When Myanmar last held a general election, in November 2010, Aung San Suu Kyi was under house arrest. Her National League for Democracy (NLD) boycotted that election, which the party close to the armed forces, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), won handily. Yet six days later Myanmar’s best-known dissident was free. Much has changed. Five years ago people dared not discuss politics. Now tea shops hum with debate. Ms Suu Kyi and her party campaign openly. She smiles and waves from posters urging people to vote for the NLD, which this time is contesting the election that is due on November 8th.