Rounding up a bunch of news this week. Solidarity blogs on a TISR poll on cross strait relations and party favorability. Read whole thing, but as he points out, the people don't seem to see a whole lot of difference between Ma's cross-strait stance of 3 Noes and Tsai's Status Quo stance. Solidarity observed on Twitter that the Chinese Communist Party and the KMT have exactly the same unfavorable rating, 59.9%. The DPP meanwhile clocks in at 49.3% favorable.
Speaking of polls, a recent poll from the deep Green Taiwan Brain Trust replicated the findings of an earlier TISR poll in which Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng drew stronger support than KMT Chairman and putative savior Eric Chu among the voting public but was weaker than Chu against Tsai. Neither beats her. Taiwan Brain Trust observed in its recent newsletter:
On the other hand, disapproval of the DPP's performance increased markedly from 35.4% in December and 43.1% in January to 51.4% in March. Approval fell correspondingly during the same period from 46.3% to 37.8%. This decline in popularity is apparently related to the scandals over some local council speaker elections at the end of 2014. More recently, rifts have emerged within the DPP as party members fiercely compete to win nominations for the 2016 legislative elections. As a result, approval of the DPP within the pan-Green camp declined markedly from 67.4% in January to 54.8% in March. The DPP should take this apparent shift from high expectations to disappointment among its sympathizers as a warning sign.The DPP is quite dull these days, which is good. The KMT is where all the fun is. This week Wang Jin-pyng, the Legislative Speaker and KMT heavyweight, began positioning for his Presidential (or perhaps Veep) run with some very interesting remarks.
Party preference remains largely unchanged. However, the share of those who most favor the DPP declined from 33.9% in January to 25.7% in March. At the same time, the share of those who do not favor any particular political party increased from 15.9% to 21.1% during the same period. Although the DPP remains the most popular party, clearly a shift in public opinion is under way that translates into heightened expectations toward third force political forces. In the eyes of more than 40 percent of the public,the KMT is still the most unpopular party. However, while 45.5% identified the KMT as the least liked party in January, that figure fell to 41.7% in March. In contrast, the share of those who least favored the DPP climbed from 15.6% to 16.9% during the same period. Obviously, the DPP has not shown its best recently, while the KMT has been able to prevent further erosion of public support.
“When one day the political systems of the two sides are compatible, the GDP per capita comparable, the social and public values similar, and religious freedom guaranteed, the heart of the two sides of the Strait could be melded together and nothing would be nonnegotiable then,” the speaker said.Taiwanese reject annexation to China irrespective of China' political system. Wang isn't talking to Taiwanese, but rather his recapitulation of the "same culture" propaganda, as well as Ma's position that China must democratize before Taiwan can annex itself to Beijing, caters to mainlanders in the KMT ruling clique who despise him and will object if he is chosen as the candidate. Interestingly, if Wang is positioning himself for the Presidency, he must know that Chu isn't going to run... (More analysis from Ben)
Also fun this week was William Lai, an up-n-coming heavyweight in the DPP who will likely contest for the 2020 presidential election. Lai, who is tremendously popular, twitted Eric Chu...
“I have not yet decided [whether to run for New Taipei City mayor],” Lai said. “It seems like someone [intentionally] spread the rumor to hold Chu back from giving up his position and running for president... I do not want to spoil the effect of the rumor by giving a specific statement.”Lai basically bragged that if he ran in New Taipei City, he'd win, which is likely true. If Chu runs for President, there will be a by-election. Lai will come north and contest New Taipei City, and the DPP can run a new guy in Tainan where he is sure to win. Win-win for the DPP, so to speak.
Meanwhile KMT legislators, horrified at the prospect of someone other than Chu running, have paid his entry fee and continue to try to draft him, Solidarity.tw chuckled on Twitter today.
Comment of the day from Ben Goren on Twitter:
The '1992 Consensus' was just a vehicle to facilitate dom & int acceptance of public face of KMT-CCP united front during Ma admin.REFS: Recent Posts on KMT, Reform, and Chairman Chu
KMT Roundup -- Things you should be reading today -- KMTitanic 8: Chu = monkey wrench -- KMTitanic 7: Existential Crisis -- KMT Shorts -- Chu Notes -- KMTitanic 5: Struggling for the Northern Lifeboats -- Chu Political Theatre -- KMTitanic 4 -- KMTitanic 3 -- KMTitanic 2 -- KMTitanic 1 -- Chu's Revolutionary Reforms?
- Yehliu and the debate over geotourism
- Prosecutors to go after money in connection with the old Lafayette case: $340 million. Yet the bribe was alleged to be $400 million. Where's the other $60 million?
- All the really key stuff going on this week, but the media is all agog over dogs with square haircuts and whether China will ban Katy Perry for wearing an ROC flag.
- Keating on the KMT diaspora in Taiwan.
- Obama says US will defend Senkakus
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