Meant to get this up yesterday, but sooooo busy... An interesting situation sheds light on one of the reasons for the upgrades to municipalities that several counties have undergone in the last few years (TT):
“At the moment, Fusing Township (復興) in Taoyuan County is designated an Aboriginal township with a mayor and a council elected by all residents, and based on the law, the post of mayor can only be filled by an Aborigine,” Yabu Eyo, a representative from a Fusing-based Atayal Aborigines self-help organization, told a news conference at the Legislative Yuan yesterday morning.As I noted two years ago....
“When Taoyuan County becomes a special municipality, Fusing Township would become merely a district, with the head of the district being appointed by the mayor — and we would lose our council as well,” he said. “We are worried that the appointed district chief may not understand Atayal culture, customs and traditions.”
TheNorth-South income disparity is an important driver of the island's political life; but now emerging is a growing clash between the municipalities and the counties. For years, Taipei and Kaohsiung commanded a huge chunk of government money, with Taipei getting the majority of that. To counter Taipei's massive advantages, Taipei County, Kaohsiung and its county, Taichung and its county, and Tainan and its county have decided to upgrade to municipality status in order to collect a bigger share of the government budget. Recall that in the ROC system a municipality is the equivalent of a province whereas the counties remain merely local administrations. The result is a worsening of urban-rural budget issues.This clash over resources, which manifests itself in the two key faultlines of counties vs. municipalities and north vs south, has fallout for other political issues. To wit:
The new upgrades will result in new development and new land speculation, which will in turn bring in new monies into the pockets of officialdom. It will also result in a vast expansion of government payrolls, since a municipality has the right to employ thousands more people in the local government -- meaning new opportunities for political patronage that will help cement the grip of the party in power on the local governments. The expansion also allows for new appointees to committees and boards.ADDED: Apple below observes:
There is another way of looking at the upgrade/merger of counties and cities to special municipalities. It could be considered part of a process of relocating the ROC to Taiwan. The effective abolition of the Taiwan provincial government has necessitated an ongoing reorganisation of the ROC government system. As provinces no longer have any role in the government, the government is creating special municipalities to fill their place._______________
Daily Links, yesterday's version:
- SPECIAL: Oz Soapbox has a wonderful post, perhaps his best ever, on the destruction of the Shida Night Market. Great pics and observations.
- East Asian History back issues to 1991 now online.
- Taiwan's place in Australia's Asian Century by Joel Atkinson
- J Michael comments on foreign meddling in the Chen Shui-bian imprisonment and health issue
- Philippines, Taiwan to address issue of excessive payments from Filipino workers for work in Taiwan
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