all, but fight it in crazy ways (usually a mix of jealousy, ignorance and alcohol). . 

They make no money in terms of extra money (as the Mayor refuses to pay them), obviously have their salaries. 

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5 hours ago, wildewillie89 said:


In terms of the 'obotto' being connected into municipalities, that law was pushed but had a lot of pressure. Basically due to the fact the Mayors would automatically lose the election as the municipalities have more people to vote (a 6-1 ratio for example). When it was really being talked about the Mayor of an obtto near us called my father in law (Mayor of a municipality) and said he wouldn't even bother running against him at election time because of that very ratio. I find it difficult to believe that the change will get up though. So obottos will remain in my opinion, but the army government do see them as a waste of time. 

Elections will be when the army decides. So really depends on how much pressure is put on them.


Do you live in a developed area? In terms of many businesses or factories etc? You wonder if they are building houses, that they have just gone and stupidly taken high interest loans (to pay for the vote and house), rather than actually pay the house off with their corrupt money. Both illegal either way and Thai think in the present rather than of any future ramifications (like losing their land papers because the corrupt money isn't as much as they thought). 

I have one uncle and one auntie (different sides of family) who are both politicians (and the builder of our house)...they make no money. Although they never paid, only because they are super respected in the community. It can divide families up pretty fast sometimes. 


The father in law i think is ranked 11th best Mayor of 7,853 (from memory) Mayors just since the last election (his first term) due to how much he has developed his area. So I know you cannot make money and develop by the book at the same time. But it also depends on how much tax the place gets from businesses in the area. It is an odd one, you can develop by the book and the villages benefit but you make no money. Or you can develop off the book, the village gets a crappy project but politicians get money. Either way to make the corrupt money you need paper work being done to push through projects. Also if just a politician it is harder to make money. As the Mayors pay them to vote through projects in many places. So if the Mayor doesn't want to pay (like in my village), then the village can suffer greatly as the politicians complain they aren't getting any corruption money and vote no. Luckily, the father in law is ex army, and his brother is the boss of police in the city so he can bluff his way out to get stuff through.
 
Thai politics really can be incredibly slow and frustrating dealing with ignorant people better not to go into it if you ask me haha. Also  very dangerous. The Mrs, Director of Public Health, has bullet holes in her office, from the last people who held it (not attack on the position - as that is not an elected position, just the administration), Not uncommon for the father to get threats and have police drive up and down past his house  He only finds out about them from actual police investigations, rather than direct threats.  The locals don't understand politics or the law at all, but fight it in crazy ways (usually a mix of jealousy, ignorance and alcohol). . 

This is all very interesting...many thanks!

In my undeveloped area, things are much more low key than what you describe.

Anyway, I will take your advice into consideration and think twice before making a decision.

Regarding the danger, I am not that much surprised...lives are very cheap here and people get killed over petty things...

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2 minutes ago, Brunolem said:

This is all very interesting...many thanks!

In my undeveloped area, things are much more low key than what you describe.

Anyway, I will take your advice into consideration and think twice before making a decision.

Regarding the danger, I am not that much surprised...lives are very cheap here and people get killed over petty things...

......like trying to take over Or.Bor.Tor......

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2 minutes ago, grollies said:

......like trying to take over Or.Bor.Tor......

Not that, but like trying to oppose the "mayor", the head honcho, to actually get things done rather than skimming the budget money for personal use...

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3 minutes ago, Brunolem said:

Not that, but like trying to oppose the "mayor", the head honcho, to actually get things done rather than skimming the budget money for personal use...

Would be better off kinda unofficially campaigning against him, spreading a few rumours. The rumours we get are amazing. One generous sized stray German Shepherd came from another area came into our village. The opponents went around saying the farang dog has escaped (we have a Caucasian Shepherd puppy, similar size, but completely different shape/markings). We had to physically take people to our house to show our dog was still there before they would settle down...As our dog is big and protects our house quite vigorously, it is a devil dog supposedly for the opponents...supporters love the dog as I have spent hours socialising it, so they love being able to, one pat a dog in Thailand without being bitten lol, and two, pat a dog bigger than them. 

