Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Dec 18 2011

Presidential debate

I was invited to attend the final presidential TV debates this afternoon up at the PTV studios in Neihu. Chenbl and I took the MRT out to Nangang and then up the Neihu line to Huzhou Station, which is now surrounded by a lot more nice new apartment buildings than I remember from the last time I was out there. It seems the MRT really does make a difference.

After a bowl of noodles at a nearby shop, we walked through the drizzle up slippery sidewalks lined with policemen to PTV and waited at a barricade while the candidates’ vehicles swept past up the hill. Some truant reporters were yelling at the policemen to let them through NOW, but the cops told them they had to wait like everyone else until the motorcades had passed. The reporters didn’t think much of this.

We walked up by the protest groups and through the layers of reporters into the studios, where we were shown to some sofas in the lobby featuring some snacks and cute little bottles of water, and waited while the other guests showed up. Each candidate could invite 25 people. These included some middle-aged women, an elderly fellow from Taichung, a portly photographer from Penghu, and the head of some government office. After about half and hour, we were led into the studio and sat down in folding chairs (Chenbl, not being an official guest, had to stay in the lobby where he could watch the debate on TV with the reporters there). I was seated right in the center of the central section, just behind King Pu-tsung and two rows behind Vice President Siew, Premier Wu and the first lady. One of the officials in the row in front of me was using a tablet computer.

I chatted with the old guy from Taichung, mostly in Taiwanese with some Mandarin thrown in here and there, until we both realized that we were the only ones in the room talking and that we really should shut up. The announcer appeared at her podium and called the three candidates on stage, to general applause. The cameraman counted us down to the brash opening music of the opening segment, and then the debate started.

After the opening statements, all of which included saying “Hello everyone” in as many dialects as possible, the candidates were called on to answer questions from various cultural and social groups. I won’t get into all the specific questions here, as that will be the topic of discussion on many other sites. President Ma was in the center, flanked by People First Party Chairman James Soong on the left and Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ying-wen on the right. While discussing the various topics, all of the candidates managed to fit in little political jibes at each other, but they didn’t really get into it, as all of their answers were limited to a minute and a half, after which their mic would be turned off and they would be left muttering to themselves while the announcer said “Next!”

We had a ten-minute break, during which I grabbed some water and chatted with Premier Wu a bit in the line for the bathroom, and then the second part of the debate began. When the candidates appeared on stage this time, it was very clear by listening to the applause just which section of the audience had been invited by which candidate. In this part, each candidate was allowed to pose a minute’s worth of questions to the other two candidates, and they’d each have two minutes to answer. Now we were really getting into it. Ma had opened with an attack on the recent Yu Chang controversy involving Tsai during her time as vice premier, and he returned to this at a couple of points, but mostly he kept pointing to his record and quoting relevant statistics. At a couple of points, when it was his turn to ask questions, he would call on Tsai to answer this or that accusation without addressing any question to Soong, who, when it came his turn to “answer”, said, “Here we go again!” to general laughter. It almost seemed as if he wasn’t taking himself very seriously as a candidate.

Tsai seemed subdued, almost distressed, something that didn’t come across in the debates I watched on TV last time. She issued a rare smile or two, but on the whole she gave the impression that she felt she’d been wronged, possibly due to all of the recent accusations, or possibly a head cold. Ma and Soong both countered her charges with numbers, and there was a lot of “Yes your administration accomplished that but it was my administration’s groundwork that let you do it” going on in all directions. Soong, when answering a question about high housing prices, said, “You do realize that Taipei is pretty much the only place this is happening, right? Man, you two you have lived in Taipei for too long!” He wasn’t a comedic foil, though; he brought both candidates to task on various subjects, and chided them for wasting efforts on what he called “senseless political bickering”. Ma, I felt, did better this time around than during the first debates, though that might have been because I was in the room instead of just watching on TV. But he stayed on message, and seemed more confident and assured than last time, though none of the candidates avoided at least a couple of verbal stumbles.

