Monday, January 09, 2012

Election Links

Partying at the BBQ place in town.

No time for full links today.... some election stuff:

The redoubtable Jenny Hsu in WSJ on the Super Sunday rallies:
While political analysts largely agreed that a Tsai triumph this Saturday could cause a temporary freeze in cross-strait talks and a dip in trade, many say that Beijing, despite its stern rhetoric, is likely to take a softer approach to the island’s elections this time as part of an effort to win Taiwanese hearts and minds.
TIME on the election:
There's a more crucial, cosmic element to Taiwan. It is worth defending, if not as a territory, then as an idea: that freedom is compatible with the Chinese world. Taiwan could do a better job strengthening rule of law and fighting corruption. But in many stellar ways, it is the un-China: a vigorous democracy; an alternative fount of Chinese language and culture; an arena of fiercely competitive (and partisan) media; a crucible of creativity (tech, film, food); a haven of environmental consciousness (you'll find recycling bins on remote hilltops). Heck, even the people are nicer -- literally a civil society. China has muscle; Taiwan has soul. It's the true people's republic.
Dennis Engbarth at IPS on how the election will determine the fate of the nuke plants:
Speaking to Taiwan’s six major industrial and commercial federations in late November, the DPP chairwoman said that 'nuclear power is not a clean and inexpensive source of electricity but actually is the most expensive source of power when front-end and back-end and externalised costs, such as dealing with radioactive waste, are considered.'
From AP, China uses trade to influence the election:
The latest polls show Ma and Tsai running nearly neck and neck, and Ma's Nationalist Party losing seats in the legislature but retaining control. Beijing wants to help Ma but realizes that the bombast of the past would alienate the centrist voters he needs to win. So unlike in earlier elections, it is saying little and hoping its economic favors will do the trick instead.
Paul M and Jenny H again in the WSJ:
Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou's policy of economic opening to China has frustrated a key constituency: struggling middle- and low-income workers, who could cost him elections this week. That outcome would alarm Beijing and heighten uncertainty in an area that has long been a flashpoint in U.S.-China relations.
Bloomberg reports:
“What it comes down to is we think Ma isn’t firm enough and he is led by the nose by China,” C.P. Chen, 76, a retiree, said at Tsai’s rally. “Tsai cares about what the people think and we want someone who will listen to us.”
VOA on the "latest opinion polls":
Latest opinion polls in Taiwan show that President Ma Ying-jeou has lost a once comfortable lead over opposition candidate Tsai Ing-wen from the Democratic Progressive Party ahead of presidential elections scheduled for January 14.
Tsai says she wants a coalition government. Hint: we tried that in the first Chen Administration. Didn't work.

AFP, as usual, can't get anything right. Ma gets surprise boost:
Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou’s re-election chances got a boost Monday when he unexpectedly was endorsed by a close friend of an independent candidate widely seen as diverting votes away from him.

Fu Kun-chi, an influential official in east Taiwan’s Hualien county, said that despite his admiration for the independent, James Soong, he believed Ma was the best choice for the island’s voters.
Fu is a longtime KMTer who left the KMT to run as an independent for the County Chief seat when he didn't get the nomination as the party candidate thanks to some corruption thing or other. It won't have much effect since Hualien is already overwhelmingly pro-KMT and doesn't have many voters to begin with.
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.


Anonymous said...

Zoher Abdoolcarim for President of Taiwan!

Steve said...

Thanks for all the election updates. Being on the other side of the lake, it's nice to be able to draw from so many sources all at one website.

SY said...

"Tsai says she wants a coalition government. Hint: we tried that in the first Chen Administration. Didn't work."

Though I am as skeptical as you are regarding whether a coalition government will work in Taiwan, I don't see Chen's first cabinet lead by a KMTer as a coalition.

Strictly speaking, a coalition is formed between parties for the purpose of securing a parliamentary majority.

Chen had a cabinet including members of all parties (DPP, KMT, PFP and Chinese New Party) but it was not the result of a political negotiation between parties. Chen recruited the individuals one-on-one. There was no coalition majority in the parliament that was critical to political stability. That was the reason why that well-intended "all-inclusive" cabinet failed.

At the time, KMT was too angry to even sit down with Chen for a coalition talk (e.g. as angry as immediately driving Lee Teng-hui out of his chair position). It was the first time in its history that KMT lost political power. They didn't know how to face it other than being contemptuous. Chen had a very different political context to work with then. Tsai _might_ get luckier than he was.

Tsai, if elected, needs to focus on securing parliamentary majority. She likely means to achieve it via a coalition. (There is no hope for DPP to win a parliamentary majority this year.)

Tommy said...

VOA could do better. Where is it getting its "latest public opinion polls"? Jan 8 was already a few days into the blackout, and polls have been surprisingly consistent for a while.

Hilton said...

Internal polls can still be run, just not published. Maybe VoA has secret access. (This is just a wild guess.)

Anonymous said...

The TV talk show commentator Hu Chung-hsin said someone revealed the newest AIT poll to him, "a very tight margin, about 100 thousand votes, between Tsai and Ma". Though he did not mention who is leading, but later in the talk show he repeatedly discuss Tsai's coalition government. Is that a hint? My guess is also Tsai will win a little, but may flip flop by any incident. Tsai go!!

Anonymous said...

"It was the first time in its history that KMT lost political power."

Chen's election as president in 2000 was the second time, right? The first time didn't work out so great either.