Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Election You Missed

Saturday there was a hugely important election in Taiwan. I bet hardly any of the readers of this blog knew about it. I didn't. But fortunately a perspicacious academic on one of the lists I am on pointed out that (a) the election took place and (b) it was a good test of the alleged "anti-corruption" stance of the KMT. Was there any improvement in corruption? Nope.

What was the election? Sina.com reported on the 14th on it, headlined: 全台283家農會今選出1萬1694位會員代表 (Taiwan's 283 Agricultural Cooperatives today chose 11,694 member representatives). Translation by Google:
Tonight, the Executive Yuan Council of Agriculture said today Taiwan's grass-roots 283 farmers in the re-elections, with statistics, the 5577 elected farm team leader, deputy head, as well as 11,694 members of the representative of the entire electoral process was successfully completed, the voter turnout was an average of 56.13 %
Elections for agriculture, fisheries, and irrigation cooperatives are famous for their alleged corruption, vote-buying, and vote fraud. The Liberty Times had an article on this problems the following day....Googling the first section produced:
The grass-roots election farmers frequently all over the bribery, prosecutors english intensive interviews to date, has admitted more than bribery or bribery, and people have been taken into custody.

Yunlin County Council elections乡农Lun Pui competitive Village Farmers Luo Rui Li on behalf of the candidate's wife, Deng廖秀sumatraensis through others, to 3000 yuan per ticket to 19 people buying tickets yesterday, Rui Deng investigation by the prosecution After hearing the sound remand is granted, the wife was廖秀sumatraensis apprize 50,000 yuan to bail; another police received a report refers to 14 the same amount of farmland will campaign on behalf of candidates for the "collective travel" out of people suspected tied Cai Jiming, Lin Geng recorded, but also questioned the prosecution allowed to charge after the sound.
Apparently the candidate's wife paid 3,000 yuan a pop to buy votes. The importance of this election to the current ruling party was brought out in the Liberty Times piece:
Because the agricultural cooperative officials have long been regarded as KMT cadres...
The regulations governing elections had been revised under the DPP -- yet another DPP initiative you never hear about when you hear people complain that the "DPP never did anything" -- as part of a package of (attempted) reforms. The local agricultural, fisheries, and irrigation cooperatives have long been a key power base of the KMT -- it's not anything that will ever make the international news, but it is a fundamental factor in shaping the island's political economy. I discuss their history, development and importance to the KMT and to its local patronage networks in this long post. A recent case of a KMT legislator having his seat invalidated shows the kind of role these networks play in local politics.


Anonymous said...

Hey, that Australian documentary on the left side bar is good! Really nice overview of Taiwan's recent history, at least up to 1991. Did I miss your post on it?

Anonymous said...

A local friend told me that the DPP actually did a lot of good things but they are not well known because the DPP is not good at highlighting their achievements, whereas the media was always busy sensationalizing what they did 'wrong'.....

Anonymous said...

Again, an awesome documentary. Highly, highly recommend to any other of Michael's readers interested in Taiwan's history. And completely relevant and useful to understanding today's Taiwan.

I was confused by the NHK credits at the end of the documentary, NHK being a Japanese television station...

Well, a little research and turns out that this production was produced from the amazing cooperation of several stations from different countries! It was a joint production of PBS (US), NHK (Japan), Film Australia Productions, among others.

Obviously, the Australian accented voice and ref to Tasmania does confuse things a little, but this is quite interesting! They got a lot of things right in here!