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52 minutes ago, Brunolem said:

Not that, but like trying to oppose the "mayor", the head honcho, to actually get things done rather than skimming the budget money for personal use...

you are seriously deluded.

 

and after 15 years here one would have thought you'd understand the terminology and political hierarchy.

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23 minutes ago, grollies said:

you are seriously deluded.

 

and after 15 years here one would have thought you'd understand the terminology and political hierarchy.

It is possible, but incredibly difficult. The only way politicians can influence anything is if they get 100% concrete evidence that the Mayor is indeed corrupt (which is very hard in itself). Then all politicians must agree to take the matter further. Where it gets hard is that some Mayors will pay politicians every time they have meetings. I know a rich Mayor who actually employs me (in the municipality next to ours) who does this and I asked my wife why he does it. It is for future protection if you like. Running for Mayor would be less effort lol.

Edited by wildewillie89
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2 hours ago, bbi1 said:

"Yet, I will probably have to do all the heavy work since she is not motivated for...almost anything."

 

Do you have a work permit to do this work you are referring to?

We are all still wondering, do you have a work permit to do the work you were referring to? By the silence I'm presuming it's a "no" and you will be doing the work illegally.

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34 minutes ago, bbi1 said:

We are all still wondering, do you have a work permit to do the work you were referring to? By the silence I'm presuming it's a "no" and you will be doing the work illegally.

Why would he need a 'work permit'? The Mrs would have the actual job title, he would be more offering advice to people. Basically, it is having conversations with community members. Talking to your neighbours. I don't think he meant 'work' in a literal sense.

 

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Looking at the situation at a whole I would strongly advise against bothering your wife to run as a politician (unless you do it for the salary then by all means go for it), as it is nearly impossible to change the Mayors way of doing things. If she can be bothered to run as Mayor and you have the money to campaign against him to back her up, that would be the only way I can see of changing him.

 

Also. is the Mayor really that corrupt? If he is at a underdeveloped area, then I can't really see the budget being all that big to make that much money if projects are not getting pushed through. Our last Mayor just went and farmed all day. Did nothing, so no budget, no corruption, but no development. How many projects get through is dependent on how hard the Mayor and staff work. So if you have a corrupt Mayor, usually they are lazy so the place does not develop, but he also doesn't make much money (not enough to affect the overall development of the community anyway). Also half the budgets go through the District Office, so the Mayor doesn't have chances to even be corrupt as it hasn't gone through him.   

The Mayors with the massive houses were already rich to begin with. They go into the job for ego more than anything else. Not really that corrupt, useless at developing the community, but love how every person licks their shoes like they are some God. 


Many times the so called corruption is purely a lack of understanding of the law by the people also. For example, trucks should be legally taxed on rural residential roads, canals deeper than 4 metres are also taxed. So as soon as a Mayor asks for the tax, people complain as if he is taking money off the poor (as previous Mayors didn't know this law). The tax goes into fixing the roads the same trucks break. So I would check if the Mayor is actually thatbad, rather than Thailand just not coming up to our 'farang' expectations, or Thai people not understanding the law and talking crap....also remember most Thai complain about corruption as they don't have the opportunity to get it, if they're in the same position they will do it. I don't accept complains of that nature. 

 

Finally, even hard working municipalities or obottos look incredibly lazy....just like all government offices do. So don't take that a sign of nothing being done, just take it as a sign of that is how Thailand is. As previously mentioned, the father in law is already ranked 11th out of 7,800 odd Mayors in Thailand. In what, 3 years in office or whatever it is. Even though he has got that ranking due to how much he has developed the place from what it was before by pushing through projects (still very underdeveloped), you visit the workplace and it is annoyingly cruisey (he is considered a strict boss in Thai). Just like government schools, district offices, immigration offices etc etc.  Yes, a lot more could be achieved if Thai had the work ethics of other countries, but at the end of the day they don't. One reason the country remains in 'developing' status. 

