Saturday, March 06, 2010

Year End Elections Musings

Paul Lin pointed out the obvious today, without directly referring to it:

However, running in Taipei also carries a greater risk. Opinion polls show that Su would stand a good chance of defeating any
KMT candidate in Sinbei, while at the moment he doesn't seem to have even a 50-50 chance of winning in Taipei
, although his chances could improve. Regardless, apart from Su, no pan-green candidate seems capable of winning
The DPP brain trust has seen the same polls. Clearly they must think that Su can't win. So it is obvious that they don't want Su to win in Taipei. They just want him to run and perform well, while losing so he can run for President. This will keep his name out in front of the public, while garnering a moral victory. They might also be setting him aside for 2016.

As I outlined in the post below, things might well be closer than they think and this strategy should backfire. Su should be preserved for 2012, and his tremendous energy and popularity used for campaigning on behalf of DPP candidates in contested areasin December. Instead, as many people have commented, the Taipei election, if it really cannot be won, should be used for developing a younger politician with a promising future.

As editorials pointed out today (see Liberty Times), the KMT's policy of selling out the island to China is at the root of the vast discontent with the KMT and Ma, yet party elders still publicly argue that the problem is communication. In fact after the last election loss KMTers were claiming, dorkishly, that the public was upset because they were too slow in going after Chen Shui-bian!! Since this year we are likely to see the ECFA signing and early harvest agreements which will trash jobs in local areas across Taiwan as the market floods with cheap Chinese goods and local Taiwan factories close, it is likely that despite modest economic growth this year many will find themselves unemployed and angry. And either not voting, or voting DPP....

The Taipei Times pointed this out today:

Ma is in it for himself and his cronies. KMT legislators were under orders to force through the Local Government Act (地方制度法), and now he wants an economic cooperation agreement to be signed, binding Taiwan to China. You've got officials of Taiwanese nationality carping on about not signing and, as the economy goes down the drain overnight, you have KMT legislators absolving themselves of all responsibility for oversight. And as this is going on, no one gives a damn about how unpopular the policy is.
I don't read Ma as being in it for himself and his cronies. I read him as a True Believer Ideologue who is surrounded by people, including the Old Guard, who are using his beautiful faux Confucian Facade to further their own ends in the China dialogue. But the Taipei Times has put its finger on the problem that the ECFA sellout is creating for Ma: it is a wedge that splits the KMT Old Guard, with its children now moving into positions of power in the new CCP-KMT axis, from its servitors at the local level who are ensconced in the traditional construction-industrial state system and bound to the KMT by flows of cash, not ideology and access to the emerging cross-strait power system. Most of the local KMTers will see their constituents take massive hits from the flood of Chinese products. It will be interesting to watch how the Mainlander core of the KMT attempts to keep the local legislators in line.
Daily Links:

Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!


Anonymous said...

Michael, don't you live in Taichung? Any insights into why Jason Hu is so popular?

The impression of Taichung from the perspective of everyone else in Taiwan isn't very good--still a relatively high crime area, and of the kind that is violent and deadly.

阿牛 said...

I hear DPP internals are showing about 50-50 chance for Taipei City, but they expect the difficult-to-predict Taipei voters to break for the KMT at the last minute even if they like Su ... so a loss is certainly in the cards.

Affordable SEO Services said...

Su should be the winner of the 2012. No body can lose him.

les said...

The idea that Jason Hu is undefeatable and that we're going to have to suffer further under this fat fool is so depressing I don't know how to express it. Well, I guess he is popular with 'special business' owners, gangsters of all stripes and lovers of random parking. Too bad the rest of us have to suffer the consequences.

Thomas said...

An Apple Daily telephone poll and a TVBS poll both put Su ahead of Hau. United Daily had him far behind. The electioneering has not started yet.

I think that this is close enough to give Su a chance, although, on a historical basis, the odds are not in his favor. The DPP better hope they can find someone who can down Eric Chu. An election loss could hamper the comeback.

Anonymous said...

Why the heck did you allow the SEO comment link spam?