Finally, we had the closing statements, and the cameraman told us we were clear. “I thought that went pretty well,” I told King, who agreed. Ma walked over to thank us for coming, and I chatted with him for a bit before he left. Outside, the rain continued, and we walked back down the hill for some more noodles before taking the MRT back downtown, and then home.

posted by Poagao at 12:46 am  
Nov 21 2011

A fairly interesting weekend

A fairly interesting weekend. On Saturday Chenbl and I went out to Banqiao to a big campaign rally for President Ma. It was held in a stadium, the stage in the center of the field, surrounded by a sea of seats. Vendors were selling various paraphernalia around the track. It began to rain almost immediately after we arrived, but that didn’t stop droves of people flowing into the stadium. I helped out on stage by wrangling some of the people dressed in those blow-up costumes of various anthropomorphized items, such as drinks, other goods, and airplanes on stage during one of the shows. I led either a 747 or some kind of dragon around by the wing lest the person inside fall down in an embarrassing manner. At least they were protected from the rain, though I wouldn’t relish having a battery hookup in there to keep the thing inflated in that kind of weather.

President Ma and his running mate Premier Wu spent a lot of time shaking hands and talking with people before they got up to the stage, where Eric Chu and other KMT officials were filling time with speeches, permeated with a lot of “Diu-m-diu! (Right?)”

DIU!” the crowd shouted back in between mouthfuls of lunch. We took advantage of a short lull in the rain to slip away after the president’s speech, following a steady stream of people making their way through the downpour to the train station. I spent the rest of the day among hundreds of prints on my living room floor, trying to make some sense out of it before I meet with the publisher.

The sun was peeking out on Sunday morning, so I decided to go to 2/28 park for taichi practice. Most of our usual practice area was covered in water from the previous day’s rain, but I found a sufficiently large patch to practice the forms and some sword before going over to practice tuishou with some of our group, who had congregated on the pavement in front of the fountain. It was a good, refreshing practice.

After some lunch at Mos Burger, I headed over to the new Bobwundaye for Lo Sirong’s CD launch party. David and Conor played on the album, and they played several songs from the album while we munched on some delicious snacks prepared by Katrina and sipped whiskey provided by Sirong for the event. It was a beautiful afternoon outside. Most of the other Ramblers were in attendance, with the notable exception of Slim, who was indisposed, so we followed with a couple of sets of our own. Slim was notable by his absence, and I couldn’t hear the bass, so I played as well as I could by feeling the vibration in my foot on the tub. It wasn’t a bad set, but rather rough around the edges.

Afterwards David introduced me to his taichi group, which practices at Xinglong Park in Muzha on the weekends. They were very interested in the whole lineage thing, who I studied with, which always reminds me of parties at the Hamptons where people ask which family you’re from (I’m guessing, having never been to the Hamptons and all). When I mentioned Teacher X, they said, “Oh, he is the student of our master!”

“His masters are dead,” I said. Which is true, both Master Yu and Master Song died years ago. Only Little Qin, my “elder brother”, also studied with Master Yu for a short time before the latter’s passing.

They were very nice, and invited me to join them at the park some time. But one older fellow, a tall, slim man named Mr. Li, seemed eager to try me out then and there. He kept making little illustrative pushes as we talked, as if he were sounding me out, and when I put down my bass string he advanced in earnest.

Mr. Li is very good, and, both of us having more than a few drinks under our belts, things got a little, uh, animated. My response was probably ill-advised, but then again I’m not used to doing tuishou in bars. We went back and forth rapidly a few times, but Mr. Li was making annoyingly quick grabbing moves, and I ended up pulling him around me. As he stumbled, his glasses flew out of his pocket and hit the floor. I could feel everyone staring at us, and I apologized to Mr. Li as I helped him pick up his glasses, which thankfully weren’t broken.

I felt bad about it, though, and I’m sure I made a horrible impression on the group after they were so nice to me. They left (I can’t blame them), and I took a seat at the bar and had some more whiskey while chatting with David, Kat, Conor and Jay until late. Though Kat had pulled the steel door halfway down and doused the exterior lights, such is the location of the new place that groups of patrons kept pouring in every so often, all “just for one drink, we promise!” I think they’re going to do quite well.

David and I shared a cab back, a Toyota Wish with skylights, and I spent the latter half of the journey staring at the lights shining out of the windows of various expensive apartment towers living the rivers of New Taipei City.

posted by Poagao at 10:10 am  
Mar 23 2008

A historic day

Prince Roy wanted to watch me vote, for some reason. He was touring polling stations around town with his AIT pass, so he came down to Bitan and came to the station down here to talk with some of the officials while I cast my ballot in the presidential elections. As usual, nobody stared, pointed, commented or indicated in any way that they thought my participation was anything but completely normal.

