THAILAND: Cause for (Some) Cheer

Through coconut groves and brown, fallow rice fields, along muddy canals and traffic-clogged boulevards, millions of Thais made their way to tin-roofed voting pavilions last week in the country's first genuinely free election. If the 40% turnout was disappointing, there was still cause for cheer that the balloting went off as smoothly as it did.

In the south, where 239 people lost their lives last month in the severest floods in memory, voters took to boats of every kind to get to the polls. In the remote northern provinces, villagers could be seen...

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