Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Discuss: DPP Talent Crunch


It is the sun that shares our works.
The moon shares nothing. It is a sea. -- Wallace Stevens

It's the Moon Festival once again. The bright star under the moon tonight, rising in the east, is the planet Jupiter on closest approach to earth in decades. Enjoy them both tonight; I had a lot of fun shooting the moon tonight amidst the sound of fireworks and the aroma of BBQing meat.

I biked down to Lukang today with my friend Drew and his wife Joyce. Drew and I were chatting about politics and wondered: assume a DPP sweep of the five municipal elections. In that case, the usual question is: who shall be the Presidential candidate against Ma in 2012? But also important is: who shall be the premier?

Such questions bring into full focus the disaster of DPP heavyweight Yang Chiu-hsing switching sides in the Kaohsiung election and running against Chen Chu. A popular and capable administrator, Yang was well-suited to moving into some high post. A great loss.

Anyway, I'd like to throw open that question to you all. Post suggestions for president, veep, and premier in the comments. I'll post them tomorrow morning.
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45 comments:

Tim Maddog said...

If Yang Chiu-hsing's "accomplishments" were all achieved as a double agent, then he's no loss at all.

Tim Maddog

David said...

For President/Vice-President one possibility is a Lin Yi-hsiung/Lee Yuan-tseh ticket.

For Premier I think both Frank Hsieh and Yu Shyi-kun have already proven themselves in the role. Frank Hsieh is also a strong possibility for the Vice-Presidential candidate.

Anonymous said...

Revive Lee Teng-hui, put him in the DPP and he'll win.

Lee Teng-hui for president!

Raj said...

A popular and capable administrator, Yang was well-suited to moving into some high post. A great loss.

In as far that he didn't stay loyal. But given his arrogance it was probably a good thing he did this now. Imagine what would have happened if he'd been unable to get the position he wanted in the run up to the 2012 election - he would have caused more trouble then.

The DPP is probably better off without people like him in it. A capable administator is no good if they have an ego so large they prefer to drag everyone else down than lose status.

Anonymous said...

Nice suggestions!

Now supposing all the bloggers here are eligible then who will be the best candidates!

Presidential candidate =?

Tim

Anonymous said...

Proof that Arlen Specter's a liberal pansy.


http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2010/09/23/2003483586

Thomas said...

Hmm... I would love to assume that the DPP will win all five at this point. But, as a colleague of mine once told me, "When you assume, you make an ass of u and me." ;)

Hans said...

The current mayor of Tainan city, Hsu Tian-Tsair, could be a good candidate for the Premier. He's proven his ability in administration and ego-control. It would be a similar step on the ladder as to Su of Taichung candidate.

As for presidency? People have just gotta be innovative and think outside the box.

David, I was in shock when you mentioned Lee Yuan-Tseh for Vice president, but that's something we should do for president as well.


Beautiful, just beautiful photo of the moon, Michael.

Anonymous said...

Tim Maddog would be perfect. Just like a politician he's never one to let facts get in the way of his opinions.

mike said...

Re: the anonymous 8.54 comment - that is yet more evidence to support the proposition that any U.S. citizen living in Taiwan (and yes, I'm eyeing a whole bunch of you lot around here) and who cares about the defence of this island should be utterly ashamed to have ever voted Democrat. The Republicans aren't exactly great defenders of Taiwan either, but so many of the Dems and their media hang-ons would love to sell us out to their commie brethren in Beijing. Consider Ezra Klein's articles from China back in May or Tom Friedman swooning over the thought experiment that, if only the U.S. could copy the CCP's dictatorship model for just a few years, the Dems could solve so many problems...

Dixteel said...

I actually thought about this problem for quite a while before. I agree with David that Lin Yi-hsiung has some great potential to be a presidential candidate.

But if indeed he becomes the president, he might need a strong and flexible administrator as the premier. I think perhaps 謝長廷 or people of similar calibur and characteristics can be one.

But also the legislative election next year could be crucial as well. Pan Green (both DPP and TSU) need to get at least approximately 1/2 of the seats to make things happen.

