Saturday, December 09, 2006

I'm wrong! wrong! wrong! Hurray!



Here we are with the NEW MAYOR OF KAOHSIUNG! Goooooooooo Chen Chu!

How much do the pre-election polls here suck? Mega. Only the Liberty Times nailed it. Good for them! Chen Chu squeaked in by 1,000 votes, and is now the DPP mayor of Kaohsiung! TAI HAO!

Since Taipei was a foregone conclusion, and pundits insist on seeing the election as a vote on Chen Shui-bian -- they can eat this: the silent majority has spoken.

Can't wait to see how the international media spins this one. And Soong had to bite it in Taipei too, picking up about 50,000 votes -- couldn't even hit 5% in the Bluest city in Taiwan. The Blue electorate refused to split the vote. Next week on the blogs and in the papers: Is Soong Finished? And just wait 'til the whispering starts against Ma Ying-jeou. More calls for Lien Chan to run in '08, I'll wager.

Tawk among yourselves. I'm off to celebrate.

26 comments:

Raj said...

Haha, I think you'd already been celebrating when you sent me that e-mail!

Anonymous said...

HOORAY for Chen CHu! HOORAY especially for Kaohisung! The people of Kaohsiung stood up! I'm going to be spending more of my time and (and money) in Kaohsiung---and less in Taipei.

Hai Tien said...

Excellent. Glad to hear that most of the electorate is saner than the partisan hacks we normally hear from.

Cheers!

Michael Turton said...

Haha, I think you'd already been celebrating when you sent me that e-mail!

LOL. Yes, somewhere there's a whiskey maker whose quarterly income massively spiked this weekend.

Michael

oooh said...

I was expecting a smaller margin(<10%) in Taipei... oh well, I guess it will take a little bit more time to break that Chinatown.

Prince Roy said...

silent majority?

what, all 1100 of them? Intersting you'd choose that term with regards to Chen Shuibian. How quaintly Nixon-esque!

huoguo said...

Yeah but only 1000 more DPP 'stood up' than needed. A little more voter apathy and this would have been a different string of posts.

Michael Turton said...

what, all 1100 of them? Intersting you'd choose that term with regards to Chen Shuibian. How quaintly Nixon-esque!

I was thinking of (1) the low poll counts of support for Chen Chu and (2) the asinine article in Foreign Affairs last year on TI and elections.

Also, remember the TSU guy got 6,000 votes -- if he had dropped out, almost all that would have been Chen Chu's. What an idiot.

Michael

Anonymous said...

<<<<<<<
Yeah but only 1000 more DPP 'stood up' than needed. A little more voter apathy and this would have been a different string of posts.
>>>>>>>

That's one way to look at it. Another way would be this: If Lo would have dropped have dropped out, Chen Chu would then have received all of the pan-Green votes. The fact that the TSU was in the race dragged her down a bit. The fact that she prevailed even against this handicap indicates that Kaohsiung people will still stand up when it counts.

Next time, though, I doubt that the Green candidate will be running wile towing an anchoring.

Prince Roy said...

ok, granted that most if not all of the TSP votes would've gone to Chen Ju. So let's say it bumps the margin up to 6000 + 1114= 7114. Out of the 763,720 total votes cast, that's 0.009 margin of victory, which I believe would fall well within the legal grounds for a recount in most US states.

Is 0.009 a mandate from the 'silent majority'? Political pundits more qualified than me will have to answer that.

But I do have another question: is Kaohsiung traditionally an island of blue in a sea of green, or is it a DPP stronghold? If the former, than yes, perhaps it is a case of the silent majority making themselves heard. If the latter, then if I was a DPP official, I'd be very concerned.

Michael Turton said...

.0009 victory when the other side has you projected to lose by up to 20%, in the face of traditional and widespread votebuying, is indeed a victory.

Surely, those wise pundits will take note of the vote, supposedly a referendum on Chen Shui-bian, and wonder how, if the electorate is disgusted with Chen and he has only a alleged 20% approval rate, Chen Chu won in Kaohsiung, and Hsieh exceeded Lee's 2002 totals.

Michael

hsiadogah said...

I note that it didn't take long before the sore losers' chorus of "it-must-be-a-fraud-because-we-didn't-win" started...
Why is it this rabble has to come out screaming like a village-full of raped virgins? Noone has refused a recount, noone has rejected anything, yet there they are, irate at the injustice of it all.

