Thayer Consultancy

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Background Brief: Vietnam: The Party and Public Opinion Carlyle A. Thayer October 16, 2012

[client name deleted]: With the rise of blogging do you think the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) is more eager to maintain public opinion? Many people are very unimpressed with Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong's speech yesterday. Do you think the CPV will act on growing lack of confidence in the system? ANSWER: The CPV is more eager to control information getting to the public. The CPV definitely wants public support and is not used to alternate sources of information shaping public opinion. This relates not just to current politics but the South China Sea as well. The CPV’s legitimacy is based on performance, especially economic performance. The current state of the economy – inflation, devaluation of the dong – coupled with corruption - undermines regime legitimacy. The political reporting on blogs also undermines legitimacy of the CPV because it exposes it as saying one thing and doing another. Suggested citation: Carlyle A. Thayer, “Vietnam: The Party and Public Opinion,” Thayer Consultancy Background Brief, October 16, 2012. Thayer Consultancy Background Briefs are archived and may be accessed at: http://www.scribd.com/carlthayer.

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