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15 hours ago, wildewillie89 said:

Why would he need a 'work permit'? The Mrs would have the actual job title, he would be more offering advice to people. Basically, it is having conversations with community members. Talking to your neighbours. I don't think he meant 'work' in a literal sense.

 

Confirmed! I meant "work" in the sense you discribe, as in "public relations" meaning...

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1 hour ago, wildewillie89 said:

Looking at the situation at a whole I would strongly advise against bothering your wife to run as a politician (unless you do it for the salary then by all means go for it), as it is nearly impossible to change the Mayors way of doing things. If she can be bothered to run as Mayor and you have the money to campaign against him to back her up, that would be the only way I can see of changing him.

 

Also. is the Mayor really that corrupt? If he is at a underdeveloped area, then I can't really see the budget being all that big to make that much money if projects are not getting pushed through. Our last Mayor just went and farmed all day. Did nothing, so no budget, no corruption, but no development. How many projects get through is dependent on how hard the Mayor and staff work. So if you have a corrupt Mayor, usually they are lazy so the place does not develop, but he also doesn't make much money (not enough to affect the overall development of the community anyway). Also half the budgets go through the District Office, so the Mayor doesn't have chances to even be corrupt as it hasn't gone through him.   

The Mayors with the massive houses were already rich to begin with. They go into the job for ego more than anything else. Not really that corrupt, useless at developing the community, but love how every person licks their shoes like they are some God. 


Many times the so called corruption is purely a lack of understanding of the law by the people also. For example, trucks should be legally taxed on rural residential roads, canals deeper than 4 metres are also taxed. So as soon as a Mayor asks for the tax, people complain as if he is taking money off the poor (as previous Mayors didn't know this law). The tax goes into fixing the roads the same trucks break. So I would check if the Mayor is actually thatbad, rather than Thailand just not coming up to our 'farang' expectations, or Thai people not understanding the law and talking crap....also remember most Thai complain about corruption as they don't have the opportunity to get it, if they're in the same position they will do it. I don't accept complains of that nature. 

 

Finally, even hard working municipalities or obottos look incredibly lazy....just like all government offices do. So don't take that a sign of nothing being done, just take it as a sign of that is how Thailand is. As previously mentioned, the father in law is already ranked 11th out of 7,800 odd Mayors in Thailand. In what, 3 years in office or whatever it is. Even though he has got that ranking due to how much he has developed the place from what it was before by pushing through projects (still very underdeveloped), you visit the workplace and it is annoyingly cruisey (he is considered a strict boss in Thai). Just like government schools, district offices, immigration offices etc etc.  Yes, a lot more could be achieved if Thai had the work ethics of other countries, but at the end of the day they don't. One reason the country remains in 'developing' status. 

That would indeed be for the salary only, since I am well aware how things are, expecially in local administrations, and how foolish it would be to even think about changing them...

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2 minutes ago, Brunolem said:

That would indeed be for the salary only, since I am well aware how things are, expecially in local administrations, and how foolish it would be to even think about changing them...

I gave changing them a shot...drives you mad. I could provide enough research to change the odd small thing they voted no on at local level, and their vote changed to yes. And I tried to change the whole rabies vaccination program on a national level lol, but the powers at be are still are stuck in 1970s thinking. 

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16 hours ago, bbi1 said:

We are all still wondering, do you have a work permit to do the work you were referring to? By the silence I'm presuming it's a "no" and you will be doing the work illegally.

There is no "work" as per the definition linked to a work permit.

"hard work" was only used for convenience...the actual "work" would only be abou motivating, convincing the concerned people, while talking to them in the course of day to day regular relations.

No plan to open an office and start recruiting...

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