Brock Lovett: 26 years of experience working against him. He figures anything big enough to sink the ship they're gonna see in time to turn. The ship's too big with too small a rudder. It doesn't corner worth a damn. Everything he knows is wrong.In Taiwan culture the answer to all problems of social and organizational order is "more control". The KMT has once again turned to this approach. UDN reports that the KMT has "reformed" its legislator selection process, turning it over to a central 7 person committee instead of leaving it up to the local KMT chapters (read factions). The committee is made up of Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), Huang Min-hui (黃敏惠), Lee Si-chuan (李四川), Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權), Chien Tai-lang (簡太郎), Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), Liao Liao-yi (廖了以). This is not a gang of young, perceptive leaders in touch with the changing society in Taiwan.
It means that the KMT is not going to make meaningful reforms. Instead they are tightening central party control over the periphery. Solidarity.tw opined that this would simply cause more local factions to bolt and run as third party candidates, hurting the KMT. Work out the logic: in many places the choices for legislators will lack support for the local factions. This will both reduce the resources that local factions are willing to commit to the KMT, and also encourage them to run own-candidates as independents if they are sufficiently annoyed, hurting the KMT. If the KMT were an actual political party, and not the political organization of a colonial ruling class, the local factions would have more say. Instead, it looks as if the KMT is reducing their say. UPDATED: the response to the Committee was so negative that Chu was forced to say yesterday that the process for choosing would be open and transparent. We'll see...
Perhaps the KMT is gambling, as some are saying, that the power of local factions has waned, especially with the growth of municipalities whose administrative positions are appointed by the mayor.
The committee convener is Hau Lung-bin, the former mayor of Taipei, and a second generation mainlander, the son of the far right Chinese nationalist and former Premier Hau Pei-tsun. In most committees in organizations on the island, the decision is made by the leader and the committee's purpose is to ratify his decisions. Thus control remains in the hands of the KMT's mainlander elites. The elites are tightening their control as a response to the KMT's sinking chances.
This could be read as a positive for the island, if the KMT appoints clean non-faction candidates and then compels the factions to support them. Hard to imagine how that can work. Hau promised a couple of weeks ago that the legislative candidates would have plenty of new faces. If that is true, the local factions are going to be angry...
In other news,
Three-term Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) on Friday said he would not seek re-election in next year’s legislative election — which is set to be held in tandem with the presidential election — adding new fuel to the ongoing speculation that KMT Chairman and New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) will run for president.If Chu doesn't run, the KMT won't have much of a chance of victory. The pressure on him is enormous. Looking forward to that bit of political theatre in which the great man's followers beg him to run, which he accepts reluctantly in order to serve. Awwww.....
Lin has been widely rumored to run for mayor of New Taipei City in a by-election if Chu decides to run for president, but he declined to comment on “hypothetical questions,” saying he made the decision mainly because he wanted to yield the opportunity to the younger generation.
Meanwhile, the KMTitanic sails into the night. TVBS, the pro-KMT news station is out with a poll showing what everyone else is finding (kudos to them, their polls have mightily improved). Tim maddog summed things up on Facebook:
Feb. 2015 TVBS (deep-blue!) poll:
• 36% hope DPP takes power in 2016
• Only 19% hope it's KMT.
Main parties' satisfaction rating:
• DPP: 43%
• KMT: 10%
• 73% feel the KMT values the party's benefits over the public's.
• Only 43% feel that way about the DPP
• Over double the number (45%) feel DPP is trustworthy compared to KMT (22%).
Other numbers are mostly similar. Even my sadistic pessimistic streak is cringing in wonder at these numbers. But it's a long 10 months before election night...
Previous KMTitanic entries:
KMTitanic III: But this ship can't sink!
KMTitanic II: Iceberg in sight, no change of course
KMTitanic I: Chu rearranges the deck chairs
- WantWant has piece on formation of pro-nuke group among Taiwanese students as anti-nuke protests take place across Taiwan yesterday.
- As my man maddog noted, the KMT's WWII commemorations are out of touch with the public
- PRC expert says if DPP wins Beijing will cut relations with Taiwan
- Chinese tourists crimes increase.
- Taiwan and Canada: shared values
- A symbol of China's burgeoning power: ICAO head is Chinese. More trouble for Taiwan.
- VC Lee Kaifu on Taiwan's entrepreneurs in Commonwealth.
- Woman killed when huge tile slabs fall off UDN building. Falling debris is common problem, as end of article notes.
- Jens Kastner with a good article on myopia in Taiwan
- Taiwan to recruit more Vietnamese workers. Vietnam is where 8 of 10 naturalized ROC citizens come from.
- Article on the Maori and Taiwan aborigine connection from NZ.
- Ma Ying-jeou's nephew, a US Green Beret, interviewed in 2014.
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