Monday, August 16, 2010

Chief Govt Whip issues his thinly-veiled threat

If Chief Government Whip Vittaya Kaewparada sounds rather tough these days, it's because Aug 18-19 will be crucial for the House to pass the second and third readings of the 2011 Budget.

Rumours of possible defections by coalition partners have been rife. But political pundits would tell you that it's nothing but bluffing. No government MPs would want to scuttle the Budget because they all stand to get a piece of the cake after all. Some of them who have hinted at possible abstention or voting against the government have done so only to gain attention and possibly boosting their bargaining power. When all is said and done,the Budget will be passed.

Vittaya's most effective weapon is his threat: "If the House plays games, then the prime minister will have to make his decision."

That could mean only one thing: House dissolution for a new election.

But even if Abhisit Vejjajiva has that power, he wouldn't want to exercise it. After all, the PM also wants the Budget to pass so that he could spend effectively enough to enable him and his party to gain the most from the upcoming election that will most probably come early next year -- if the PM can call all the shots, that is.

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