Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Lien's Drive for the Top Continues?

I've been following Lien Chan's non-campaign for chairmanship of the KMT with much ironic relish, and today events took a new turn. One of Lien's chief opponents is the pretty but feckless mayor of Taipei, Ma Ying-jeou. Today the Taipei Times, among other local newspapers, reported that Ma's father supports Lien Chan.

In an embarrassing development for Ma Ying-jeou, Ma Ho-ling urged Lien to run for another term as chairman.

Ma Ho-ling said that his son "has no experience" in party operations, and that only Lien could unite the pan-blue camp.

In response, Ma Ying-jeou yesterday said that he respected his father's opinion, but planned to continue with his campaign for the party chairmanship.

The other candidate, Wang Jyng-ping, a popular Taiwanese KMT stalwart, is widely perceived as a threat by many of the party's Old Guard

While Lien has said on numerous occasions that he has no plans to run, supporters have argued that only Lien can unite the KMT. They contend that a contest between KMT vice chairmen Ma and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) will only end up dividing the party.
Lien Chan has lost two elections, and his supporters seem to be suffering from historical amnesia, forgetting that "uniter" Lien Chan broke the KMT the first time he ran for President. Remember folks? The KMT split into two parties, spinning off James Soong and the PFP and taking many unreconstructed mainlanders with it, in opposition to Lien. A few years I had the sneaking suspicion that Lien Chan's bumbling incompetence was actually Lee Teng-hui's tool to destroy the KMT, but it is pretty clear that the KMT is capable of doing that all on its own.

I think many outside observers would agree that the photogenic, Harvard-educated Ma or the dapper, widely-admired Wang would make far more effective presidential candidates than dour, ugly Lien Chan. But Wang is a Taiwanese, and after the Party's experience with Lee Teng-hui, it seems few of the mainlanders are ready to support a Taiwanese. Thus the Old Guard KMT, who seem to support Lien Chan, are nursing a rather bizarre fantasy:

Only if Lien continues as chairman, they say, will the KMT be able to win the 2008 presidential election.

Let's see, Lien has lost two elections in which he was the favorite. Meanwhile the DPP grabbed six million votes in 2004, up from 2 million in1996. There seems to be something wrong with Lien's leadership, guys. Like maybe, it doesn't work.

This thought was reflected today in the report that many of the Taipei neighborhood bosses had contributed to erect a giant sign saying "Grandfather Lien, Don't Run Again!" The sign was a parody of the welcome sign that Lien met when he went to the school in China.

The National Assembly began meeting today. Have to visit David's blog to check that out....


STOP_George said...

As I told David in a previous post of his: I personally hope Lien DOES manage to be re-elected KMT dictator once again. That way the KMT would be assured a "hat-trick" of losses in the Presidential elections. What a fitting tribute that would be to his retirement!

Why don't I want Ma or Wang to win?

Arse-kisser Wang doesn't seem have the gonads for true KMT "progressive" change and Ma...well, (baby kisser) Ma couldn't manage himself out of a wet paper bag. (Smile!...click!)

The scariest scenario, by far, would be for Ma to get the post. There is a possible likelihood (due to his good looks?) that Taiwan could make him president. If that should happen, you might as well serve this island on a silver platter to China.

STOP_George said...

On the DPP side:

I hope Su gets into power. I've had enough of Chen's futile back-tracking and waffling. Su may not be as "good-looking" but he is charismatic as hell (moreso than Ma, because he's 1) more humble and 2) has integrity). He also seems to be more forceful with his approach -- something Taiwan needs right now.

Jason said...

I've always been skeptical that Ma would ever break through in southern Taiwan... he'd have to do some pretty hardcore "localization" in a short amount of time between now and 2008 (and no, sorry, learning half-assed Hoklo won't get him that far). And with Soong always lurking in the background there's always the possibility he may just return to the KMT and run for prez (with Ma as the "bottom"?)

I'm also pulling for Su; He's got a good mix there, being from the south but having won in Taipei county. A friend of mine already has a "Bian-Mao" strategy for Su's campaign where they'd sell yellow caps with black running along the sides around the back. It would certainly save people the hassle of having to shave their heads. Chong chong chong, indeed!

Anonymous said...

Su might make a great candidate for the top job, but I think they are grooming Hsieh for it.

A Soong-Ma ticket might be a real winner. Soong does have some support of the he-makes-the-trains-run-on-time variety in the South. The elections have been close and it might be enough to get him the win. On the other hand he is getting old, and Ma would thus be well into his 60s before he gets a shot at the Presidency. He might not want to wait that long.

On the other hand, Ma lacks the ruthlessness that the highest positions require. My thought was he should have immediately moved against Lien when they blew the second election, shoved him out, and then taken control. Perhaps his base in the KMT is really quite weak. The Old Guard is hitched to Lien, the Taiwanese factions all like Wang. Who supports Ma? Lots of people in the PFP! LOL.

Did you see the news today? Ma's Dad said he'd have to commit suicide if Ma took the top job.


Michael T

Anonymous said...

fall on floor laughing-- were it not for the fact that CYUT people are part of Lien's crowd. boo hoo...


Anonymous said...

The KMT really seem to be going out of their way to alienate Ma. If Lien does run (and win), I'd wonder whether Ma will continue to be an active member of the KMT. Maybe jumping ship to the PFP would give that dying party some new hope ...

I can't see a Ma-Soong ticket running though: two mainlanders (however popular) ain't going to get 50% of the vote.

I agree that Hsieh is in No.1 spot for the DPP - he'll have to muck things up for Su to be given a chance.

STOP_George said...

This whole issue of Ma's father betraying his son is very curious.

I don't know the history behind the father-son relationship, but I'm starting to suspect that there is a game being played here.

Are they manufacturing a "sympathy vote"?

I've seen this sympathy vote strategy work with the general public during the December elections with that politician who staged himself being beaten up -- he won!!!

Surely, the Ma family can't stoop that low, can they?

Michael Turton said...

Yeah, i was wondering about that too. Remember when Ma wasn't going to run for Taipei mayor? Then Dad came out and begged him? Same game, different direction.

Still, those were some pretty insulting comments from Dad.

Anonymous said...

Or giving Ma a getout clause?

If Lien runs, then Ma doesn't stand a chance (and must know it). Perhaps reluctantly obeying his father is a face-saving way of bowing out of the competition without admitting defeat?

Now if Lien Chan's dad could just tell him that he'll rise from the dead unless Lien admits he lost the election ... :)