Also, don't repeat the mistakes of ex-president Chen: using KMT premier first and then switching premiers constantly during the second term. And I won't suggest pulling country or matropolitan governors into premier seat because that create problem as well.

jerome in vals said...

The Monkeys and the Moon

a Buddhist Story retold by Majo Keleshian from Tibetan Folk Tales (Shambhala, 1981).

Once, in the distant past, there was a band of monkeys. They lived in a forest, and in the forest was a well. One night, the leader of the band of monkeys peered into the well, and seeing the reflection of the moon in the water, said: “Look! the moon has fallen into the well; we ought to get it out or our world will be without a moon.”

The other monkeys looked into the well and saw that it was indeed so. “Yes,” they agreed. “We should certainly get the moon out of the well.” So the monkeys formed a chain, each holding onto the tail of the one before, while the monkey at the top of the chain held onto a branch to support them.

The branch began to bend under the weight of the monkeys as they lowered them-selves into the well, and soon began to crack. The water was disturbed and the reflection of the moon disappeared, the branch broke, and the monkeys tumbled headlong into the well.

When the unwise have an unwise leader, they are all led to run.

Anonymous said...

ever notice how the moon, if you look at it closely from afar, has the ying yang visual design on the face of it? Maybe that is where the notion of ying and yang came from? the dark side and the light side of the moon? Look again.

M said...

Lin Yi-hsiung is the man. Hsieh could be premier, but he won't be presidential candidate as he has already lost once, and failed to deliver on his promise to retire from politics once he had lost.
I find Hseih to be a very unattractive politician. He won the Kaohsiung mayoralty after a faked sex tape involving his opponent Wu Dun-yi mysteriously appeared before the election. He then presided over riots of foreign workers on the KMRT. He also thinks that "homosexuality should be tolerated but not encouraged."

Taiwan Echo said...

Tim Maddog's "If Yang Chiu-hsing's "accomplishments" were all achieved as a double agent, then he's no loss at all" is criticized as baseless. Let me share you with something.

In a news discussion program on TV, Yang actually admitted that his mindset turned blue long BEFORE he participated in DPP's primary.

Upon repeated questioning on "if you think the DPP was wrong, why didn't you say anything when you were still the core member in the DPP and had the power to make changes?

He answered that he kept silent because he wanted to keep his position in the DPP.

He then said that he decided to wait until he got DPP's primary, got elected as Kaohsiung Mayor as a green candidate, then he will carry out his ideas of blue camp's.

That admission immediately raised questions by the journalists that he actually intended to cheat his green supporters starting from the very beginning all the way to the top, to that he had no counterargument.

Take a look at the series of TV programs starting from here: 0813《新聞面對面》楊秋興part01

The admission is so mind-boggling. It's a blessing that this kind of bug came out to debug himself before any bigger conspiracy could be carried out.

So, is Yang a double-agent or not?

Michael Turton said...

Echo, that's great. And I think it really settles the debates I had with commenters here who thought I was being unfair to Yang.

His coming-out date of Aug 9 was a telling clue.

Michael

Taiwan Echo said...

There are more, Michael.

I spent a whole lot of time digging the opinion polls (between Chen Chu and Yang) starting from the middle of 2009. Yang lost every single one of them by a large margin.

But he kept claiming those polls were "fake." He said he had "the real poll" provided by the KMT in which says that he is actually winning. But none has any idea if that poll even exists.

It's the only poll Yang claimed that he was winning, and the only poll he based on to continue his path of betrayal. Guess who provided the poll? It's most probably Chiu Yi (邱毅). The following article gave us an idea how Chiu played this game back in November, 2009:

秋菊打開 邱毅:楊秋興做事,陳菊作秀

In that article Chiu said that Yang won over Chen in a poll - a poll no one seems to know.

Certainly, the above cannot compare to his own admission I described previously, in terms of shocking effect. He basically admitted that he has been "a blue guy incubated in the green camp" for a long time, waiting for the time to turn the entire green camp into blue.

