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Barack Obama's re-election reverberates far beyond US borders — so much so that citizens of some distant nations, like Pakistan and Turkey, say they too should have been able to vote. To give them a voice, GlobalPost interviewed people around the world for their views on the United States and who they hoped would win the election.

Thailand

US Election: What if Thailand could vote?

Thais say Obama is OK but they want a little respect, and as one sums it up: 'America is both 'BS' and cool at the same time.'

 


BANGKOK, Thailand — As part of GlobalPost's project to interview 100 people in 20 locations around the world about the 2012 US election, we asked Thais:

Who do you want to win the 2012 US election?

Will the election affect your country?

How has your view of the US changed since President Obama took office?

What should the next US president do?

  • Name: Chat Limpongcharoen
    Country: Thailand
  • Occupation: Driver
  • Age: 51
  • I would vote for: Undecided
My vote: "There are two parties, right? I’d vote for the party that can best manage power and policy. But I couldn’t tell you which that might be."

The election's impact: "Not much if at all. We’re just a small country."

My view: "It’s improved. We’re a small country so we don’t necessarily want a huge influence from a big country like America. Obama has kept things nice and calm here."

Top priority: "He should try to fix American society’s divide over skin color and race. And if that works, try to fix the world as well."

  • Name: Daeng Bhunprom
    Country: Thailand
  • Occupation: Assistant to bureaucrats
  • Age: 57
  • I would vote for: Obama
My vote: "I would choose Obama again. He seems to be doing a decent job."

The election's impact: "Probably not unless America’s economy gets bad again."

My view: "It’s the same, really. I’ve liked America ever since your country won World War II."

Top priority: "I’m concerned about only one issue: floods and droughts in America. I want the government to help them. If they can help solve these problems, perhaps they can give us technical advice." 

  • Name: Pao Santipap
    Country: Thailand
  • Occupation: Student
  • Age: 18
  • I would vote for: Romney
My vote: "I’d choose the new person. Obama seems to have met the minimum expectation. It’s really up to Americans but I’d be interested in anyone who can make a change."

My view: "There are so many parts of America to look at: politics, the economy and so on. My overall feelings are good but I can’t say the same for America’s economy."

Top priority: "To develop society and become as close as possible to the citizens so he can understand what the people need." 



Name: Wittawat Techarungrot  
Country: Thailand
Occupation: Freelancer
Age: 27
I would vote for: Obama
My vote: "I guess I have to vote Obama. I can’t vote for some guy I don’t know."

The election's impact: "Well, if Obama wins, we’ll see him on the news more. Maybe we’ll have some new policies, another foreign trade policy that [screws] us up even more."

My view: "America is both bullshit and cool at the same time. No matter what you do, I still listen to a lot of your music, watch your movies and I quite like a few American writers."

Top priority: "Stop the wars. Stop political sanctions.

  • Name: Kaewmanee “Jing” Wimonchaiyaporn 
    Country: Thailand
  • Occupation: Retailer
  • Age: 25
  • I would vote for: Obama
My vote: "I know nothing about Mitt Romney. Barack is doing an OK job. I think I’ve got to choose Obama."

My view: "Our image of America is getting better. Even though the economy is getting worse. But at least people like America, right?"

Top priority: "To the next president, please treat us as upper-class equals! When we try to get visas [to visit America] ... know that we’re educated, we have money and we have all the documents you want. We’re not refugees. Maybe countries like ours used to send refugees to America but now we want to be treated with respect." 

  • Name: Veronica Guarino
    Country: Thailand
  • Occupation: Freelance illustrator
  • Age: 24
  • I would vote for: Obama
My vote: "Obama, definitely. He’s lived through much criticism and, yes, he failed to maintain some of the promises he made during his first campaign. But I think he’s on a good track. Most of his agenda feels very relevant not only to America but all the citizens of the world."

The election's impact: "Even if America’s policies don’t directly affect my country, he can set a good example for how politics should be. Obama is one of the only people in the world, in politics, that embody what a politician should be. He’s not the perfect ideal but he actually shows a sensitivity towards what people need and people’s civil rights."

My view: "One thing I’ve noticed in America is an improvement in gay people’s civil rights and national health care. I think Obama’s presidency is proving that these things are possible. America’s image has Improved, in the world’s eyes, thanks to Obama’s policies."

Top priority: "I’ve been reading about Bhutan’s general indicators for happiness. If everyone were happy, maybe there would be no war. I think it’s valid and worth looking at."

GlobalPost series: See what the world thinks about election 2012

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/thailand/120925/us-election-what-if-thailand-could-vote