Afterwards we had a nice lunch at Rosemary’s Kitchen, overlooking the construction chaos, and then retired to the Water Curtain Cave to watch TV news reporters give their Oscar-night commentary about various celebrities at the poll stations for a while before PR had to leave to catch some more hot vote-on-vote action. I, on the other hand, went downtown to while away the hours before the election results were announced at a badminton competition with my friend Xian-rui, who is also into badminton and quite a good player. The finals weren’t until the next day, but I’d never been to a badminton competition so it was interesting to see. Kind of made me wish I’d taken up the sport at an earlier age, though.

I couldn’t stop thinking about the election, however, and kept checking the Central Election Commission’s website for the latest count after the polls closed at 4pm. Ma Ying-jeou got an early lead, but I recalled that that didn’t necessarily mean anything (Lien Chan also had an early lead in 2004), so I decided to log off and wait instead of torturing myself by checking every few minutes.

Xian-rui had to go to the gym to work off some election-day jitters, so I sat outside the Starbucks amid the mosquitoes, looking at the huge screen on the new stadium. On the second floor, a crowd of people surrounded the TV set, watching the latest poll counts. The only last-minute tactic the DPP had left, it seemed, was to drape as many surfaces of the city as possible with banners claiming that Chinese workers bearing AK-47s would be flooding the island and putting everyone out of a job tomorrow morning, and Ma, who is actually an American, would then fly off to his Haight-Ashbury mansion, where he would sip tea with his pinkie in the air just so.

I hoped that such tactics wouldn’t work, as the negative campaign focusing entirely on niggling doubts and minor transgressions allegedly committed by the other candidates’ wife and family members 30 years ago just made Hsieh seem like a petty little man who had nothing to say about what kind of president he would be. I have to admit I was expecting a much better campaign from the DPP.

Apparently so were most other people. I checked the numbers again, and Ma was still ahead. Way ahead. A call to Prince Roy confirmed that it was indeed a landslide, and he was headed over to the Ma-Siew headquarters to case the scene there. I decided to join him. On the way, every TV screen facing the street was surrounded by a crowd of onlookers. When I saw fireworks being set off around the city, I knew that Ma had attained an unassailable lead.

Xiaonanmen Station, I believe, had never seen the amount of traffic it saw last night, as it was the nearest MRT station. I followed the crowds and the noise to the intersection of Zhonghua and Aiguo roads (note the symbolism of the names), where a huge throng surrounded the stage and spilled out across both roads. Fireworks were being set off, and it seemed that every person there had purchased at least one of those irritating air horns you see at baseball games here. I bought three ROC flags for NT$100 and stuck them in my backpack, and then, fingers in my ears to block the noise, accompanied PR into the fray.

Ma winsIt was madness. I half expected to see a huge statue of Chen Shui-bian, dressed in an Emporer Palpatine-like robe, being toppled. People were waving flags, setting off fireworks, shouting and even dancing. KMT officials were making speeches on stage, punctuated by huge applause and more air horns. I looked at the CEC site to find that Ma had officially won by a whopping 2.2 millon votes, or 17%. The crowd went nuts. Everyone was very friendly, even apologizing to each other when pushing through the dense crowd. “That’s a great flag!” a man called out to me, pointing to the flags sticking out of my backpack and giving me a thumbs-up sign.

“It’s my flag!” I called back at him.

After listening to some of the speeches, PR and I retreated, ears aching, back to the little South Gate. As it happened, this was apparently the pick-up/drop-off area for high-ranking officials. We saw chairman Wu Poh-hsiung, legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng and PFP chairman James Soong getting into their cars. I managed to shake hands with Wang and Soong, while PR snapped some nice shots. It was amazing how accessible these guys are, actually. I refrained from asking Wang if he regretted turning down the vice-presidential spot or inquiring whether Soong was feeling at all jealous. Didn’t seem quite appropriate.

Later, Wayne and Grace appeared, followed by Maoman and Vanessa, and eventually Mark and David. We chatted by the gate while policemen milled around us, unconcerned about the big bag o’ beer Maoman had brought along. At one point a woman who apparently didn’t have any teeth tapped on Vanessa’s shoulder, wanting to express her joy at Ma’s victory to a complete stranger. “Oh, it’s been such a hard eight years!” I’m pretty sure she said. The lack of teeth made it kind of hard to tell. Maoman and Vanessa both turned away from the woman and looked at me, and I wondered if I was expected to come up with some kind of way to get rid of the unwelcome guest. Fortunately, however, she took the hint and continued her search for another stranger to talk to.

