Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday night Lites

Betel nut production facility.

The Cabinet approves absentee voting and disincludes Taiwanese in China, thus quelling fears that China could influence the vote.
According to the amendments, any qualified voter can vote in a polling station in a city or country where they have not established voting residency, as long as they apply to do so three months before the voting day.

It is estimated that less than 5 percent of the electorate would apply for absentee voting, Huang Li-hsin (黃麗馨), director-general of the Ministry of the Interior’s Department of Civil Affairs, told a press conference held after the Cabinet meeting.
...monitoring of the absentee vote is going to have to be intense, because a lot of us are quietly wondering about the integrity of future votes. The nuke plant referendum proposal was some very interesting leverage to create this new voting rule. One wonders if that was the intent....

BTW I have the students write a pro/con essay on whether Taiwan should operate nuclear plants and the papers generally run about 70-30 against. Of course, they may be sucking up to me. The issue is heavily gendered; here as elsewhere it seems males are more likely to support nuke plants than females.

Conflict of interest? Taiwan is the poster boy for it. The slowly expanding Twin Towers scandal offered some light moments in local brazen denial of conflict of interest.... the Taipei City Council set up a task force to investigate the bidding process for the gigantic building which is intended to go up next to the train station, resulting in comic relief:
The task force is comprised of cross-party Taipei City councilors and is to probe the project’s controversial bidding process, as well as any possible wrongdoing by city officials in relation to the project, amid allegations of bribery.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City councilors Lee Shin (李新), Angela Ying (應曉薇) and Wang Hsin-yi (王欣儀) withdrew from the task force for having accepted political donations from the second-priority bidder, BSE Engineering Co. However, KMT Taipei City Councilor Yang Shih-chiu (楊實秋) refused to leave the task force, drawing criticism from independent Taipei City Councilor Chen Cheng-chung (陳政忠) as he accused the KMT caucus of lacking the credibility to take part in the probe.


Yang insisted that the investigation is targeting the project’s first bidder, Taipei Gateway International Development, and whether he accepted political donations from the second-priority bidder should not be an issue.
That's wonderful, you almost have to admire people like that. All these guys accepting "political donations" from the bidders, lucky they aren't former Presidents.... Progress of a sorts, at least some people had the grace to recuse themselves.  This scandal has already brought down several local politicians and may do some minor harm to current Taipei Mayor Hau's presidential aspirations, except that they are already remote to begin with.
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