Anonymous said...

Uh... Roy... point out when the DPP has EVER smoothly won victory in Kaohsiung.

People have this irrational love for symmetry. White vs Black. KMT vs DPP. North is Blue, so South must be Green. Taipei vs Kaohsiung. Mandarin in the North. Taiwanese in the South. 10% deep blue. 10% deep green.

See? The story sounds really neat. But it's not true. And it has zero explanatory power for the assymetrical situation that is the current Taiwan. The Chinese KMT is stronger than the DPP for a lot of reasons (I'm not saying they're good, just stronger politically) and while Taipei has always been deep-Blue, Kao-hsiung has always been competitive. Roy, you tried to play the coy Socrates and ask a question when what you have done is looked up these stats:

1. Taipei. In 1994, the blue camp split, allowing Chen Shui-bian to narrowly win. In 1998, incumbent Chen Shui-bian, with a public approval rating of 70%, lost to Chinese KMT candidate Ma Ying-jeou 51% to 46%. The election in 2002 was a joke. Frank Hsieh lost 41% to 54% and that's with Soong siphoning off 4%. Nobody can name what Ma Ying-jeou has done for Taipei. Taipei underwent huge changes under CSB, including bus-only lanes that relieved traffic congestion problems. None of this matters in a Taipei election.

2. Kao-hsiung. In 1998, Frank Hsieh was narrowly elected 49% to 48%. In 2002, as a popular incumbent mayor, he narrowly won election 50% to 47%. In our current election, Chen Ju won 49.41% to 49.27%. The Chinese KMT has held a majority of the city councilor positions and continues to.

Now. Tell me. I'm Socrates now. Is Kao-hsiung a DPP stronghold?

Michael Turton said...

Yup. Taiwanese local politics is ruthlessly local...just look at this election, where the DPP took the mayor's post the KMT gained 5 seats in the council. Vote buying is rampant in the south -- one reason I thought Chen Chu was going to lose, BTW.

Michael

Taiwan Echo said...

oooh said...I was expecting a smaller margin(<10%) in Taipei... oh well, I guess it will take a little bit more time to break that Chinatown.

Don't worry, oooh. One of my friends once said that if KMT nominates a dog to campaign for Taipei Mayor, Taipei citizens will still cast their votes to it too. :)

Prince Roy said...

If I were involved in party politics, and I saw a comfortable 24,800 margin in the previous election evaporate to barely over a thousand votes, that would concern me.

Do you think vote buying is sufficient to explain it?

I'm curious as to how effective vote buying is here. If a person accepts money for a vote, what guarantee does the buyer have that the person will oblige? Why not just take the money and vote however they want? Is there honor among thieves?

raj said...

Prince Roy

But even if there is a recount it's still going to be very close. So in that case if the DPP were to lose out, could they demand a second recount? How many recounts do you have - until the KMT wins?

I doubt the lawsuit will come to much. As for the recount request I think they're a bunch of bad losers - they probably know they lost but just can't accept it.

Michael Turton said...

If I were involved in party politics, and I saw a comfortable 24,800 margin in the previous election evaporate to barely over a thousand votes, that would concern me.

But Roy, the margin here is pretty normal -- what "evaporated?". From the standpoint of 750K votes, a 23,000 vote fluctuation isn't much. What precisely is there to be concerned about -- other than the long-term concerns that always occupy politicians here? Kaohsiung elections have always been close. If I were the DPP, it isn't Chen Chu's victory I'd be concerned about, but the KMT's pickups in city council seats. That's the real problem.

The KMT candidate picked up 17,000 votes over the previous showing, while the DPP lost just 7,000. So the "evaporation" turns out to be a mere 7,000 -- and the DPP was supposedly "burdened" by Chen Shui-bian's scandals. If Chen had such a huge effect, where is the massive defection to the KMT?

Further, the TSU got 6,500 votes in 2006, but none in 2002.

http://esc.nccu.edu.tw/eng/data/data02.htm

It turns out the 7,000 vote hit the Chen Chu took was due to the presence of the TSU. The DPP didn't gain, but the predicted "referendum" on Chen wasn't.

Do you think vote buying is sufficient to explain it?