M said...

So, is Yang a double-agent or not?

No, the KMT have done nothing to support Yang since his defection. He has been pretty much left on his own.

Echo, that's great. And I think it really settles the debates I had with commenters here who thought I was being unfair to Yang.

No it doesn't. Yang had to construct a narrative to explain his ideological shift. If he had said that he only began to support some KMT positions after he had lost the nomination, he would make himself look like a political opportunist.

Dixteel said...

He also thinks that "homosexuality should be tolerated but not encouraged."

What's wrong with that statement? Are you saying people should encourage each others to be homosexuals?

M said...

He also thinks that "homosexuality should be tolerated but not encouraged."

What's wrong with that statement? Are you saying people should encourage each others to be homosexuals?

Do you believe homosexuality is "wrong"? Hsieh clearly does, otherwise he would not have felt the need to spew such an uninformed comment.

Michael Turton said...

Hsieh clearly does, otherwise he would not have felt the need to spew such an uninformed comment.

Hsieh is clearly a flawed human being, but since he openly opposed the murderous regime that Ma was committed to defending, he's a much greater man than the Preznit. I'm often amazed that people pick out some stray comment, whereas years of support for a murderous, authoritarian, colonial regime are of no particular importance.

Anonymous said...

At the end of the day, isn't the DPP primarily a protest party? Relatively speaking, they are not in the business of producing competent administrators. The KMT at least produces a kind of mandiranate, with all of the benefits and drawbacks that that entails. And this kind of society generally expects to have a mandiranate in charge. The social and educational structures all point to this expectation and perpetuate it. The DPP will not be a serious party until it can produce a plausible leader for the cause of independence. I suspect that the DPP will not be the platform for such a leader in any case. Nor is the moment propitious.

Michael Turton said...

The DPP is NOT primarily a protest party; in fact it has done a bang-up job where it has had long-term administrative authority: Taipei (Chen), Kaohsiung (Hsieh/Chu), Yilan, Tainan...all transformed once democratic politics were able to put DPPers in with real power. It has a rich talent base but so far not at the national level.

M said...

Hsieh is clearly a flawed human being, but since he openly opposed the murderous regime that Ma was committed to defending, he's a much greater man than the Preznit. I'm often amazed that people pick out some stray comment, whereas years of support for a murderous, authoritarian, colonial regime are of no particular importance.

Michael - martial law ended 23 years ago. Using Taiwan's authoritarian past as a fall-back defence when someone in the DPP is exposed as a scoundrel is pretty weak.

Michael Turton said...

M, the consequences of martial law are still with us, in the form of Ma as president, for example, Hau as mayor of Taipei, and the whole construction-industrial state system. It was the choices that Ma and Hsieh made in that era that define them, not what they say about gay people. Hsieh's values made it possible for today's gay subculture to exist. Ma's would still be suppressing it. In every important way, Ma is a moral and intellectual pygmy compared to Hsieh.

GL said...

M, the consequences of martial law are still with us, in the form of Ma as president, for example, Hau as mayor of Taipei,

rofl. They were elected dude. Nothing to do with martial law that ended 20 some years ago and everything to do with the will of the people at election time. Democracy is like that - sometimes you get who you want, other times you get who you don't.

John Herodotus said...

I am the 'anonymous' suggesting that the DPP is a protest party.

I don't mean to say that the DPPers don't produce competent administrators in individual cases. At the local level, politics tend to be more about personalities rather than party. But, when a party which has only one identifiable cause, e.g. independence, has no reasonable (at least in the eyes of the electorate) hope of being able to act on that cause in the immediate future, doesn't it by necessity become a protest party?

And the longer that condition exists, isn't it likely for that party to have difficulty cultivating talent for the big jobs?

What I am trying to say is that the structural problems of Taiwanese society and politics, as well as the geopolitical backdrop, militate against the DPP from becoming a party ready to govern. Apart from a 'positive exogenous shock', I can't see that trend altering any time soon. But I've been wrong before!

