The bad news keeps rolling in for the KMT: corruption investigations, and another resignation, this time of the Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi.
When I first heard that Ma had stepped down and there would be a change of Chairman, I wrote:
But there is a perception that Chu will push for "reform", a much bandied about word with no clear meaning -- it is obvious that it will be limited and likely to focus on rebooting the party machine, especially its vertical linkages to local factions and local precinct captains (more on that below). The KMT is simply too invested in its China policies and the structural issues I have discussed at length elsewhere.That's what I thought two months ago. Then two days ago I wrote a long post after I heard that new KMT Chairman Eric Chu was appointing new heads for the KMT party organizations in the cities and counties. What possibilities this presented! Nope. My initial reaction is looking more and more correct. Solidarity.tw translated the information on the KMT's not-so-new local chapter heads...
Of the 23 spots, there are 10 incumbents but also 3 people who formerly held the same position and were shuffled out, and 2 more who are professional chapter directors, moving around to wherever the KMT needs them. That makes 15. It’s funny Chu didn’t even replace the Tainan party chief after the epic bribery that happened just under his nose. The way-unbalanced gender ratio is also dispiriting.Chu has also made himself head of the National Policy Foundation, the KMT's internal think tank, with Hau Lung-bin, former Taipei mayor, as one of the vice chairman. Chu is now party head, head of its internal mechanisms (he got rid of Ma's Zhongshan council and restored authority to the Central Standing Committee) and his people are now in position in all the local chapters. He's tightened his grip on the local party networks by moving a few new people in, but the party's stated goal of getting younger people into the positions has somehow disappeared.
The Verdict: 15 Old Faces (65%), 10 Incumbents (42%), 91.3% Male, everyone’s over age 40.
This is the same KMT that just got blown out in the 2014 election, only the names have been changed. Far reaching changes not in the offing yet. Unless we see them... well, you can do the math yourselves, folks.
- Central Taiwan News Report
- Dissertation review: the politics of prostitution in post-colonial Taiwan.
- Keelung to build biggest aquarium in Asia.
- Drew with a great post on riding Taiwan's oil producing area: Gas Giants.
- Solidarity.tw: Police destroy evidence to protect son of vice-president's bodyguard. This may hurt Wu Den-yi's miniscule chance of getting the KMT nod for the presidency.
- Free Beacon reports on how China has idly threatened to arm the Hawaiian independence movement. This is not very interesting for the China stuff, but its a gold mine on the independence movement.
- Taiwanvore on a new Ministry of Culture program to showcase books from Taiwan
- If we don't get rain this spring, we could be in for severe water rationing in the north and central Taiwan.
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