Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tsai picks a veep

An egret looks for lunch.

Taiwan Today describes:
Opposition Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen announced Nov. 16 that she has chosen Chen Chien-jen, vice president of Taiwan’s foremost research body Academia Sinica, as her running mate in the 2016 ROC presidential election.

An epidemiologist and minister of health from 2003 to 2005, Chen rose to national fame for heading the campaign against the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak in Taiwan. He demonstrated extraordinary communication and coordination skills during the fight against the illness, according to Tsai.

“Chen’s calm leadership and willingness to take up the challenge helped restore confidence to a nation plagued by the disease,” she said during a media conference in Taipei City. “I have every reason to believe that he can lend invaluable assistance to my team with his exceptional experience and expertise.”
This is an excellent pick: a researcher with an international reputation, who adds lustre to her team. I love the way the comment I've bolded there is a subtle dig at the KMT's lackluster approach to the Tainan dengue outbreak. There's much suspicion among the pan-Green side that the Ma Administration let the epidemic get out of hand in order to reflect negatively on Tainan's popular Mayor, Lai Ching-de.

Chen is Catholic....
Quoting Pope Francis, Chen said real power is service and that a good shepherd wears the smell of his flock, adding that the pontiff also encourages Catholics to enter politics so that they can bring change and attend to the needs of the impoverished and the disadvantaged.

“While [former Academia Sinica] president Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲) is reluctant to see me embroiled in the whirlpool of political struggle ... he is convinced that Tsai’s campaign policies are the most practical, feasible and favorable to Taiwan’s future,” Chen said.
....and is not part of any party or faction, meaning that Tsai did not trigger the ire of the DPP's notoriously nasty factions in picking him. Moreover, as an apparent technocrat he will appeal to the "swing" voters -- many of them light blues who will vote green to demonstrate to themselves that they are liberal minded if offered a technocrat rather than an old-style independence activist. Chen was Minister of the National Science Council in the Chen Shui-bian Administration from 2006-2008. Early in his career, he identified the cause of the notorious blackfoot disease.

Note that Chen referred to Nobel laureate Lee Yuan-tseh, whose 2004 endorsement was a big plus for Chen Shui-bian. This confers his blessing on Tsai...

So far the DPP is doing everything right. 60 days til the election, 7 months until we have a rational, Taiwan-centered administration.

Meanwhile, the KMT news organ reported on the KMT's Eric Chu.
KMT Presidential candidate Eric Chu had disclosed before his US visit that his running mate was all but decided, and would have both political and social experiences. Eric Chu stated candidly yesterday that gender, provincial background, and geographic distribution were not to be considered in his choice of a running mate.

Moreover, Chu stated that by “experiences” in political and social affairs, he was referring to political appointees, legislators, and county executives or city mayors. However, as he had a finance / economics background, he would search for a running mate “complementary” in specialization. As Chu just returned to Taiwan, he said he would contact his prospective running mate and make a formal announcement after everything was finalized in the coming days.
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Anonymous said...

Chu's looking for s.o. with experiences not experience. Psychotic? Frightening? Group?

Anonymous said...

Eric Chu's running mate almost has to be a partisan. There's no incentive for someone neutral or universally accepted to join a losing and hated campaign. For a partisan, showing that you're down for the cause provides the reverse incentives: running and "sacrificing" your career even though you know you'll lose.

Great pick by Tsai!

Anonymous said...

And the KMT's response is to revive allegations of plagiarism against Chen.

Anonymous said...

Chen's family is very close to Wang Jyn Ping's family. This is also a very clever move to discourage Wang from committing himself to the KMT cause too wholeheartedly. With Wang as the only solid source of local votes for the KMT, it could really damage their chances in the local elections.