Michael Turton said...

Nothing to do with martial law that ended 20 some years ago and everything to do with the will of the people at election time.

anon, the reasons Hau and Ma are where they are today is because of the decisions they and their parents made about who to serve during martial law. Do you know who Hau's father is?

Michael Turton said...

But, when a party which has only one identifiable cause, e.g. independence, has no reasonable (at least in the eyes of the electorate) hope of being able to act on that cause in the immediate future, doesn't it by necessity become a protest party?

the DPP has many identifiable causes -- transparent governance, regional and local autonomy, decentralizational, regional economic balancing, integrated resource planning, aboriginal autonomy, green economics, decolonization, taiwanization, etc. Not all of these are pursued with equal fervor or facility, though. Independence just makes the headlines.

John Herodotus said...

I take your point about these political planks, but I suppose I regard the promotion of these ideas as a reaction to their inability (through no fault of their own) to act on independence.

This is a party with no foreign policy. Many of the planks you mentioned I suspect have been part of their initiative to appeal to respectable international opinion symbolized by the UN and to develop an aura of modernism. When Frank Hsieh started about homosexuality, I took it that he had found it necessary to set aside the progressivism in favor of appealing to a domestic audience.

I used to think that there was a tension in the green camp between democratism and Taiwanese nationalism. To some degree, I still think that is true, but it seems to me that the democratic/progressive aspect is merely a half-sincere dressing up of Taiwanese nationalism. I am sure I will get beat up for this analogy, but kind of like the alliance of democrats and Islamists that overthrew the shah. Once the shah was gone, power flowed into the hands of the reactionaries who in many ways picked up where the old state apparatus had left off.

Michael Turton said...

Right. Both parties embraced gay rights as a progressive cause to make them look enlightened.

i think the tension in the DPP has several axes. One is generational, between the martial law and post martial law activists. The second is between genuine progressives and neoliberal center-rightists who really don't care about the environment or workers or health care, etc. A third is over the meaning of nationalism -- is Taiwan a modern globalized nation or a provincial Taiwanese state? I think that last is close to what you mean. There are also factional tensions and local-central tensions.

The claim that the DPP has no foreign policy is laughable.

GL said...

he reasons Hau and Ma are where they are today is because of the decisions they and their parents made about who to serve during martial law. Do you know who Hau's father is?

Earth to Michael - they are there because they were elected in free democratic elections and reflected the will of the people at the time. They weren't appointed as you seem to be suggesting. It doesn't matter who Hau's father is, because he can only represent one vote, and last time I checked, Taipei city had 2.5 million people, of which maybe 2 million are eligible voters. Martial law ended over 20 years ago, and despite the wishes of some on the DPP side, it ain't coming back.

Michael Turton said...

Gl, history and family count. Weird to actually have to point that out, but then I don't have an IQ minimum for commenting here.

GL said...

You might want to read this article by Dr. Jerome Keating.

http://zen.sandiego.edu:8080/Jerome/1285487087

Pay particular attention to the 4th paragraph from the end.

Family and history may steer somebody into politics, much as they often do into law, medicine etc, but in Taiwan at least, it's the voters that put them in office, not the family.

Michael Turton said...

No seriously. GL, do you actually know anything about Taiwan? Do you understand Lin/Hartzell, DPP sovereignty policy, and what Keating is saying? Because that paragraph has absolutely nothing to with what you are attempting to discuss.

John Herodotus said...

What is the DPP's foreign policy? It is clear they have goals, but I can't see a plan of action or even a guiding theme apart from the vague appeal to international sympathy. I can't even imagine what it could be. I couldn't tell what that policy was when Chen was President, and neither could Washington.

When you listed the DPP's causes, there wasn't a single item related to foreign policy in there. I don't think that was an accident.

Taiwan has no room to run, apart from negotiating as hard as it can with China to win trade agreements, and the DPP can't afford to do that at present. Kind of like the Czechs in '38, to make another imperfect analogy, what options do they have?

Michael Turton said...

