Friday, October 10, 2014

10-10 Links + Comments

Taichung Mahor Jason Hu stopped by an event in Wuci in western Taichung today to speak for a few moments and press the flesh. An excellent populist politician, and personally affable, Hu has trouble walking and standing since a stroke, and had to be supported most of the time. 

A few comments....
Daily Links:
  • Taiwan Brain Trust's English Newsletter. Some good info here, including serious discussion of the ECFA FTA failure. 
  • Ma says Taiwan eager to share democracy experience with China. Democracy experience... democracy experience.... That would be the one where the ruling party shoots a lot of people, then shares the wealth with cronies and insiders while handing out a few carrots to the people below, insists that everyone speak Mandarin, denies all local history and culture, makes everything state-owned, and develops a massive concrete-fueled construction-industrial state that eats up local lands and environments, before being forced to democratize by dissidents and democracy supporters? Hmmm.... seems like China's halfway there already....
  • Hundreds more firms implicated in latest cooking oil scandal. Many people and companies have taken to making their own lard as a result, as Want reports -- well, the famous restaurants are saying they are making their own lard. People are also complaining pork fat is becoming less available in markets since everyone is making lard. This latest scandal apparently involves a Chinese-owned Taiwanese firm backed by the KMT, according to the DPP, which is demanding that the Premier take responsibility for the scandal. At least they realize that Taiwan has good laws, they just aren't enforced.
  • Knowledgeable scholars pointed out that Xi isn't "reviving" the 1C2S proposal as this Taipei Times piece claims, but rather is simply reiterating settled policy often embraced by previous Chinese leaders.
  • Keep on keeping on catapulting the propaganda: Premier Jiang hit all stops, accusing Taiwanese people of being irrationally afraid of China and claiming that the service pact and other sell outs will result in FTAs. This was already old when they were trundling it out for ECFA. 
  • Don't miss: Frozen Garlic's review of the local elections, part 5. His analysis of the election mirrors everything I've said on this blog. I was out drinking this week with some sharp and experienced observers of local politics, and one of them said that he has visceral trouble imagining that Sean Lien won't win this election. I suffer from the same problem. I don't see why he can't win, but there's no movement in the polls at all. Ko continues to hold a large lead. It will all come down to whether the light blues will get out there and vote for their class privileges and social identities. But as Froze notes, Lien's campaign materials keep throwing his own privileged life in their face. 
  • Excellent piece on WSJ with a good exploration of how China's Hong Kong failure is negatively impacting its hope of annexing Taiwan.
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!

1 comment:

Tommy said...

Regarding Ko and Lien, there is also something to be said of a perception of inevitability transforming into reality. If "everyone" thinks Ko will win, then many potential Lien supporters might just think it makes no difference whether they vote or not. I have not been following that race too closely, but it is an unexplored possibility of the Frozen Garlic analysis. If the polls narrow, a tipping point might be reached where Lien would suddenly be in winning territory.