Saturday, November 26, 2005

Rallies Scheduled Across the Island

Taiwan News reports on the rallies taking place tomorrow across Taiwan.

Hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese are expected to join weekend mass rallies as political parties gear up for next week's local elections, which are seen as an indicator for the 2008 presidential polls, organizers said yesterday.

A total of 77 candidates are vying for 23 city mayor and county magistrate positions while 1,693 others competing for seats in local councils in the December 3 polls.

Many of the DPP candidates are scheduling walks; we're going to one in Fengyuan tomorrow for Chui Tai-san, the DPP candidate for Taipei County commissioner (HQ: 2524-3333). Find one to go to in your area, if you can. Locals are often impressed that so many foreigners rally to the DPP, and the widespread support for the DPP among foreigners of all political stripes is a point of strength for the DPP. The Taipei Times also reported on the same story:

Su and DPP Secretary-General Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋) yesterday held a news conference to announce detailed plans for the parades that will be held simultaneously in 19 cities and counties tomorrow afternoon.

To make sure of retaining the important electoral district of Sanchung (三重), Chen and Su will both attend a massive rally in Sanchung, where participants are expected to start gathering at around 3:20pm.

A human chain will be formed from the Kuantu Bridge (關渡橋) to Showlang Bridge (秀朗橋).

About 100,000 people are expected at the parade in Taipei County, which would make it the biggest campaign activity of the day.

Meanwhile the KMT has scheduled an "anti-corruption" rally, which is like the Ku Klux Klan coming out in support of multiculturalism. The DPP naturally ridiculed this:

Meanwhile, DPP Secretary-General Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋) ridiculed the KMT as "fleeing the battlefield" by making Taipei City the centerpiece of its anti-corruption rallies, when the upcoming elections do not even concern the capital city.

Lee said it is preposterous that candidates involved in corruption and vote-buying are allowed to take part in the so-called anti-corruption rallies.

This actually misses a key point: the KMT's strategy is to rally its own base, whose core is heavily mainlander Taipei, and to provide a circus for the Taipei-based foreign media. The KMT is playing to reporters from abroad, much the way it did with the staged demonstrations after the Presidential election last year. No doubt we'll read at least a few accounts in foreign newspapers about "Taiwanese opposition to the increasing corruption of the DPP" or something similar.


Budding Sinologist said...

You say that foreigners at the DPP rallies are beneficial to the DPP. While I don't think my support of the DPP ever helped them (except for the four or five people who I convinced to change their vote through hours of debate), most people ignored my political opinion due to my skin color. "Weiguoren just don't understand our culture or history," the refrain went.

Michael Turton said...

Really? Nobody ever accused me of that. The last one I went to -- the hands across Taiwan rally in 2004 -- I was approached by several different newspapers. I think it is because I was married to a local and brought my kids.