Hell yes. I used to live in Kaohsiung. :)

It's curious that you think that a 1,000 vote victory is a warning to the DPP but a loss by Huang isn't a warning to the KMT, in the same election that the KMT picked up five seats in the city council. Not to mention the sterling performance of Hsieh in Taipei.

I'm curious as to how effective vote buying is here. If a person accepts money for a vote, what guarantee does the buyer have that the person will oblige? Why not just take the money and vote however they want? Is there honor among thieves?

No, but there is tracking by the neighborhood and precinct captains. From previous experience with elections and vote buying, and their on-the-ground familiarity, the li chang and the lin chang know the local families and know who is pro-DPP and pro-KMT, know who has let their vote be bought before, etc. That is why the control of those local positions is so vital to KMT power in Taiwan.

Michael

Michael Turton said...

Besides, you could argue that the KMT took a hit from 1998, when they posted 383K votes, vs 378K in this election. Don't you think they should be concerned?

Michael

Raj said...

The KMT are disputing 6,000 or so invalid ballots because they're "more than usual" or something. This seems to indicate to me that they're clutching at straws.

Even if quite a few thousand are actually valid, they'd need most of them to be KMT to win. It's quite rare for invalid ballots to be stacked for one party, unless all your supporters are half-blind biddies who can't see the nose in front of their faces......

Hopefully the recount can be done pretty soon and the KMT be left to whine in the courts about how the DPP campaign was "unfair". Yeah, you don't like it when someone is throwing the corruption allegations at YOU, do you?

Prince Roy said...

Raj:

Polling lawsuits never seem to come to much, so I don't think the KMT can hold out too much hope.

Michael:

Not so much in Kaohsiung, because it was the DPP's election to lose. And my sources show that the KMT candidate received 362.5K in 2002, so they actually gained 17K votes this time. But here in Taipei, the fact that the KMT polled so poorly, yes definitely.

I'm wondering if the whole thing isn't more an expression of voter disatisfaction with incumbency than a litmus of CSB or even MYJ. Which would add some credence to your 'Taiwanese politics is ruthlessly local' comment.

Patrick Cowsill said...

What's the law regarding getting time off work in order to go vote? Is there one? One of my friends told me "if the boss is nice, maybe he will let you go."

Michael Turton said...

Yes, that's right, as I noted before, and that 17,000 vote gain didn't enable them to reach their 1998 level. Could be long-term decline, could be record turn-out in a pro-KMT district -- the KMT is really good at mobilizing its voters.

All in all, it could all be a statistical blip. We'll need two more elections to make sure.


Michael

Raj said...

prince roy

Sure legal action won't do much unless there's actual real evidence of the voting being tampered with. But the recount is less complicated to achieve - I was pointing out that even with the "invalid ballots" being examined, it's unlikely they could change the result, as not that many would be liable to be added to the totals and there's no reason to believe a large enough majority would be for the KMT.

Raj said...

Ah, here we are on the KMT's hopes.

http://tinyurl.com/yx4mr2

"Huang's camp is hoping that based on experience, he will be able to pick up 600 votes from the 6,000 ballots deemed invalid during Saturday's count after they are thoroughly checked, KMT lawmaker Chiu Yi (邱毅) said. Chiu also believed Huang could pick up anther 400 or more votes from questionable counts at various polling stations around the city and propel Huang to victory."

Interesting that these guys think 1000 extra votes will mean they can beat the DPP's lead of more than that. But the fact they're not even considering the DPP picking up a few more votes rather suggests they're trying to make the possibility of winning due to the recount seem bigger than it really is.

I'm sure they'll put their effort into the legal complaints - not that it will do them much good. A court can't overturn an election result just because a candidate accused another of something - all you can do is sue for damages.

Chewycorns said...

Sad thing is---both candidates didn't campaign on what they would do for the city.

Chen Chu was a hopeless and incompetent bureaucrat during her time at the CLA --even worse than the hometown Tainan cronies Chen appointed to the international development ministry (A Tulane lawyer [totally unqualified] who seems to have picked up some bad habits while in the Big Easy and wouldn't give me a straight answer about a work-related matter because he had to meet HSIAO Bi-kimh at the Grand Hotel hehehehhe.

These people may have been activists in the 70s and 80s, but these days they are nasty, xenophobic, incompetent, poor administrators with no sense of fairplay.

I hope under her reign, the city becomes further marginalized economically.