Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Taipei Mayor Polls, Debate Round up

Rounded up some stuff on Taipei, where Ko Wen-je, independent candidate extraordinaire, is holding his lead over KMT scion Sean Lien. Click READ MORE....

@FormosaNation on Twitter, whom you should be following, has rounded up another collection of polls. This Nov 8 poll from the pro-KMT China Times has the KMT's "God-Pig" Sean Lien getting killed by independent Ko Wen-je, 46.9% to 30.2%. The lowest line, 16.2, tracks undecideds. More importantly, Ko's large lead is holding in every poll and over time.

TVBS, another pro-KMT station, has very similar numbers for Nov 8, 45-32.

This poll from neither blue-nor-green Apple Daily after the debate this weekend shows Ko ahead 55.68% to 33.15%, a larger lead than other polls. It includes vote for the other candidates. The undecideds are very small, just 7%.

This pro-KMT TVBS post debate poll has Ko ahead of Lien, 48-23.

As for who won the debate, another TVBS poll has before/after debate numbers. Note that Ko climbed from 32% to 61% after the debate, while Lien fell.

One last poll on who won the debate from the pro-KMT UDN: Ko ahead 40-27. Thanks, FormosaNation!

Wen-ti Sung scribed an excellent piece on the Taipei election over at the China Policy Institute blog, which should also be on your blogroll. Sung goes into great depth on the numbers game in Taipei. I've like to focus on one paragraph...
The lesson is that when the DPP’s rock-the-vote is effective, its total votes peaks at a very specific point – 690,000 when it is an incumbent or 630,000 when it is not, regardless of actual electoral turnout (so long as the turnout reaches around the 70% mark). In other words, as electoral turnout increases north of 70%, most of the new votes cast tend to be KMT votes. Given that the total votes cast in the four elections examined range from 1.4 to 1.6 million, it is clear that even at the DPP’s very best, it still doesn’t have the votes to win in Taipei.
The 70% number is important and the KMT knows this. That is why the Taipei City government, blatantly interfering in the elections, is paying borough chiefs to get the turnout above 71%.

The debate was clearly won by Ko, and the questions did not reflect well on the pro-KMT side. The Taipei Times reports:
Typically, questioners ask the same question of each candidate to evaluate their thoughts on a particular issue, but Peng and Chiang asked separate questions of Ko and Lien.

Peng accused Ko of illegally operating the MG149 bank account associated with the National Taiwan University Hospital and asked if Ko would also set up such accounts if elected. Peng then asked Lien why he would risk his life to run in the mayoral election after surviving a gunshot during a campaign in 2010.

Chiang asked Ko to explain why he had torn a Republic of China national ID during a rally for a pro-independence group and if he would support Taiwanese independence after being elected. Chiang then asked Lien to explain his ideas about helping young people in the city in career development.
There are many interesting things here. The obvious bias in the questions was widely criticized. Note that both follow KMT formulae. The MG149 account is the usual attempt by the KMT to smear opposing candidates as corrupt. That smear has failed but the KMT is still pushing it.

The gunshot thing is fascinating. Peng called attention to the accidental shooting of Lien several years ago by KMT-connected gangbangers who got the wrong man. As I noted then in 2010:
There is not the slightest hint of conspiracy about the Sean Lien shooting incident. Consider: here is an incident in which a gangbanger accidentally shot Lien Chan's son on stage while attempting to off another apparent gang-connected politician and was prevented from completing the killing by a made guy in the Bamboo Union gang (an organization with old KMT connections) on stage with the KMT candidate. A perfect opportunity to relentlessly attack the KMT as a gang-ridden, corrupt, violent party. And what does the DPP do? Natter on about conspiracy theories! Be serious!
True to form, the issue of KMT-organized crime connections remains off the agenda. Any agenda. Yet it is one of the most fundamental shapers of the island's domestic political economy. The DPP has never used it to bash the KMT. Sad. Thus, Peng can raise the issue of the gangland shooting of Lien without ever worrying that it will be used against the KMT.

