Monday, September 22, 2008

Fun With the News

AFP reported on a TVBS poll that said President Regional Administrator Ma's popularity had plummeted to 28%, announcing that this was a new low. Remember, guys, this is TVBS, not a rational polling organization. Ma's approval ratings may well be that low, but as the saying goes, even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while. Better to wait until more rational polls have confirmed that Ma's standing has indeed plummeted so far. TVBS' "news" does remind us, though, how Ma's social function is to serve as a scapegoat for public opinion, just as Chen before him -- playing Lotho to KMT elites' Saruman....

ESWN, popular tabloid blog, attempted and failed to comment rationally the other day on the Taipei Times report of former First Lady Wu Shu-chen's latest avoidance of court appearances by citing her failing health. After reviewing the Taipei Times coverage of the mess, ESWN pointed out that there were no quotes from Green lawmakers on the issue, only KMT lawmakers:

Why couldn't they get a quote from any lawmakers on the other side of the fence? Well, it is possible that it would embarrassing to the 'green' lawmakers and Taipei Times would not want that to happen, would they? It is also possible the the 'green' lawmakers made themselves unavailable because they know where the public opinion stands.

So I went and checked the pro-KMT China Post's coverage, which also did not appear to cite any Green lawmakers. In fact it cited a KMT lawmaker, the notorious Chiu Yi, whom President Chen let out of jail after he'd been sentenced for attacking a government building and assaulting policemen. Which the China Post did not mention, of course. Does this mean that the China Post has a horrible pro-Green bias? In both cases it appears that reporters probably felt they had the Green side since they had Wu's lawyer, and so -- for balance -- sought Blue counterquotes. In other words, ESWN most likely has completely misunderstood. The China Post did say that prosecutors thought this a travesty of justice, though evading court and police dates for health reasons is a time-honored practice in Taiwan's political circles.

Curiously, ESWN missed commenting on the far more ominous promise from the prosecutors in the Chen Shui-bian special funds case, in which eight prosecutors convened a press conference to announce that the prosecution of Chen would never stop until they had convicted him (not until they have found the truth).

On Monday, eight prosecutors in charge of the investigation into former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) secret overseas accounts held a press conference in Taipei.

During the press conference, prosecutor Yueh Fang-ju (越方如) proclaimed that if they failed to solve the case, they would step down.

Yueh asked rhetorically: “If the case cannot be solved, how could we not be too ashamed to stay?”

Supreme Prosecutor Office’s Special Investigation Panel (SIP) spokesman Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南) echoed Yueh’s comments, saying that if the team failed to solve the case, then they would have to step down, too.

The problem with this is that prosecutors are civil officials, not political appointees.

They should handle cases in accordance with the law and make remarks and decisions based on the evidence associated with the case at hand — nothing more and nothing less.

The language used by the SIP prosecutors at the press conference makes it sound as if they were pan-blue politicians commencing a campaign of attack on Chen Shui-bian.

In addition, the SIP ignored Articles 2 and 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (刑事訴訟法).

Article 2 stipulates that “a public official who conducts proceedings on a criminal case shall give equal attention to circumstances favorable or unfavorable to an accused,” while Article 154 stipulates that “prior to final conviction through trial, an accused is presumed to be innocent."

No doubt just an oversight on ESWN's account.

Speaking of special funds, I've always thought the whole pushing of Taiwan's stock exchange in the run-up to the 2008 presidential election was purely a pump-n-dump by stock pushers. What was the smart money doing? Well, foreign direct investment fell 46% in the first eight months of 2008 compared to the previous year. So while the big boys were patting you on the back and telling you to invest in Taiwan, they themselves were busy schlepping their money elsewhere.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

The KMT is in power at every single level of government in a completely dominating way: 1) executive 100% (well, there's only one president) 2) legislature 75% 3) local city and county heads 17 out of 23 4) upwards of 75% of district heads. This is an unbelievable amount of power in a multiparty democracy!

Other than Taiwan baseball having a pretty crappy showing at the Olympics and Wang Chien-Ming getting hurt, I'm not sure why people SHOULDN'T blame everything on Ma and the KMT. They sure promised everything during the campaign season. If they can't live up to overpromising, then they deserve the wrath of the masses.

不藍不綠 said...

"I'm not sure why people SHOULDN'T blame everything on Ma and the KMT. They sure promised everything during the campaign season. If they can't live up to over promising, then they deserve the wrath of the masses."

Ma did over promise and so does every politician that I know of in Taiwan AND in the U.S. Pan Blue voters had been disappointed if they are not very patient souls. However what is interesting is that... pan Green lawmakers and voters never believed anything that Ma promised during the election, but now all of a sudden they "believed" everything Ma promised and therefore are faulting him for not delivering promises that the Pan Green never believed?

Taiwan is like a cancer patient. Taiwan could be too sick to be cured and could probably die of a painful death. I hope not. I hope the cancer can be removed and Taiwan will be healthy and full of hope again.

不藍不綠 said...

