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Thailand Voters Get To Vote For The First Time Since 2014 Coup

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A Thai officer checks a clock to commence voting at a polling station in Bangkok, Thailand, March 24, 2019. Thailand's first general election since the military seized power in a 2014 coup has begun. VOA

Voters in Thailand were heading to the polls Sunday in the country’s first election since the military ousted an elected government in a 2014 coup.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the army chief who led the coup, is hoping to extend his hold on power after engineering a new political system that aims to stifle the influence of big political parties not aligned with the military.

About 51 million Thais are eligible to vote. Leaders of political parties opposed to military rule have urged a high turnout as the only way to derail Prayuth’s plans.

The junta leader was among the first to vote in the Thai capital Bangkok, arriving in a Mercedes, after polling booths opened at 8 a.m.

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha casts his vote at a polling station in Bangkok, Thailand, March 24, 2019, during the nation's first general election since the military seized power in a 2014 coup.
Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha casts his vote at a polling station in Bangkok, Thailand, March 24, 2019, during the nation’s first general election since the military seized power in a 2014 coup. VOA

Speaking to reporters after casting his ballot, Prayuth said, “I hope everyone helps each other by going to vote today as it’s everyone’s right.”

The election is the latest chapter in a nearly two-decade struggle between conservative forces including the military and the political machine of Thaksin Shinawatra, a tycoon who upended tradition-bound Thailand’s politics with a populist political revolution.

Thaksin was ousted in a 2006 military coup and now lives in exile abroad to avoid a prison term, but parties allied with him have won every election since 2001. His sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, who led the government that was ousted in 2014, also fled the country after what supporters said was a politically motivated corruption prosecution.

Thailand’s powerful King Maha Vajiralongkorn issued a statement on the eve of the election that said the role of leaders is stop “bad people” from gaining power and causing chaos.

Invoking a speech by his father, the previous Thai king who died in 2016 after reigning for seven decades, Vajiralongkorn said not all citizens can be transformed into good people so leaders must be given support in ruling to create a peaceful nation.

He urged government officials, soldiers and civil servants to look after national security.

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of Future Forward Party, poses as he casts his vote during general election at a polling station in Bangkok, March 24, 2019.
Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of Future Forward Party, poses as he casts his vote during general election at a polling station in Bangkok, March 24, 2019. VOA

It was the monarch’s second notable intervention in politics recently. Last month, he demanded his sister Princess Ubolratana Mahidol withdraw as a prime ministerial candidate for a small Thaksin-allied party within 24 hours of her announcement.

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One of the first people to vote, 92-year-old Prabha Svarachorn, echoed the royal statement.

“I come to vote whenever there is an election,” she said. “I think it’s our duty to vote for good people. I would like people to come to vote.” (VOA)

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Blockchain to Support User Voting on the Fight to Fame Show

Know everything about blockchain and how user voting works in a fight to fame show

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Blockchain is vital for added transparency, and Fight to Fame will be using this technology for its voting system. Pixabay

At some point in our lives, you’ve probably voted for our favorite contestant in some competition or reality show. While not necessarily understanding how the voting system works, you still voted anyway because the idea of supporting that person was your top priority.

Fast forward to the present, a lot of anomalies have risen about voting systems being controlled by producers and not really being presented the honest results. Today, at the back of the viewers’ minds, there’s this constant doubt that the results may be rigged by politics in the show.

Lucky for us, blockchain technology has a way to counter that. Blockchain is vital for added transparency, and Fight to Fame will be using this technology for its voting system. 

Vote blockchain
We’ve all voted for our favourite contestant on some reality show and the blockchain technology helps us understand how these voting systems work. Pixabay

How Blockchain Works

Being a relatively new concept to the world, a lot of people still don’t understand how blockchain technology really works. Most people have probably heard about cryptocurrencies, more specifically the ever-popular Bitcoin – which we can credit much of blockchain’s fame to.

While it’s the more popular application, cryptocurrencies are just a form of how blockchain can be used and there are still other applications that prove to be useful for several industries. A lot of developers are looking for applications that might be breakthroughs for their industry.

Ever since it was first released years ago, blockchain technology has always instilled the notion that it promotes trust and transparency among its users. These are two issues that have long plagued several industries – including the entertainment industry. 

With blockchain, there’s a guarantee that these issues won’t ever surface. In the simplest sense, the technology itself is a digital ledger – which is a chain and not central storage – that relies on peer-to-peer verification, processing, and recording. Whatever the transaction is, it can exist in millions of nodes that won’t easily be erased nor corrupted. Compared to previous technology, blockchain banks on the idea that there’s never central storage of information but millions which make it incredibly transparent to those who are part of the chain. 

Given the importance of transparency for blockchain technology, it’s quite understandable how big industries – financial institutions – are looking into how they can incorporate it into their systems. This is just one of its many applications, but it’s already been changing how the game is played for several industries. Who knows what other revolutionary applications it’ll bring to the world in the future. 

Blockchain technology
Given the importance of transparency for blockchain technology, it’s quite understandable how big industries – financial institutions – are looking into how they can incorporate it into their systems.

Blockchain Applied to the Fight to Fame Show

Reality shows, over the years, have cultivated skepticism about their voting systems. Voting frauds have been exposed and people are now doubtful about how these systems actually work.

Of course, viewers won’t really know the real results unless they investigate them but what the show’s production chooses to show is basically what the public gets. So if the results were rigged, viewers won’t really know, right?

As discussed in the previous section, blockchain technology guarantees the kind of transparency viewers are looking from reality shows. With the show’s unique business model that banks on blockchain technology to support several functions, gaining trust won’t be a problem. 

Being a reality show, viewers can buy Fight to Fame Action Star Championship Series cards, the show’s very own cryptocurrency, to support their favorite candidates. The show’s tokens give viewers VIP access to exclusive events and will let them place their bets on their favorite contestants without really worrying if their money will go to waste or not.

Unlike other reality shows, the decentralized voting system uses blockchain technology, through its cryptocurrency, to innately promote transparency. This technology is extremely difficult to rig which is why voters can guarantee that the results they see are the real results. As a show that gives the average person a chance to stardom, this transparency is indeed vital to holding the public’s interest. During crucial assessment episodes, the public will be at the edge of their seats, voting for their bet. 

Knowing that there’s no way the voting system can be rigged will have people working twice as hard to guarantee that their bet will win which makes the public even more invested in the show. This kind of engagement will not only propel the show’s popularity, but also the contestants’. 

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At the end of the day, blockchain technology’s use in this show isn’t just useful for its producers, but also for both the viewers and the contestants. Who doesn’t want to witness a fairly played competition?