KMT Presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) delivered a campaign speech yesterday at the Hsin-chu Allied Association for Science Park Industries (新竹科學園區同業公會). After her speech, Pan Wen-huei (潘文輝), general manager of Gintech Energy Corporation (昱晶能源), remarked that according to a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) assessment of the Legislative Yuan's (LY) performance, the LY should be regarded as a failure.The translation here softens what she actually says, which was "It should be closed!" Gintech is one of the firms that has been screwed by KMT energy policy, which has favored fossil fuels and nukes: it makes solar energy products.
Pan asked, "Since you come from the LY, can you explain to me why many KMT proposed bills failed to pass in spite of the fact that the KMT has a majority in the LY? Why is so much time spent in party-to-party consultations, but there are absolutely no accomplishments? If a private company made no profits, it would change course. If it couldn't do so successfully, it would go out of business."
In response, Hung Hsiu-chu said she agreed, adding "If the LY cannot improve its performance, it should close its doors!"
Wang Jin-pyng, still currently the speaker of the legislature, came out today with another one of his bewildered defenses of the Legislative Yuan, asking how there could be a democracy without a legislature. But of course Hung is her usual briskly authoritarian self, staying beautifully in character as the Great Schoolmarm. Soong and Tsai would both have said that you don't shut the LY down, you change the people in it at the next election: Soong because he is a good politician, and Tsai because she is a democracy supporter.
The interesting thing about this speech to me was Hung's strong Chinese accent with that hideous dose of unnecessary R-s that make the speaker sound like they are trying to force out the words between large marbles located in their cheeks. That accent curdles sentiment among hearers in Taiwan (unless a foreigner sports it, then it gets kudos) and I doubt it is helping Hung. So I checked James Soong, a wily fellow who is sensitive to the importance of language. This video from August of this year shows his Mandarin has a Chinese accent, but nowhere near as strong as Hung's. I can't find anything from the period before he ran for provincial governor on Youtube, but he said once in talking about his school life his scores in Chinese were high as a high school student, and I wonder if once had a stronger Chinese accent. Would love to know, if anyone has an old video of him.
With Soong fading -- as a highly observant friend pointed out, since his initial media blitz with the much balleyhooed but empty apology, and the image of Soong rising from the mud, Soong has done nada -- and Hung a lousy candidate, Tsai faces little challenge.
Tainan mayor and once rising DPP star William Lai is now under investigation for land deals in Tainan (Solidarity with the translation). This may hurt his prospects for the Presidency or Veep post -- recall that KMT Chairman Eric Chu won't run, in part, many suspect, because his powerful and wealthy father in law has allegedly been involved in shady land deals in areas Chu has run. Lai has also been hurt by the dengue fever issue -- the central government waited until there were thousands of cases before establishing a center to combat dengue, whereas in earlier outbreaks, it moved quickly. Playing politics with lives? You make the call.
Who will Tsai pick for Veep? Good question, lots of speculation, little light.
I'd also like to point out that Tsai facing little challenge is a problem. The DPP would probably be much better off if the KMT had fielded a real candidate rather than a parody like Hung. Then there would be less threat of complacency. I'm not getting into specifics, but what I hear about Tsai and the campaign scares me. Not so much for the Presidential election, which at this point looks like even the DPP can't blow (though I still worry, I'll worry until she's sworn in), but for her coming presidency. Another issue with her powerful lead is that people might not bother to donate money since there is little threat of defeat -- the DPP is currently behind on its money goals.
Note that people blamed the DPP/KMT conflict for the impasse between the LY and the Chen Administration, but the LY has been more or less as worthless under the Ma Administration as it has under the Chen Administration. Ma couldn't get it to do anything either, which was one reason he attacked Speaker and KMT stalwart Wang Jin-pyng. Democracy has made it uncooperative yet spineless. For it to work for Tsai, she has to have a DPP-controlled legislature which will support her. Does she seem like the kind who can work a room composed in equal parts of faction politicians and idealists?
Taiwan Brain Trust, the pro-Green thinktank, has a new poll out. This is a massive data set with questions on satisfaction with parties, government, and the coming election. Solidarity is likely to translate it soon, so I will refrain, but it contains some interesting nuggets, like 54.9% support for allowing Kinmen and Matsu to have a referendum on being returned to China. Again, as in other polls, Tsai is at 46% vs 17 and 16 for Hung and Soong, respectively. The LY numbers look good for the DPP too.
- Tsai promises to apologize to aborigines if elected.
- Taiwanese denied entry on tour of UN office in Geneva.
- US faces tough fight with China
- PLA General says Taiwan not necessarily core interest
- Dennis Hickey laughably publishes in a PRC newspaper. This is basically trolling, as a longtime observer put it. I guess if you have to publish anti-DPP propaganda in a PRC paper, you've hit a low that means you can now be ignored.
[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!