We all realized, seemingly simultaneously, that we hadn’t eaten since lunch, so we took the subway to the Shi-da area, where we had some middle eastern food at a place called Baba Kababa. I had two pitas, which were good, but the pitas weren’t on the same level as Sababa. It was sort of like the Wonder Bread version of a pita. But the chicken/potato/eggplant filling was delicious. The table next to us was quite boisterous, but it had nothing to do with the election; they were celebrating someone’s birthday.

Outside, it had finally started to rain. The weather forecasters had predicted rain, and some people worried that it would affect the elections, but the day had been very nice up to that point. We retired, stuffed with pitas and other things, to the park along Shi-da Road. Daniel showed up and pried Mark with computer questions. The rain was coming down harder on the roof of the pavilion under which we stood. As the beers ran out, one-by-one, people left, until only PR, Mark, Daniel and I remained.

Now, of course, the hard work begins. I wonder if the first thing president-elect Ma thought when he woke up this morning wasn’t actually “It wasn’t a dream; I really won!” but rather, “Damn, now I have to actually do all the things I promised!” I guess we’ll find out. Interesting times, to be sure.

posted by Poagao at 2:53 am  
Mar 19 2008

Three Days to Go

electionOk, this incident was really confusing; why would KMT legislators do something so potentially damaging to their own campaign efforts? It just didn’t make sense, so I did a little digging. Apparently, the legislative committee was questioning the head of First Bank about what part of its building the DPP was renting, the rates and so one, and the guy said “The first three floors.” The committee knew that they were also using the 13th floor, and said so, but the bank’s general manager said it wasn’t so.

Now, a week before that, or two weeks ago, the DPP had similar concerns about Ma’s campaign office, which is rented from the city government, so a group of DPP city councilors went to Ma’s campaign HQ to investigate, and were allowed to, but they found nothing suspicious, and the issue was quickly forgotten.

So these four lawmakers said to the general manager and the Minister of Finance, which is the authority concerned for state bank properties, “Come with us and we’ll take a look.” When they got there, they took the elevator to the 13th floor, but were blocked from getting off. So they went down to the 3rd floor, where they were not only blocked from getting off the elevator, the staff cut the power and kept the elevator there for half an hour while the DPP called up a mob of people to come and gather downstairs.

After half an hour, they were allowed to go down to the first floor, where they found a large group of hostile people, and it seems one of the legislators called the police. The crowd attempted to beat the legislators and seriously damaged the police car that arrived on the scene when after they got inside.

Afterwards, the press had a field day with the story. The party whip resigned his position, and the Finance Minister stepped down as a result. Ma issued a formal apology and condemned the violence, but Hsieh took umbrage at Ma’s statement. “It wasn’t violence,” Hsieh said. “Can you say a girl slapping a man trying to rape her is committing an act of violence?”

For a while I wondered if this was our Bizarre Event, but it didn’t seem to be the case, as it was too small in scale and effect, and if the DPP had truly planned it, they wouldn’t have needed to keep the legislators at the campaign headquarters while they called people over. Also, Hsieh is continuing to attack Ma over an alleged green card. We only have three days left, so look for a slew of allegations flying back and forth, some of which are bound to be entertaining, at least. I’m guessing someone is going to “reveal” some scandal or document soon. Let’s just hope we don’t have any more violence.

So far, this election itself is almost a bizarre event. I still maintain that Hsieh could have run a much better campaign had he taken a page from Obama’s campaign and exercised his considerable charisma in convincing people of his own merits rather than continuously harping on Ma and his family. Ma has been remarkably restrained in returning the attacks, but then again he has been promising everything under the sun to everybody and his dog, promises that seem impossible to keep even under the best of circumstances. In my opinion, neither candidate has made it clear that they are up to the monumental task the next leader of Taiwan faces. This election is the closest I’ve come to being an undecided voter in many years. And we have three days left.

So fasten your seatbelts, boys and girls. Something tells me it’s going to be a bumpy night.

posted by Poagao at 4:21 am  
Aug 23 2007

If the KMT wanted to win

Somebody asked me the other night who I thought would win the 2008 presidential election, Hsieh or Ma? I said Hsieh.

