Sunday, May 06, 2007

It's Hsieh for the DPP

The primary is over, and the Taiwan News has the call:

Though plagued by corruption scandals, former premier Frank Hsieh Sunday won the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's presidential primary by a landside and vowed to try his best to mend party divisions created on the campaign trail.

"As President Chen Shui-bian said earlier today, preserving party unity is DPP members’obligation and responsibility," Hsieh told a news conference at his campaign office.“There is no one I cannot forgive or work with.”

As of 8pm, local cable TV outlets show Hsieh polled 63,233 ballots, followed by Premier Su Tseng-chang, who garnered 46,992 ballots. DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun and Vice President Annette Lu gathered 22,200 votes and 8,552 votes, respectively.

Hsieh specifically thanked former vice premier Yeh Chu-lan, former Council of Labor Affairs chairman Lee Ying-yuan and Yunlin County Magistrate Su Chih-fen for their backing and assured supporters the corruption scandals would prove unfounded later.

Hsieh has that fire in the belly, experience in government, wide support, and a can-do attitude. He will be a good candidate for the DPP. Lots of mud-slinging, shooting self in foot, mad accusations, threats, pleading, and media constructions ahead, but if all goes as it should, Frank Hsieh will be the next President of Taiwan.


16 comments:

Raj said...

Lol, if you jinx it, Michael, we'll know who to blame!

Certainly it's crucial he isn't charged with anything. One hopes that the report in Next was just an exaggeration designed to undermine his bid.

Do you think he'll pair up with Su or Yu, and who would you deem the best asset on that front?

Anonymous said...

I am going home to vote coming March. Of the 4 registered, I have no problem to vote for any one of them. I am glad, though, it is Hsieh. He seems to best person for the job at this juncture.

channing said...

I'm surprised how few ballots Lu got. I guess I overestimated her support base.

Michael Turton said...

Hey, Channing, Lu gets treated like everyone's eccentric aunt. People just can't take her seriously as a thinking human being.

raj, I think Hsieh wants Yeh Chu-lan, the wife of Chen Nan-jung, the dissident publisher who burned himself to death. I hope Su stays where he is. The great thing is, these guys are all youngish, and will be around another decade at least. Su will get another crack.

It wouldn't surprise me if the corruption allegations are true, but it won't matter. Identity is primary, all else is secondary. If both candidates are proven corrupt-- and there is no question of Ma at this point -- identity will be the only fallback. But anyone who votes on "make the trains run on time" will pick Hsieh, because Ma did little in Taipei, a problem even the Blue papers occasionally bitched about. I was just down in Kaohsiung, and the difference after several years of Hsieh is obvious. So I think we have a very strong candidate. I'm optimistic at this point.

Michael

walter said...

He's a very pragmatic guy. Things in 2008 will be SOOOO interesting Michael. I hope you take care over there in Taiwan man. I'm really praying for that country. Anyway good luck to the DPP ^_^

Biomed Tim said...

"...If both candidates are proven corrupt-- and there is no question of Ma at this point..."

Is this true? Can you tell me more?

david on formosa said...

So it will be the former Mayor of Kaohsiung vs the former Mayor of Taipei. Like you say Michael, if you look at their achievements as mayor it is obvious who would make the best president.

Poor Annette Lu, I really think she is misunderstood and never gets the credit she deserves. I hope she is given an important role in the next administration.

Taiwan Echo said...

Hold your horses, guys, the game is not over yet.

(1) According to DPP's rule, once you registered to run for the president, you are not allowed to quit, unless your resignation gets approved. Both Su's and You's "pulling out" are without official approval therefore not finalized at this moment. That means officially they are still in the campaign.

It's highly possible that Su and his think tank realize the impact of members' votes result (count 30% into the final) on the upcoming public poll (count 70%). Some people mgiht change their mind from "supporting Su" to "supporting Hsieh", simply to make sure that the final winner is the one who has majority support. So Su's group might try a risky step to prevent a landslide loss, under a desperate situation that they are gonna lose anyway. By claiming his willingness to put pan-green's integration the first priority, he might win a lot of sympathy support, caming from people who mistakenly think that Su already retreated any way so why not give him some support.

In fact I already saw this effect in the pro-green anti-media forums. Some netters who has been criticizing Su in the past months started to appear apologizingly and say highly of him.

