King Pu-tsung (金溥聰), executive director of Ma’s campaign office, said that support in the south would be crucial for the KMT in the presidential election because political support bases in northern and central Taiwan were more consolidated.People often describe the South as "green" but it is more like a checkerboard, with different levels of greenness for different elections. Even though Ma is unlikely to do well in an area of the nation the KMT has ruthlessly exploited for 60 years, by campaigning he increases the chances of KMT legislators to get elected down south (remember, the legislature and President will be elected the same day this time).
The campaign office will arrange frequent trips to southern Taiwan for Ma and Wu, he said.
Ma's campaign in Nantou emphasized the benefits of tourism from the PRC (which fell 30% last month); Sun Moon Lake in that county being a PRC tourist favorite. Ma's campaign could hardly emphasize anything else; Nantou remains relatively impoverished and undeveloped after many years of KMT rule. This has not stopped the locals from voting like automatons for the KMT. *sigh* It should also be a warning to the locals about what happens when a region relies heavily on tourism.....
Ma also requested that fewer Chinese officials show up during election season (apparently). They are a reminder of what Ma is really working toward....
Premier Wu appears to be the designated attack dog in the campaign to leverage the corruption indictment of former President Lee Teng-hui against DPP candidate Tsai Ing-wen -- the classic mode in which the Great Man (Ma) utters paternalistic benevolences and regretful sighs while the vicious attacks that are actual policy are carried out by underlings. Wu said this week:
“Black gold politics ran wild during Lee Teng-hui's 13-year presidential stint. Who was encouraging all that?” Wu claimed during a TV interview, apparently blaming the former president for Taiwan's widespread corruption.This campaign against Lee, who possesses the towering rep that Chen Shui-bian never had, stands a good chance of backfiring. It also absorbs time and energy that the KMT could put to better effect attacking Tsai directly. Raising the issue of black gold politics will not reflect well on the KMT.
The KMT has been bickering with its pan-Blue partner, the People's First Party (PFP), headed by James Soong. Soong has been making noises about running as a third candidate in the election, while several recent news stories have pointed to problems between the two pro-China parties. For example:
According to PFP sources, while the KMT said it wanted to cooperate with the PFP in the elections, it was telling potential PFP legislator hopefuls to “look at the big picture” and to back out from the elections.In the last legislative election the KMT was able to recoup most of the votes it had lost to the PFP and to bring back many PFP legislators to the KMT. The PFP was badly wounded and remains a small party. Even worse, Soong himself ran for Taipei mayor and was a non-factor in the race. He is old and unlikely to draw votes, and the reservoir of goodwill he built up as "provincial governor" during the 1990s, where he acquired a rep for being a trains-run-on-time kind of politician, has pretty much dried up. It is more likely that the hints and noises by Soong are simply to acquire leverage for some other deal.
For example, the sources said, Taipei City Councilor Huang Shan-shan (黃珊珊) of the PFP, who was planning to run in the legislative elections in the Nangang (南港) Neihu (內湖) constituency, has been pressured by the KMT to back out of the campaign.
Sources from the PFP said the party would announce its list of nominees for legislators as early as next week, adding that as well as about 10 nominees for Taiwan proper, the PFP would also nominate candidates for Taiwan’s -outlying islands.
The move by the PFP, which split from the KMT in 2000 under the leadership of Soong — a former KMT secretary-general — was largely interpreted as a sign of disunity in the KMT-dominated pan-blue camp, signaling that Soong and his tiny party would go their own way in the elections.
In 2008 former President Lee Teng-hui was a non-factor, withholding his endorsement of the pro-Taiwan candidate until the waning days of the election. This time around Lee is out front and center, saying that the nation has made no progress and the President needs to be changed....
〔記者林恕暉、王寓中／台北報導〕李登輝前總統昨天痛批馬政府執政，國家都沒進步，每件事都叫中國幫忙，以為中國世界最強，「應該換總統！」他並強調，執政當局一連串傾中賣台、淪喪主權、踐踏民主與人權，使台灣民主出現倒退危機，他呼籲大家「棄馬保台」，選出能堅持台灣主體性的國會議員與總統。Lee accused the Administration of relying on China to solve every problem, and called on voters to "Dump Ma, Save Taiwan". This is a bit of political wordplay ju-jitsu. Recall in the 1998 Taipei mayor election and a couple of other elections when the KMT was split, the slogan was "Dump [the candidate that can't win], Save [the candidate that has the best chance]." Now Lee is using that against the KMT.
Also, I've totally deleted a section of this post to rewrite it like this. Tsai's position -- and that of the DPP -- is that anyone who lives in Taiwan and identifies with Taiwan is a qualified Taiwanese. Her position on citizenship is one of civic nationality, not ethnic nationality. The KMT is going to distort this as "ethnic nationalism" in order to attack the DPP. Tsai needs to make this message really clear, and those of us who support her need to fight back against the smear that Tsai supports ethnic nationalism.
- Drew explores An analysis of Taiwan's cycling infrastructure
- Patrick on Letters from the 19th century in Taiwan.
- China in the South China Sea. Again.
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