New blood enters the old guards; meet Edward Shinapat, aspiring MP for Chiang Mai district 1

Thailand elections are near and Citylife interviews a political candidate from the conservative United Thai Nation party

By | Fri 12 May 2023

Citylife interviews Edward ‘Get’ Shinapat, who has been a regular contributor to Citylife over the past few years, having written dozens of opinion pieces on a multitude of topics from education competency to Thai politics. Edward has also become a familiar face around town over the past few weeks as he can be seen on campaign posters across the city.

Running for Chiang Mai District 1 member of parliament for the Ruam Thai Sang Chat Party or United Thai Nation party (Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-Cha’s new party), Edward joins Citylife editor Pim Kemasingki on her sofa for a short interview to offer insight as to why he picked this political party to join, what his plans are if elected as well as sharing some of his hot takes on current as well as the future of Thai politics.

“Our party’s DNA is nation, religion and monarchy. We are a conservative party. I see opportunity here as a kind of Conservative 2.0, or a new wave, new generation of conservatism…Having the opposition winning Chiang Mai seats, and for whatever reason they can’t form a coalition in the government, they stay behind as opposition, this doesn’t do Chiang Mai people any good.”

“I am very comfortable working with this government. Even though I am within a Phua Thai stronghold [here in Chiang Mai] I intend to work with the government in the government camp to actually do good for Chiang Mai instead of being in the opposition…the opposition [parties around the world] throws mud every day and you can’t get things done. I work with the government, I am friendly with them, I am on good terms with them. I am pragmatic. I want to bring dough to Chiang Mai so that we can do things together for Chiang Mai. 

“With two cards you can sometimes vote for the party because you like their specific policies, but then you vote for the member of parliament who you know personally, or who has been to your wedding…or you trust them or want a new face, or you don’t want a big politics family, you want a fresh faced person to go into parliament. They pick the party that they like and then pick a candidate they want to give a chance to.”