Politics, and in our case Thai politics, is dirty and messy. So messy, in fact, one often wonders what kind of person it attracts. Put your jaded cynicism aside and meet Edward Shinapat, an aspiring politician in his thirties, hoping that his generation can bring much needed change – and hopefully sense! – to our political landscape.
Edward believes that ‘kohn roon mai’ (new generation), are the current macro trend in politics. He explains that all political parties today share a very similar platform – one of change and revitalisation through the power of youth. Whether parties are recruiting the younger generation to fulfil the trend quota or whether they are genuinely interested in new voices remains to be seen, but he is hopeful that at least the once-marginalised voices of youth are being represented and heard.
Edward, who was educated for fifteen years in Australia and has a degree in psychology, has been a regular contributor to Citylife over the past year and a half, writing opinion pieces commenting on politics, culture, the environment and discussing issues relevant to Citylife’s readers and viewers within a global context.
In this chat with editor Pim Kemasingki, Edward discusses and puts forth his explanation of the Thai culture of krengjai and face saving in context of Thai bureaucracy and governance.
Edward, who moved to Chiang Mai under ten years ago from Bangkok, first contacted Citylife when he was in the running for the municipal elections last year. Seeing how international and vibrant Chiang Mai’s expatriate community is, he wanted to reach out and find a way to involve expatriate residents in Thai politics in hopes that they can be part of the development of Chiang Mai towards a better future. The interview touched on the little known fact that Chiang Mai has always been an extremely international city, once being at the crossroads of a significant offshoot of the Silk Road, attracting traders and people from far and near.
It was refreshing, as in our thirty years of publishing Citylife, we had never heard of any Thai politician who showed any real interest in the opinions of expatriates.
So, if you are wanting to learn more about politics, then take a moment to listen to this smart young future politician discuss his viewpoints and ideas and feel some hope that Thailand can indeed change for the better.