Commentary from Taichung, Taiwan.
I was a teacher when CCG passed on, and as a homeroom teacher in a private Catholic school, I had to line up with my class, a parking lot near the tunnel in Tachi. It was not until after 3 PM that we passed his body lying in state. And, I was in Taiwan for most of the mentioned atrocities. I do hope that younger people can be reminded of what it was really like in the 1970s~1990s.It is a great ad. Kudos for the agency that put that one together.If you need a nick to abuse me for my opinion, or agree, just use AM.
Wow. Well done, DPP.
It is beautiful. But this particular video seems to have been cut off a few seconds early.
Nice commercial. Do you think it will work?
No, readin. I don't think it will work. That's all history to the young.
The DPP have always been excellent on commercials and slogans and organizing festivities!Those 'feel good' themes.
It's slick, it's well-produced and would be great in a historical forum. Politics doesn't work by looking to the past though, especially when the present is so vastly different. Where's the ad that looks to the future? Where's their vision? The KMT, for all their faults (and there are many), are at least looking to the future.NB When I say KMT faults, I'm talking about today's KMT. Massacres 60+ years ago, white terror, martial year etc are not the responsibility of the 2010-era KMT.
I don't like this ad. I'd like to see some ads aimed at the future instead. What kind of Taiwan does the DPP want to build?
Michael, you changed your mind about the ad?I do agree with the other anon. The DPP should have a more assertive, positive vision of Taiwan. I can understand why they've become stingy in their political speak--the original platform of an overtly politically independent, non-nuclear state has in some ways been rejected maybe not in the minds of many Taiwanese, but in their voting.But think about what the DPP is saying in this election--advocating limited, efficient government, clean and effective administration, leaning towards pro-environment and a state that takes care of children + education/elderly/disabled. Those are very practical problems that loom large in the minds of voters.The ad is very moving for me, personally, and I do _hope_ but don't know if it will be effective in encouraging the older generation to communicate with the younger generation the very sad, but upward history of Taiwan's political development.For the benefit of your readers, you might want to fill in the events with links that the ad is talking about. Taiwanese will mostly know, but I doubt many of your readers know what the ad is talking about specifically.
I think it's a great ad, but the part where it really fails is that most students don't know this, aren't taught this and their parents don't want to talk about it. Just for fun ask a group of college students how the Japanese invaded Taipei City. It's a trick question, but it'll give you a good idea of where you are starting. While an ad about the future would be great, you have to think of the limitations of the people making the ad, it be co-opted by the ruling regime, and the Chinese cultural distaste for any long term planning.
I don't get the feeling the ad is for "The People", but a reaction against the opposition's messages. Politics seems to be more an idelogical battle between poltical cultures rather than trying to persuade the voters by showing how they will lead. Maybe this is why so many Taiwan voters have no respect for politicians.
I would like to see some ad explaining to the young why the DPPhad no guts to declare Taiwan Independence when they were in power.It seems the DPP can only explain the KMT past but not their 8 long years of glory.I would like them to explain it to my son who's now 8 years old.jeremy valsain
Yes, it was so easy to declare independence in 2000-2008 with the legislature, military, police, bureaucracy, and judiciary controlled by the KMT, no support from the US or Japan, and China threatening to burn the island to the ground. I think even an eight year old can understand those simple facts.
Yes, it was so easy to declare independence in 2000-2008 with the legislature, military, police, bureaucracy, and judiciary controlled by the KMT, no support from the US or Japan, and China threatening to burn the island to the ground. Of all the things mentioned, China would have been the only real thing stopping them, and even then, there probably wasn't much China could have done. Chen could easily have made repeated official presidential declarations of independence. Fait accompli. It would be very hard, close to impossible for the Ma administration to have reversed because the people of Taiwan overwhelmingly see Taiwan as already independent. US and Japan lack of support wouldn't have mattered. They may have been pissed about it but Taiwan is too strategically important for the US to let China do anything. And if the KMT really do control the military, police etc, as you state, so what? What would they have been able to do about it? Answer - nothing at all. The majority of them probably would have supported the move anyway.Chen, like any other politician, was simply too busy enriching himself and neglecting the people he was elected to represent.DPP could win the presidency and legislative majority in 2012 and nothing would change.