“So I went and checked the pro-KMT China Post's coverage, which also did not appear to cite any Green lawmakers. In fact it cited a KMT lawmaker, the notorious Chiu Yi, whom President Chen let out of jail after he'd been sentenced for attacking a government building and assaulting policemen.”

To Taiwanese, Wu’s action speaks louder than words. It’s not important who from Green or Blue lawmakers were quoted or not quoted. Most Taiwanese are just pissed off by the Chen family’s contempt for the judicial system and their attitude of “得了便宜還賣乖", because any one of us would have been cuffed and sent to the court hearings even if we are in the hospital if we miss any court hearing even once!!!! There were actually precedents where the judge ordered patients being wheeled into the court in their sick beds. Under Taiwanese laws, the prosecutors would have held so many other people with similar charges in jail without bail for months until they make a confession or more evidence turns up. Look at the recent cases of several other officials been accused of corruption charges with far less $ and evidence. They were almost all immediately 收押禁見, until the trial starts.

Chen, his families and his supporters have damaged the very fabric of the laws and rules that took decades to be established whether the laws were 100% perfect or not. The Chen family’s contempt for the courts and the due process showed Taiwanese that the President with so much power and zero decency can possibly weasel his way out of corruption charges and could stash money overseas, because he, a lawyer and charismatic politician, knows how the "game" the court and political systems.

For people who like to equate Ma's "use" of his special fund 首長特別費 to Chen's current trouble with his Special State Fund 國務機要費 and compare Ma to Chen, I would say shame on you. Ma showed at every single hearing and trial dates. He didn’t openly blame the prosecution as political like what Chen is doing so publicly; Ma attended his trial and told his supporters to respect the due process. On the other hand, Chen publicly creid "political persecution every chance he gets, even after it's proven that he had the head Taiwanese FBI cover for him for months so that he had a head start to transfer money around, destroy key documents. His wife also avoided her court hearings 17 freaking times, YET they have the balls to cry "injustice"!!!!!!!!! Chen and his wife have had so many passes from the court, yet they and their supporters cry foul!!!!

We, the majority of ordinary rational thinking Taiwanese, just shake our heads in utter disbelief and disgust!!

阿牛 said...

The press conference was extremely disturbing.

Also re: President as spacegoat, my wife recently said 誰當台灣總統都很倒楣。

Thomas said...

Hey, what was CSB's lowest approval rating?

Michael Turton said...

He didn’t openly blame the prosecution as political like what Chen is doing so publicly

ROFL. He sued the prosecutor!

Oh yeah, reality, how different from Blue dreams....

Anonymous said...

Thomas: 18% is about right I think.

But now, I don't know. His bullshit with those campaign funds at the very least is tax evasion and at the very worst...

And he's not helping with proving that the money's clean, even if under the law, you're innocent until proven guilty.

Look, Ma isn't responsible for a poor global economic environment nor is he is responsible for hurricanes. But he is responsible for disappearing for the first couple of months of his presidency (Where the hell was he? Shouldn't he be giving big policy speeches and introducing new initiatives like crazy?), and he is responsible for the poor responses to the disasters and the complete lack of political responsibility for every single bad political decision.

These fools also keep changing what they say they're going to do every day (case in point 1: whether or not to reduce the stock trading tax. case in point 2: raising gas prices way ahead of time). This does not give confidence to stock market and economy; it's poison for it, and is part of why Taiwan's stock market has fallen much further than the rest of the world except... China.

This government can't get the basics right... disaster prevention (shutting down bridges and roads), disaster cleanup, having consistent economic policy, quickly getting goods out of the market when they're found to be poison, and this is just the past week.

The complete disgust people hold for the Ma government is not DPP propaganda (read what KMT legislators are saying), and it's not just a misguided idiotic reaction by the people. And it's not an ideological reaction to the KMT because that's not what people are so riled about (though as Michael's blog has pointed out, has been happening as well). There's something really different happening, and if it continues, there's going to be a huge explosion of anger in the streets because there's no outlet politically...

Thomas said...

BLBL, who says they suddenly believe what he promised? They knew he was taking Taiwan for a ride ahead of time and now are pointing out that fact.

Runsun said...

>>>>>>
AFP reported on a TVBS poll that said President Regional Administrator Ma's popularity had plummeted to 28%, announcing that this was a new low. Remember, guys, this is TVBS, not a rational polling organization. Ma's approval ratings may well be that low, but as the saying goes, even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while. Better to wait until more rational polls have confirmed that Ma's standing has indeed plummeted so far.
<<<<<<

Here is 24.9% from other source, even lower, as of 9/23/2008, 4 months from Ma started his Regional Administrator role. TVBS might have added some points to make it "not too far below 30%".

The unsatisfactory rate also reaches all time high as 64.5%.


遠見民調:馬施政滿意度剩24.9%


〔記者施曉光/台北報導〕馬總統執政四個月來,引起民怨事件不斷,也具體反應在民調數字上,根據遠見雜誌民意調查中心最新民調結果顯示,民眾對馬英九總統的施政滿意度只剩下二十四.九%,並有高達六十四.五%的民眾表示不滿意,這也是馬總統從政以來的民調最差評價。