Here’s why: The DPP is simply better at election campaigning than the KMT. The DPP can take any kind of piss-poor governance record and stand it on its head, while the KMT can (and does) do the exact opposite, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in the last two elections. Poor advertising, poor choice of candidates, just bad management of the whole campaign. The DPP’s Hsieh and Su were forced to recognize that, in the face of a not-guilty verdict in Ma’s corruption trial, that the only chance they stood of defeating him was to put aside their considerable differences and previous conflict and run on the same ticket. If Wang Jin-pyng had agreed to run with Ma, the KMT would stand a very good change at winning. But Wang turned Ma’s offer down, time after time. Some say he was duped by false rumors of a guilty verdict for Ma. I’d think if he were that easily duped, maybe he shouldn’t be in consideration. Most likely, I’m guessing, was that tantalizing vision of his own presidential candidacy.

The DPP gave Yeh Chu-lan the party’s secretary-general position as a consolation prize after Hsieh was forced to pick Su over her. But over on the KMT’s side, Ma doesn’t have a grip on all the party factions, all laboring under the illusion of a certain KMT victory. Wang having basically sunk the KMT’s chances over a matter of personal pride, Ma picked Vincent Siao as his running mate. A better choice would probably have been former Kaohsiung Mayor Wu Den-yih, who, although he has his enemies, is at least on the radar and a good ten years younger than Siao. Perhaps some deal was made to pacify certain old-guard factions of the KMT with a VP position for Siao. I think I see Lien Chan’s icy touch here.

I still think the election is the KMT’s to win, if they really wanted to. The steps are pretty obvious. First and foremost, change the party’s Chinese name to remove the “China” part of it, and make it match the English “Kuomintang” moniker. It would be a big statement of their localization efforts, and they wouldn’t even have to change the English stationary and letterheads. In fact, I have half a mind to march into KMT headquarters and tell them “If you change your Chinese name to just the ‘Nationalist Party’, I’ll sign up right now.”

Another thing they should do, though this could have a limited effect at this point, is invent a “personal crisis” for Vincent Siao and get Wang Jin-pyng on the ticket as Ma’s running mate. Though I personally don’t see much difference between the two as to their abilities, Wang has the greater following in the center and south. The party assets issue needs to be put to rest as well. Also, though I know Ma speaks basic Taiwanese and understands the language, he really needs to improve on this front. The man has lived in Taiwan since he was a baby; he should certainly be able to speak better than, say, I can.

Finally, they need to spend a little money and hire a competent campaign director. Someone who actually knows what he or she is doing. The DPP have run brilliant campaigns both in 2000 and 2004, and there’s no doubt they’re prepared to do everything they can to win this time, and you can be sure that includes paying for a sleek, top-notch, international standard campaign, with moving slogans, compelling commercials and heart-felt exhortations designed to compel anyone and everyone to vote their way. Though the economic angle is a good one, the KMT’s clumsy, cheap and anachronistic appeals have not served them well in the past; it’s really time to retire them. The party needs to stop trying to “balance” the deep greens and play more to the center.

But will they do any of these things? The election is also the KMT’s to lose, and so far it looks like it will be too late before they wake up to that fact.

posted by Poagao at 11:17 pm  
Apr 20 2007

Primary games

Taiwan should ensure its international reputation with a show called “Who Wants to Be President?” I’m wondering if anyone does. Both parties seem to be tripping over their own feet, making colossal mistakes even though the race is still in the primary stage. Su Zheng-chang and Frank Hsieh have been at each other with such animosity that it will hard to believe they could ever share a ticket. Hsieh, in any case, has made it clear that he has chosen Yeh Chu-lan as his running mate, with the whole “Say Yes!” campaign slogan all picked out (“Hsieh-Yeh” sounds like a Taiwanese person trying to say “Say Yes”). Su has wasted no time in pointing out that he is “cleaner” than Hsieh, who has been involved in several corruption cases in Kaohsiung concerning the MRT and the city council elections. Hsieh says Su is a bad premier, and Su says he would be a better premier if the last premier (Hsieh) hadn’t left such a mess behind him.

One of the interesting things about this mess is that Su is favored by the New Tide faction of the DPP, which has historically supported every winner the DPP has had (including Chen Shui-bian, who is from the Justice Alliance faction) while Hsieh belongs to the less influential Social Welfare faction. Su has all the resources of the premiership available, yet Hsieh, who doesn’t have the experience Su has, remains more popular in the polls (Su threw a fit when the pan-green camp published polls suggesting Hsieh was more popular, and the party has passed a rule that candidates cannot publish polls in the future). Su also successfully dodged Losheng-related accusations that he did nothing to obstruct the plans to tear down the leprosarium when he was Taipei County magistrate by deciding as premiere that it should be saved. We’ll see how that works out.

