Sunday, November 22, 2015

Polls, Party Lists and other Problems

The road ahead is rocky.

Well, the KMT's Party List of At-Large legislators came out. They will automatically get a seat if the KMT wins enough votes.

The list of nominees was widely criticized. The KMT news organ says:
Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng topped the party list as expected. He is followed by two nominees with education backgrounds; i.e., Ko Chih-en (柯志恩), a professor of educational psychology at Tamkang University, and Chen Yi-ming (陳宜民), vice president of Kaohsiung Medical University.

Other nominees include Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順), a legislator and one of the KMT’s deputy secretaries-general, John Wu (吳志揚), a former Taoyuan County Executive, Chang Li-shan (張麗善), a former legislator from Yunlin County, and Hsu Chen-wei (徐榛蔚), wife of incumbent Hualien County Executive Fu Kun-chi (傅崐萁). They were nominated because the party central hoped that they could garner support for the KMT in county/city mayoral elections in 2018.
This article conceals more than it reveals. Apple Daily as translated by KMT Administration government news operation (FocusTw) makes the call....
To be more straightforward, whoever was able to "threaten" to do harm to the party was more likely to become the 12 people on top of the lineup -- known as the safe list -- out of a total of 34 legislator-at-large seats.

The biggest fear for Chu, for instance, is the list's top spot, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who has been in the position for nearly 17 years.

Wang has shown his ability for maneuvering by refusing to campaign for Chu as the two have expressed a conflict of interest over the 2016 general election.

Another good example is former Taoyuan County Magistrate Wu Chih-yang (吳志揚), son of former KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄).

Ranked eighth on the list, Wu is apparently taking advantage of his father's political influence to avoid the hard work of trying to win in a constituency.

Chu's explanation that the list represents the KMT's determination to reserve talent for the 2018 local elections is a lie, as most of the nominees are incompetent.
These choices were far worse than I thought they'd be, loaded with faction politicians. Hualien County Chief Fu Kun-chi is an "independent" whom the KMT kicked out for corruption. LOL. The list signals that in the post-election struggle for control of the KMT between Ma and Chu, Chu understands that support of the local faction politicians is going to be critical. Ma will have the backing of the "reds", the more-KMT-than-the-KMT crowd. This is a tactic, just as Chiang Ching-kuo brought some Taiwanese into the KMT as a move to build a power base independent of the mainlander apparatchiks his father Chiang Kai-shek depended on, so Chu is turning to the Taiwanese wing for support against Ma. Gonna be interesting.

Because of the structure of the election, the first 12 seats are considered safe seats. The Taipei Times analyzed them today.
The top 12 members on the list are considered to be “safe” — meaning they are virtually assured of getting legislative seats — and include five holding expertise or knowledge in other fields: academic Ko Chih-en (柯志恩), doctor Chen Yi-min (陳宜民), Lin Li-chan (林麗蟬), who has immigrated from Cambodia, TEDxTaipei cofounder Jason Hsu (許毓仁) and Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman William Tseng (曾銘宗)
The other candidates who secured “safe seats” are all political veterans: Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), Legislator Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順), former Taoyuan County commissioner John Wu (吳志揚), former legislator Chang Li-shan (張麗善), Hualien County Commissioner Fu Kun-chi’s (傅崑萁) wife, Hsu Chen-wei (徐榛蔚), Presidential Office Secretary-General Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) and Legislator Alicia Wang (王育敏).
According to KMT Chairman and Presidential candidate Eric Chu, the list is meant to reserve some politicians for spots for the 2018 Mayoral election. The placement of John Wu is interesting, recall that (1) Wu is from Taoyuan where Chu was once chief, so they must have a close connection, and (2) Wang Jin-pyng will need a replacement at some point since he is now over 70. I suspect Wu, whose family is an old Taiwan Hakka family that is powerful in the KMT, is being eyed to take over Wang's position as unofficial head of the Taiwanese faction politicians.

