Thursday, June 29, 2006

Eating Crow on Ma?

Yesterday I wrote:

The point is that Ma has been doing the Ma Shuffle (one step forward, one step back, 180 degree turn left, 180 degree turn right. Repeat) over and over again throughout his tenure as leader and nobody really seems to mind. I have not heard any negative remarks about him among the public. So at the moment I can't join the consensus and say that Ma has taken a hit here. Relative to Soong, sure, Ma has suffered. But he hasn't lost position in any absolute sense. The public does not appear to be less confident in him than before and his Presidential hopes remain intact. The way things are at the moment, Ma could rape a sheep at rush hour on the steps of the Presidential Palace, and emerge unscathed: the largely pro-Blue media would blame the sheep for walking around without any clothes on, and Chiu Yi would accuse it of being involved in an illegal deal for shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Corporation.

Some poll data indicates that Ma is in a long-term slide. ESWN noted of the TVBS poll

In particular, here are is the trend for Ma Ying-jeou
- elected as KMT chairman: 65% satisfied; 20% dissatisfied
- visited United States: 58% satisfied; 14% dissatisfied
- recall vote process: 51% satisfied; 30% dissatisfied
- the day after the recall vote: 45% satisfied; 42% dissatisfied

Several papers are reporting today that Ma took a hit in the polls following the recall motion. Shall I eat a heaping helpin' of corvus? We'll see in a few weeks as Ma positions and repositions himself in the hurly-burly no-confidence motion against the Premier whether this affair is having a long-term negative effect. Like I've said before, Ma's position of Party Chairman forces him to take a risk every time he makes a decision or opens his mouth. It sure would be nice if reality dawned on the locals....


Wulingren said...

I think it is generally politically dangerous for a public figure to suddenly change his/her image, and the image Ma was trying to project was that of the smiling city mayor and a leader with international stature. Suddenly, he was standing in front of the recall rallies with angry face and arm raised in the air.

It is interesting that there was only a minor drop for Chen and a much bigger one for Ma. I would love to see a poll of support for James Soong or Chiu Yi, since in my view (for what it's worth), they are the two most responsible for the recall movement.

Scott Sommers said...

I am not sure that Ma's support for the recall vote was the sudden change of image. Ma was, after all, elected primarily by retired soldiers to represent the old guard of KMT membership. It was his initial refusal to support the recall that represented the change. Now he's back on track. expect more of this in the days to come.

The recall vote never had widespread public appeal. The rallies organized around them hardly attracted anyone. Both Soong and Chiu were out of the picture long before then. Chiu represents a radical wing of the Pan-Blue and has little appeal outside of that group. I doubt that Soong has much of an image left at all. If the Legislature is reorganized, my bet is the PFP will disappear like the New Party.

Anonymous said...

Please tell me what our great president has done the past 6 years instead of creating racial turmoil and being part of the biggest scandal in Taiwan electional history.

Michael Turton said...

Chen has done neither of those things.

Anonymous said...

Who said Chen did those things? They must be out of their minds. The facts are proving the accusations wrong as Michael says.

MT Churnot