Yes Michael, "No Guts, No Glory"My 8 year-old son now knows that those who bark loudest with their proud achievements supposedly bathed in blood only have false teeth when the aping gets louder.That's what I told my son about the essence of the ad.jeremy valsain
As Taiwan under the DPP was a democracy, it takes a bit more than a determined president to change to constitution. For all the KMT attacks against the DPP this is by far the most stupid one and only shows that you don't even understand the absolute basics of democratic process.
I liked the ad, for several reasons:(1) In the world of 24 hour news where each new event dominates the media, then is quickly dropped, it's nice to get a bit of perspective.(2) It's an important reminder that what Taiwan has is very new and fragile, and could be easily lost. Viewed in this light, the recent steps backward in media freedom, judicial independence, and policing standards become all the more sinister.(3) In a sense, it gives the young hope. The current morass is not inevitable; the KMT are not destined to rule forever; you can do something. How do we know? Because in even more dire circumstances, people were able fight for freedom and democracy and win.(4) It reminds people of what the KMT would so dearly love them to forget, that they were a party of repression and violence, and that current anti-corruption and judicial reform sloganeering should be viewed with a healthy dose of scepticism.In my opinion, the most chilling part of the ad was the appearance of Ma Ying-jeou at the one minute mark. Big Brother incarnate.p.s. Why is that TV ads in Taiwan are so well produced, but the shows are so awful?And to Jeremy Valsain and the anonymous poster who believe it would have been a trivial thing for Chen Shui-bian to declare independence - are you insane?
...I don't think it was "easy" to declare independence during the Chen years, but I do think it was probably the best time to do so (especially before the Beijing Olympics). I really find it hard to believe that China would have attacked Taiwan during this time. The world would have also paid attention (finally) to this Taiwanese struggle -- and it would have been hard to distort the issue the way it is being distorted now in the western media.The pandaMa government (elected by the people, ironically) have set Taiwan back many many years. Even the "status quo" has been changed to China's advantage. Forgive my continued pessimism, but with China's influence growing exponentially, I don't think Taiwan will have another opportunity like that again (as difficult as it was back in 2004-2008).Would a declaration of independence have created chaos and conflict? No doubt. But I think the Taiwanese have got to understand that continued freedom (if that's what they truly value as a first priority) will have to come at a cost. It's not going to drop out of the sky.After what has been achieved, it pains me to see this nation slowly slip into China's orbit & control like a frog slowly being boiled to death in a pot of hot water....
This is quite an old ad. I remember seeing it in 2008 presidential election. I am quite sure the DPP of Tsai is shaking off all these dusts and heading towards a so-call "bright and future" perspectives. Where did you find this Michael? I would be surprised if it was published again for this month's election.The greatest irony of all is that back in 2008, nobody gave a crab (especially the young) about this ad, because it was "about the ancient past." However, to see it again, this ad was like a oracle.
"Brian Schack said...And to Jeremy Valsain and the anonymous poster who believe it would have been a trivial thing for Chen Shui-bian to declare independence - are you insane?"2:31 AMHello Mr. Schack and Anonymous 10:38 pm!Are you folks one of those democracy 'advocates' who once called the brave and courageous people of the now new Republic of Kosovo, East Timor and Serbia insane?Freedom and democracy are for those who are willing to die and fight for the cause no matter the odds, with or without Uncle Sam's and Grandmom Kobayashi's help.Just barking with a deluge of saliva without actually biting means No Guts, No Glory.Jeremy Balsain
This is an beautiful ad and quite moving. I wonder if it is so much about the past, though. The story of democratization is Taiwan's national moment, a narrative of the nation forged in struggle, courage and sacrifice. Australian's tell the story of Gallipoli, the British fixate on WWII. The Taiwanese tell the story of democracy. These are less about history than a present contemporary nation.
