The prediction market is shedding some the irrational exuberance that overwhelmed it last week as DPP Presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen's predicted share of the vote, while above 50%, is falling gently back. The value of her stock to win peaked at 69 a few days ago and is currently at 67 and change, while a Ma victory is selling for 28. Bottom line: if the election were held tomorrow, Ma would probably lose. But there is still plenty of time for Ma to pull this one out.... Taiwan's bookies have the election as a dead heat.
The reason for the spike in the value of Tsai stock is the ongoing farcical TaiMed case, in which the KMT is still attempting to accuse DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen of excessive profits and conflict of interest. Unfortunately KMT elites and local legislators don't see eye to eye on the exploitation of the "scandal".... the pro-Tsai Taipei Times reports:
Several polls conducted by different media outlets showed support for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) slipped after the KMT attacked Tsai over the case.[MT: They did? Can't think of a single one.]Wu appears to be attempting to back off -- "it is not necessary to focus too strenuously on this case." Note the bind here -- if they really believed Tsai was corrupt and could prove it, they'd be continuing to peddle this line of garbage instead of developing a consensus to drop the case. But now all they can do is search for a way to move the discussion past this issue. It even came up in the debate. Silly.
Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), the KMT’s vice presidential candidate, said yesterday that “it is not necessary to focus too strenuously on this case.”
“We have learned from media polls that support for Ma has increased by two percentage points. Although he did not lose points, he did not score much,” Wu said.
He said the party suffered a setback “because of [Liu’s] small mistake.”
“The [Yu Chang] case should stop here. Now that the documents [related to investments made by state funds in Yu Chang] have been declassified ... people can judge for themselves,” he said. “It’s not necessary to use it as a campaign issue.”
“[In the Yu Chang case,] people will believe what they want to believe. The KMT should focus on its political achievements rather than on a single issue,” he said.
Wu indicated that there was a consensus within the party to drop the Yu Chang case.
However, KMT Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) yesterday said: “I do not think it’s right to bury at sea what is right and what is wrong in the Yu Chang case just because of a mistake about the date.”
The special prosecutors investigation actually offers a way out -- it could quickly give Tsai a clean bill of health, which would enable the KMT to drop the case and save some face. Except that will never happen. But now, like every other DPP heavyweight, there is an investigation hanging over Tsai's head -- anyone remember the 36,000 missing documents? In that case, just like this one, charges relating to events that had taken place years ago were invented. But there's no formula here, just move along, folks....
Speaking of those special prosecutors, each time they get trundled out for a case, they make Chen Shui-bian's claims that his prosecution was political more credible. Way to go, guys.
Tsai did well in the debate -- no fumbling, was overwhelming winner in (not credible) online poll. The important point was that she didn't sink herself. The DPP's ball control campaign is doing quite well. It's boring, but successful.
- Video: Wilson Center Discussion involving Dafydd Fell and other scholars and analysts on the 2012 election.
- Brzezinski can't even get US policy right, and clearly does not understand what is going on out here -- he advocates selling out Taiwan to China. That probably has nothing to do with the fact that his son is a consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton, which does a rousing business in China.
- OzSoapbox reviews his Surly Long Haul Trucker
- Reuters on the Tsai-Ma-Soong debate. If only the media would stop pretending that tension between Taiwan and China has no cause.
- Manthorpe's much better report in the Vancouver Sun.
- Taiwan receives two upgraded early warning aircraft.
- Taiwan's top negotiator with China urges Taiwan businessmen in China to vote for Ma.
- Manila takes dim view of Taiwan's activities in the Spratlys. Taiwan's foreign policy, driven by the idea that the ROC is China, is peeving nearby nations which Taiwan needs.
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