If the recently concluded 2023 Thai election and what happens next have you a little confused, allow us to explain—by using Mean Girls.
Politics is complicated. There are a lot of political parties, all of which seem to have the same name, a lot of people, a lot of intricacies—just a lot. That doesn’t even take into account all the mudslinging, the name-calling, the under-the-table-ing, and even the awkward family dinners when you know your parents voted for “the other dude/party”.
The election here in Thailand has already concluded, and a lot of things have happened, but there are still a lot of things yet to happen. These next few weeks are vital for the new incoming government, but we understand that it can get confusing. Look, we’re all going through a lot: bills, the scorching heat, the last few episodes of Succession, and now the formation of a new government.
In an attempt to help you, dear readers, make sense of everything that has happened and is going to happen, we here at Augustman have done the difficult job of analysing and understanding the process and outcome of the election. And we’re going to explain it all in a manner which hopefully anyone can understand and find entertaining: by drawing some parallels to the 2004 iconic film, Mean Girls.
The 2023 Thai Election: Mean Girls Edition
Welcome to North Shore High School, a school that has gone through… well, a lot in the past few years. The students here have seen more coups happen in their lifetime than they should have. In the past nine years, the Plastics have reigned supreme. Led by Regina George, who herself initiated the last coup and overthrew the former ruling clique (a bunch of rich kids who were into cellphones), the Plastics are the clique in North Shore High. This is despite the fact that Regina has done stuff like spray alcohol on news reporters and drop pop songs to bolster school morale (they don’t).
But along came Cady Heron: young, bright, and for the purposes of this article, we’ll say she’s not home-schooled but instead attended an Ivy League preschool (they exist in this world, okay?). Regina immediately dislikes Cady, and the young newbie decides that Regina’s reign has gone on for too long. It’s time for change here at North Shore.
Cady decides to go up against Regina and the Plastics in the upcoming North Shore High School election for Clique Supremacy. The clique who wins rules the school because y’know, democracy. Cady has formed her own clique of intelligent and Mathelte-worthy people all full of innovative ideas for North Shore. The other cliques also formed up, and the Plastics are confident they’ll keep their positions.
Surprise, surprise: Cady’s clique won by a landslide. Sure, there are some parts of the school like the Science Room and the Teacher’s Break Room who didn’t vote for them. But for the most part, North Shore overwhelmingly voted for Cady, and this is even after the teachers who were counting votes were being kinda sus what with missing ballot boxes, covered-up whiteboards, and vote counts exceeding the number of people who actually came to vote.
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What’s happening now?
As the winner, it’s now Cady’s clique’s responsibility to form a student government. It also means that Cady is a shoo-in for Prom Queen, and pretty much everyone at school agrees she should be Prom Queen.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that, and Prom Queen is elected by a group of specific people, which also includes Regina’s coneys, Gretchen and Karen. Both Gretchen and Karen have openly stated that they will not be voting for Prom Queen because it’s not “fetch”, which could cause some drama with the Prom Queen voting despite the fact the whole school has made it clear Cady should lead.
So now what?
Cady’s clique definitely won and they’re trying to do the work of forming an alliance with that other clique who came in second but was also saying they were going to win by a landslide. That clique was so confident they were going to win the History Classroom, which should have been a given since their leader’s favourite subject is history, but they lost that too.
But I digress. Optimism is high in North Shore right now. The students even had a victory party out on the football field yesterday. But the fact that Cady’s appointment as Prom Queen isn’t certain as of yet does make everyone feel a little uneasy. Regina, who has been quiet and sorta sulky, understandably, has not conceded, but her coneys seem to doing what they’ve been appointed to do: make things difficult for whoever wants to take her position.
As things develop, there’s a subtle fear that out of nowhere, a bus will come barrelling in to undo all these things. However, the students of North Shore can keep on their toes and continue sniffing for anything fishy. If you smell something, say something. And for goodness sake, with a new ruling clique, maybe now they can actually solve the pollution in the school instead of just aiming sprinklers up in the air?
[Hero image: Paramount Pictures]
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Bangkok