The main reason for Hsieh’s popularity, which many say was exhibited in the Taipei mayoral election, is that he is simply more charismatic than Su. Another is that he panders more to the moderates and undecideds. He recently caught flack from deep greens when he suggested that he didn’t have a problem with the constitution’s China policy. I suspect he isn’t actually that moderate, but he does recognize that he needs those votes to win an election. The reason I say this is because Hsieh’s GIO minister appointment, Pasuya Yao, was a lot more aggressive about controlling the media than Su’s man Zheng Wen-tsang, who is scheduled to leave his office soon after being caught suggesting that TTV should be sold to the pro-DPP Liberty Times Group.

The way the DPP primary works, however, is 30% party vote and 70% opinion polls. Hsieh is favored to win the opinion poll, while current party Chairman Yu Shyi-kun has an advantage in the party vote, though he is last in the popular polls (being bested by Lu has to hurt). Where does this leave Su? Something tells me that Chen Shui-bian, though he would prefer to see his man Yu take over his job, he knows that Yu is not as electable, and that Su is the next best choice. Chen and Hsieh have been rivals for a long time, and I can’t see him supporting Hsieh if Su is still in the race. Chen’s influence is waning, however, so there may not be much he can do at this point. In the spirit of the tradtional DPP male/female tickets, I’m guessing that Su would most likely choose vice-premier Tsai Ying-wen as his running mate. Everyone’s waiting to see what happens in the primary. When that’s settled, many things will be able to proceed, e.g. the budget will have to be settled before a potential new premier takes office, requiring a new budget review, and a new GIO minister, presumably hand-picked by the new premier, as is the usual custom. The new powergrid will affect things like the current power struggle about who gets to control the CEC and the NCC. The opposition is trying to gain the upper hand by pushing a bill to make membership of the CEC party-proportional, rather than being entirely picked by the ruling party. The fact that the NCC’s makeup was chosen in such a fashion rankles the DPP to no end, resulting in a ruling that such a method was “unconstitutional.”

Meanwhile, back at the equally disorganized opposition camp, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng was apparently not content to just wait for Ma Ying-jeou’s corruption trial verdict, and came out a few days with a bizarre set of comments straight out of the DPP’s campaign book. He said, all but pointing to himself as he did do, that a “majority” candidate should lead Taiwan rather than a “minority” candidate (guess who that’s directed at). Imagine if Rudy Guliani said people shouldn’t vote for Obama because he was a minority (or just wait; you might not have to imagine it). In any case, it was a poor choice of words. But Ma couldn’t be graceful about it and hinted that Taiwan would be “lucky” to have a minority leader, when he should have quoted Chiang Ching-kuo and proclaimed himself Taiwanese. Which he later did. Though I have to admire the man’s pure testicular fortitude in saying he’ll run even if he’s judged guilty of corruption, I wonder how much of it is balls and how much of it is cluelessness. Perhaps we’ll find out. Similar investigations into the special funds of all four DPP hopefuls has just begun, but I can’t believe that after seeing what happened to Ma they haven’t made moves to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen to them.

The KMT, fearing a guilty verdict, has moved its primary up to later this month, but the DPP is trying to push through a bill effectively barring Ma from running by making candidates found guilty in the first trial ineligible to run at all. Their only hope to pass such a bill lies with the disaffected members of the PFP, who want more autonomy in elections from the KMT.

Wang won’t participate in the primary, because Ma is still much more popular than he is, corruption allegations and all. Are there any other KMT candidates worth mentioning? There’s former Kaohsiung Mayor Wu Den-yi, who is a bit past his prime. Wu lost the position to Frank Hsieh after Hsieh accused him at the last hour of having inappropriate relations with a reporter (later proven false, but Hsieh was in power already. It’s a common political tactic here). Health concerns rule Taichung Mayor Jason Hu out. Taoyuan County Magistrate Zhu Li-lun is a rising star, popular with younger voters and might have a chance for running mate status this time around. But it seems to me that the KMT is just waiting for the trial verdict, just as the DPP is waiting to see who wins its primary. Once we have real candidates to play with, it will be another game altogether.

posted by Poagao at 3:53 am