"Anonymous said... For all the KMT attacks against the DPP this is by far the most stupid one and only shows that you don't even understand the absolute basics of democratic process.10:38 PM"You are like the authoritarian Chinese Communist Party whose dictum is everyone who has a different opinion must either be KMT or DPP when that person could also be from one of their members!It's this kind of narrow-mindenessthat is putting the DPP and Taiwan in a permanent straitjacket.Jeremy Valsain
Typical DPP in being a backwards looking ad although I must say: it's slicker than usual. Perhaps someone in their international office actually has some saavy for once.But, as much as I hate to say, I agree with Turton on this. It's talking about the past again instead of offering visions of the future. Yes, the KMT was authoritarian party that did some pretty brutal things during martial law times, but how long will the DPP use this card? It reminds me of how so many Obama-loving liberals keeping blaming Bush again and again rather than looking at Obama critically.
I think you all miss the biggest point of why Chen couldn't declare independence. It basically comes down to money. With the billions that Taiwanese have invested in Taiwan, they would of freaked had Chen declared independence and then had to watch all their China operations and manufacturing get nationalized. It would of sent a shockwave through the island that would of been Taiwan's version of the Asian Flu and have cut the DPP off from any campaign contributions. As it is they're rich enough for western citizenship for their families so they really don't give a damn about Taiwan or China politically.
Actually, if those Taiwanese business people who invested heavily in China got screwed it will be a very good thing for Taiwan. There is the interests of Taiwanese business people in China, and there is the interests of Taiwan. They are never really aligned.Some economists in Taiwan thinks now Taiwan (and Asia in general) has too much hot money etc. Might as well screw those business people to cool off a bit lol. It's not like those people really contribute much (jobs and tax etc) in Taiwan anyway.
With the billions that Taiwanese have invested in Taiwan, they would of freaked had Chen declared independence and then had to watch all their China operations and manufacturing get nationalized.Nice analysis in this comment, Okami.Yes, the KMT was authoritarian party that did some pretty brutal things during martial law times, but how long will the DPP use this card?I don't think there is anything wrong with pointing out that people like Ma and Hau got where they are because of what Daddy did in the bad old days, provided there is also some stirring vision of the future. And that is lacking. I was specifically thinking of that awesome KMT ad from the 2008 election (where did that talent disappear to) that had all the mayors and county chiefs telling Ma: "we are ready." Stirring music, great images, powerful emotional appeal. Where's my DPP ad like that?
"I don't think there is anything wrong with pointing out that people like Ma and Hau got where they are because of what Daddy did in the bad old days,"not fair to chen cheh chung!
Michael,I for one actually don't like really emotional election commercial. Emotion is a one time thing, but after election, there is actually 4 years of work. Too much emotional appeal, and not enough rational appeal, will only result in disappointment, and the sense of being cheated.Take KMT's commercial for example, there are some problems with it. For example, bunch of politicians said "we are ready"? Only idiots will believe that. And what exactly are they ready for? 633? But 633 only means making more money essentially. What's so emotional about that? It simply does not match the music. (Imagine in Brave Heart, William Wallace said "They can take our lives, but they will never take...our money!!!"...with emotional background music...how silly would that be).However, I agree DPP needs a commercial that appeal to a vision of the future...which of course will involve some emotional elements. This commercial of appealing to the past is OK, but not good enough to stand on its own.
I don't know how many people in Taiwan protected old time KMT by killing themselves. In the past 2 and half years of Ma YJ's administration, there were 2 already. One burnt himself in Freedom Square to protest against Ma, the other killed herself at home in Taoyuan to protest against KMT's Taoyuan magistrate for taking her home of generations by government forces.No. I don't think this ad is about the past.
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