In short, Chien said, Taiwan is a society in which a kind-hearted man will hurt himself simply because of his kind-heartedness.The low turnout problem for the KMT might be boosted by the fact that the legislative and presidential elections are being held on the same day, meaning that voters who might not have turned out for a Presidential election will be out to vote for the local legislative rep, and thus might cast a vote for Ma while they are at it.
"And the president is a prime example of this, " Chien added.
Chien disagreed with the interviewer's projection that Ma would win the presidential election in January 2012 but that it would be a "hard-won victory."
Chien cited unbiased polls that showed former Premier Su Tseng-chang or Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen could beat Ma by between 4 percent and 6 percent of the vote in the next presidential election.
"There should be no more doubts about the opinion polls, " Chien said.
Another worry that Chien openly expressed during the TV interview was the low turnout of pan-blue voters in the various elections held since 2008.
To me more interesting is how the paired election will affect DPP voters. Too many of them split their vote, voting DPP for the Presidency but KMT because their local legislator sent a bottle of wine for their son's wedding or once showed up to fix a car accident for them. One wonders if it will help the DPP by not only getting more voters out but getting them to think about about how they vote too.
Chien seems to be speaking sincerely and not out of a desire merely to motivate pan-Blue votes. To buttress his point about the polls, in the prediction market at NCCU, Tsai is still leading Ma 50.9 to 48.4 (note that this number expresses who is expected to win, not by how much the win will be). A recent DPP poll has Tsai up by about a point. According to the DPP pollster, Tsai crushes Ma among neutral voters, 55-35. But we have months of screw-ups by both parties still ahead of us.
Stories about the James Soong and his party, the People First Party (PFP) were also running around this week. The Taipei Times reported that the PFP appears determined to play a spoiler role to augment its power in the Legislative Yuan.
In view of People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong’s (宋楚瑜) recent declaration that his party would nominate a handful of candidates for January’s legislative elections, cooperation between the PFP and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) for the elections has fallen under a dark cloud as room for negotiation grows narrower, KMT officials said.One important aspect of the KMT's success in 2008 was its ability to corral votes that had previously gone to the PFP and return them to the KMT. The PFP melted away with many of its legislators returning to the KMT. Soong is probably angling for some concession from the KMT not to cause problems; it was also rumored this week that he would run for President. However, Soong had little effect on the Taipei mayor election when he ran in 2006 and I don't see how he will have that big an impact on the 2012 Presidential election, which he surely will realize. He will be 70 next year.
A KMT official who wished to remain unnamed said the current tension between the two parties suggested that a meeting between Soong and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who doubles as KMT chairman, is very unlikely, adding that if things stay as they are, the outlook for PFP-KMT cooperation is unlikely.
According to KMT Culture and Communications Committee director Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓), the KMT extended a message to Soong for a meeting between him and Ma, but the PFP has not responded.
- Miaoli official: murdered or suicide?
- An excellent TT editorial on the problem of dispute resolution between Taiwan firms in China and their Chinese counterparts.
- Drew looks at a Chinese cyclist and his comments on cycling in Taiwan
- Are foreign rep office visa sections being closed down to please China?
- Funding for fourth nuke plant approved.
- Gov't here plans to hold travel agencies responsible if individual Chinese travelers abscond or overstay.
- Total Lunar eclipse here in Taiwan on Thursday!
[Taiwan] 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! Delenda est, baby.