(2) A netter noticed that in Su's conference (in which he announced his loss in the member votes), he said a lot of things but never mentioned Hsieh's name even once. In this sort of speech we would expect that he would praise his opponent and pays his respect, if he really means his withdrawal. But Su didn't do that, making his real agenda highly suspicious.

(3) I'am not sure what the actual wordings that Su used in his speech, but in a conversation between journalists and Wang Jin-Ping, in which Wang was asked about this event, Wang said:

"It's highly respectable that Su caimed his intention of stopping all his campaign activities."

To me, "stopping all campaign activities" is not equivalent to "I quit." If that is what Su really said, then all of us were fooled -- or selfrighteously took it for granted by interpretating Su's talk with its face value.

-----

So, what if DPP didn't go ahead to approve the retreats, and after the public polls Su becomes the final winner, because that his claim of withdrawal gains additional sympathetic polls ? There's gonna be a nightmare for pan-green, because the supporters from both sides will insist their boss is the righteous winner.

Anonymous said...

go go Frank Hsieh!


I hope he teams up with Su.

Maoman said...

I wish there was a middle ground between the character issues and the way they're brought up in the US and how they're completely ignored in Taiwan. I could never support a man who believes in Song Qili, the man who defrauded Taiwanese citizens out of billions of dollars by claiming to possess supernatural powers that turned out to be no more complex than a rudimentary knowledge of photoshop. Remember too, that Frank Xie's wife was a plaintiff in that case. I don't trust a man who is either so naive or so corrupt.

Michael Turton said...

I wish there was a middle ground between the character issues and the way they're brought up in the US and how they're completely ignored in Taiwan. I could never support a man who believes in Song Qili, the man who defrauded Taiwanese citizens out of billions of dollars by claiming to possess supernatural powers that turned out to be no more complex than a rudimentary knowledge of photoshop. Remember too, that Frank Xie's wife was a plaintiff in that case. I don't trust a man who is either so naive or so corrupt.

Are character issues brought up in the US? That's news to me. Most discussions of character in the US never focus on it. Otherwise we wouldn't have a coke-using, alcoholic cowardly paranoid Daddy's boy for our president. We'd have Al Gore instead.

As for Sung, he is a con man. So is every other religious leader -- conning the public out of billions. Some religious beliefs have social approval, some don't. Unfortunately for Song Qili, he chose to spread a religion that lacked social support. The court's decision was the correct one, however painful it is for those who got ripped off. Is Hsieh a sucker for believing in that shit? Yep. So is everyone who goes to Church or temple on Sunday. I understand you're some kind of liberal Christian. When you become a metaphysical naturalist and an atheist, then you can excoriate others for being suckers. At the moment your position is simply that believing in breaking the egg at the Big End is the act of a sucker, while you wisely break it at the Little End....but I usually don't hack on believers for being suckers, tending to see religious believers as victims, not fools.

And let's face it. Who will Hsieh run against? Ma Ying-jeou. Hsieh has nothing on him. What do you think happened to the students whom Ma reported on? On character, Hsieh has Ma beat a thousandfold. Ma is far more corrupt than Hsieh. And when the chips were down, Ma supported the regime and the killing and the oppression. Hsieh fought it. That's the real measure of strength of character. When the test came, Ma failed.

I'm happy to discuss character, Maoman. But little things like religious fraud (a redundant phrase if there ever was one) are nothing compared to one's stance on democracy and independence. Let's get our priorities straight, eh? What's the real test of character?

BTW, I listened to your interview on What's Up in Taiwan. It was great.

Michael

Michael Turton said...

Taiwan Echo, blog on this! Don't write it as a long comment here! Put it up at Taiwan Matters!

Michael

Taiwan Echo said...

Well, every comment I post in your blog is supposed to be a short one, haha ...

Ok, next time if it gets long I'll make it a blog article.

Trace said...

Hey Michael you say Ma far more corrupt than Hseih? How? Where?
Back up your statement with fact you big infected brain lowly English teaching wannabe dolt!

Trace said...

Where is the hatefull condemnation of Sanlih TV's now proven fabrication of the 228 massacre footage?

Is this place properly supervised?

Michael Turton said...

Trace, there are many things I don't blog on. Using pictures from one source to represent similar events in another context is not exactly unknown in documentary films, and may not even be wrong (I don't know what the commentary said). I considered Sanlih's fabrication of polling data far more serious and important, so I blogged on that.

But Trace, if you open a blog, I'll be happy to link.

Michael