The inclusion of Wu and Fu Kun-chi's wife is also an interesting signal -- lots of people who worked hard for the KMT have been passed over by Chu. This point was made in a criticism from inside the KMT:
Prior to a meeting of the KMT’s Central Standing Committee yesterday afternoon, committee member Yao Chiang-lin (姚江臨) told reporters that while he dared not criticize the list as the worst in history, its rankings were undeniably unfair to grassroots workers.
...some were saying it was the worst list ever (hard to believe considering who was on previous lists). Hyperbole aside, the interesting thing is that it is widely hated, since it signals, once again, that Chu has re-arranged the deck chairs on the Titanic, rather than genuinely changing the KMT. Note that the young KMTers are far down the list and will not get seats. Now... there's a signal.

Solidarity observed on Twitter the other day that the 13th spot is reserved for a representative linked to the old soldiers, the Hung camp, apparently as an incentive to get them to come out and vote.

Hung Hsiu-chu, former KMT presidential candidate, had the last word:
Legislative Deputy Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) gave a score of 100 when asked by reporters to grade the legislator-at-large list.

Asked if she was serious, Hung said: “Who still means what they say nowadays?”
An obvious dig at current KMT Presidential candidate Eric Chu, who promised he wouldn't run.

Tsai up with new Veep pick.

How will things turn out? This site collects polls. This image shows the legislative election prediction: green for better than expected, red for expected, blue for less than expected. The interesting thing to me is New Taipei City, where the DPP and allied parties are within reach of the majority of seats in Taiwan's most populous municipality. That would be huge. Assuming 3 seats in central Taiwan, 7 in Taipei, 7 in New Taipei city, 2 in the outlying islands, 2 in Keelung, 3 in Hsinchu... the KMT is going to reach 31 or 32 seats, at the moment.

Tsai is going to be president, with a legislature controlled by the DPP and its allies.

I know some of you are thinking that there will be changes, but as always, I am pessimistic. Recall that DPP whip and likely Speaker of the Legislator Ker Chien-ming is closely linked to Wang Jin-pyng. Wanna bet some chips are called in by Wang? Probably some of the teeth of the party assets bill will be pulled via this relationship. That's ok, most of the party's assets are going to be quietly looted by KMT elites, so one way or another, the KMT's wealth and power will be seriously impaired.

Another issue: assume the KMT goes down to crushing defeat. Much will depend on how China views the KMT's chances in 2018 and 2020. Much will depend on the KMT's ability to convince Beijing that it is still a viable party and can deliver the island into Beijing's hands.

Once Tsai wins again in 2020, Beijing will re-evaluate. What will it do when it realizes the KMT has no future in Taiwan save as a Taiwanized, pro-independence, Big Business party?

Beautiful day outside. I think I'll go image some spiders....
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Raj said...

Glad you've accepted the DPP will have a majority of seats in the legislative. You were so pessimistic in the past you wouldn't believe it. ;)

an angry taiwanese said...

Also at New Bloom, an excellent review of the local anti-KMT internet.
I hope the ones who have no clue, i.e. the US State Department, Chinese Communists, and BBC-lead Western Medias, get some idea how hateful Taiwanese youth feel toward the Chinese Nationalist Party and its Sino-centric ideology.

My advice for the ones who have no clue. You better factor into your geopolitical calculation that hatred. You really don't want to be associated with the powerful oppressors who are hated by the people, AGAIN.

an angry taiwanese said...

Dingding was kicked out of Miss Earth pageant competition in Italy because she insisted on wearing 'Taiwan'. (see her Facebook,

Now there will be more young Taiwaneses, who are moved by this news, hating China and Chinese Nationalist Party. Chinese Communist Party has been doing this choking-Taiwan-to-death everywhere every time and Chinese Nationalist Party is seen offer happy cooperation always. We Taiwanese don't tend to show our emotion outwardly, especially regarding politics, but let me inform the world medias that we Taiwanese really really hate the Chinese Nationalist Party even more than we hate the Chinese Communist Party.