John, there are many good reviews of DPP foreign policy in the literature. I suggest you peruse them.

Washington was playing a game to appease China. The tactic was to blame Chen/Taiwan for the decisions Washington made.

Taiwan has plenty of room to run, but it is not always room that is visible to outsiders in accessible ways. For example, the WHO observership which Ma is taking credit for is due in part to work put in under the Chen and Lee administrations to raise Taiwan's international medical profile, which led to internal pressure on the WHO's pro-China leadership to let Taiwan in somehow. Such public diplomacy did a lot, behind the scenes.

Michael

GL said...

Michael, try taking off the blinkers, you'll be able to see better. I suppose the 60% or so of voters who elected Ma in 2008 are all his family members.

M said...

M, the consequences of martial law are still with us, in the form of Ma as president, for example, Hau as mayor of Taipei, and the whole construction-industrial state system. It was the choices that Ma and Hsieh made in that era that define them, not what they say about gay people. Hsieh's values made it possible for today's gay subculture to exist. Ma's would still be suppressing it. In every important way, Ma is a moral and intellectual pygmy compared to Hsieh.

So the original sin of Ma and Hao was to be born into the wrong family? You have ignored many things. Do you give Ma any credit for his role as justice minister in the 1990s? How about Hao's service as head of the EPA under the Chen administration?

Did Ma and Hao design the "construction industrial state"? I thought similar patronage systems existed in many Asian countries. In Taiwan it is dominated by elected (Taiwanese) local politicians (people like Su Tseng-chang's father), not elite military or bureaucrats (where Hao and Ma come from). Many of these same local politicians have actually joined the DPP. Remember Chen Mingwen...

Back to Hseih's own record. Why did foreign workers end up rioting over working conditions on the KMRT? Surely we need to judge the man based on his own record than make spurious comparisons with authoritarian rule over 30 years ago..

Michael Turton said...

So the original sin of Ma and Hao was to be born into the wrong family?

M, here's what I said:

"It was the choices that Ma and Hsieh made in that era that define them,"

The rest of your reply is pure screed.

Thanks though.

Michael Turton said...

Gl, it's hilarious that, having completely misunderstood one of my friend Jerome's pieces, you're back to tell me to take off the blinkers.

Have a good one, man. I'll let you have the last word.

M said...

M, here's what I said:

"It was the choices that Ma and Hsieh made in that era that define them,"


Ma went to US, got a doctorate from a prestigious university, and then returned to Taiwan to work for Chiang Ching-kuo. Pretty much the same as Lee Teng-hui...
(or are you referring to allegations that he spied on fellow students when he was in the US?)

Hao also got a doctorate from the US, and came back to Taiwan to teach at NTU. He only entered politics during the 1990s.

Michael Turton said...

M, you are being deliberately obtuse. Please stop.

M said...

M, you are being deliberately obtuse. Please stop.

Michael - just trying to put forward a more nuanced view.

Anonymous said...

半瓶水響叮噹 is the best words to describe someone like Michael Turton. He pretends to be the expert mostly quoting "WEST" and American literatures, so don't bother talking senses into him. He likes to pretend that DPPs are all naive and great politicians, but neglect to tell his audiences about the local KMT turned DPP after they lost KMT nominations. This list is so long蘇貞昌's and 蘇治芬's fathers were just two well known local elected politicians who passed down positions to their off springs through local corrupted elections (more likely in the South.) They are all part of the "construction industrial state". Even the founder of 自由時報 used to be a high up at KMT until he lost a nomination due to corruption charges. No wonder 自由時報 is so anit KMT, the founder had a huge ax to grind!

In Michael's eyes, these KMT turncoats got their democracy salvation as soon as they changed their party affiliation to DPP, regardless of the reasons, (just like sinners found salvations when they called out jesus as their savior.) lol.... In so many ways, Michael Turton is just like the Evangelicals that he dislikes so much.

Stop disagreeing with Michale, or very soon, he is going to start calling you blue troll, PRC troll if he can't win the arguments. Just wait, the name calling is coming soon... lol...