The KMT questions also highlight a couple of other issues. One is the claim that anti-KMT forces in Taiwan are violent and KMTers their selfless, helpless victims. Note how Peng frames the problem: Lien's life is automatically threatened since he is running against the pan-Greens, a classic Deep Blue claim, in which the poor mainlanders are always the victims. The question about Taiwan independence is a bald attempt to link Ko to bogeyman Chen Shui-bian (the best mayor Taipei ever had). Recall that this is in tandem with a crude leaflet campaign to link Ko's tearing up of his ROC ID to Chen Shui-bian, as Ben points out here. Chen Shui-bian is such a bogeyman that President and KMT Chair Ma Ying-jeou recently claimed that the bad oil scandals were caused by Chen.

Dead issue: the alleged tap on Ko Wen-je's phone lines. Now that Ko has positive spin going forward from the debate, he should let the tap issue quietly die. Ko announced yesterday that he would stop accepting campaign donations since he has sufficient money to finish the campaign.

The DPP's election newsletter for November is out. Ko's massive lead in Taipei is mirrored by polls in Taichung showing the DPP's Lin leading massively over the KMT's Hu. I'm having trouble believing them because everyone I talk to in Taichung says the election will be close and some say Hu will win. They could well be suffering from the same visceral disbelief I have, or simply covering up their real thoughts.

Don't miss Sean Lien nattering about his sacred quest, preserved by God, to serve Taipei city.

Also not to be missed: this review of the Taipei election in the context of competing nationalisms at Thinking Taiwan.

Finally, @FormosaNation passed around this parody image of Sean Lien for 2016 Presidential run. I've been saying that is not outside the realm of possibility. Netizens apparently think it great fun. We can only hope.
Daily Links:
PS: FormosaNation also sent around this one in which the left-hand sign says a vote for the KMT candidate on the right is a vote for Ma Ying-jeou.

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!


Anonymous said...

A good translation of some of the excuses from the Lein camp can be found here

LC blames Ma Ying-jeou for cutting cushy packages to teachers, soldiers, and civil servants (the KMT voter base) as one reason support for his son has shrunk. "... you must admit that some of their [policies] were not very well thought-out, and accumulated over time, this has impacted voters, especially the supporters of the party."

Sean implies voters are basically just dumb. "In Taiwanese elections, emotions overpower reason."
LC calls Sean's drop in the polls "unbelievable."

LC says the Taipei mayoral race is a prelude to the presidential race, (by god I hope not with these two guys!)
LC blames young people's distrust of Sean on "the DPP changes to text books" when Chen Shui-bian was in power, which has created a gap between how young people and the older generation think. (But isn't Ko Wen-je older than Sean Lien...?)

LC says voters have lost touch with reality and buy into Ko's abstract idealism. "The entire Taipei election has gone off the rails. It's really incredible. All this talk of participation, philosophical problems, universe view, worldview; it just gets more and more out there. What's weird is that everyone is applauding it and happy to listen."

Sean said he's shocked to see his support falling in the hardline blue area of Songshan. "I don't know what to say. The opinion polls in the media are the opposite of the enthusiastic support from the public I saw when campaigning in Songshan District. I don't know if this information is true or not, but it it will impact the confidence of supporters."

Sean, by all means the "establishment" candidate, complains the media is unfriendly and the entire voting environment is against him.

Note: after the election, its not hard to imagine both father and son sitting on the sidewalk outside crying..its not fair...its not fair...

But as you mentioned earlier, if over 70% turnout, the Chinese Nationalists still have a chance.

Anonymous said...

Been translating the key debate moments where Ko crushed it, one more coming tomorrow, box to turn on subtitles is second from left in bottom right:




Anonymous said...

And the finishing move, the letter from Gutmann's lawyer: