A Vote for Nostalgia

Agnes Dherbeys / Cosmos for TIME

Thaksin Country: a People Power Party rally in northeastern Yasothon province

Back in the early cretaceous period, some 120 million years ago, a ferocious, flesh-eating creature roamed Thailand. It had four-inch teeth, measured 21 feet from snout to tail and ate other dinosaurs. When they discovered its bones in 1996 in a jungle riverbed, scientists called it Siamotyrannus isanensis, after the country's old name, Siam, and the impoverished northeastern Thai region where the bones lay, Isaan.

With campaigning underway for a Dec. 23 general election, and Isaan a key battleground, dinosaurs again roam the region — political ones this time. Lumbering onto a...

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