Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Taiwan Solidarity Union on its way out?

The TSU is sensing its own mortality as it pushes the DPP to give it space. The Taipei Times reported yesterday:

The DPP is expected to announce its nominations for the year-end elections today. Since last week, the TSU has been negotiating with the DPP to prevent it from nominating candidates in at least one or two counties in order to give the TSU candidates in those counties a chance. TSU Chairman Shu Chin-chiang's (蘇進強) has suggested the DPP not run a candidate in Keelung City, Hsinchu City and Tainan City.

The TSU has said that if the DPP does not agree to the arrangement, the TSU will nominate former president Lee Teng-hui's (李登輝) daughter, Annie Lee (李安妮), to compete the position of Taipei County commissioner with the DPP's nominee Luo Wen-jia (羅文嘉).

The TSU, Taiwan's resolute pro-independence party, is probably the party hurt worst by the new changes in the legislature, which mandate a reduction in the number of seats. Small parties and independents will all suffer, but the PFP, the fief of James Soong, will no doubt cling to life since its legislators are backed by "local factions" (read: organized crime) and because it has a solid core of mainlander support. The TSU appears to have neither of these resources.

Turn out the lights, the party's over....


Anonymous said...

Sure. Even the PFP is going to be running candidates with the KMT.
All this talk about recent elections showing voters leaning toward one party or another is nonsense. The only trend I've seen is toward the ability of the large parties to dominate the election process.

Michael Turton said...

Yeah, that's what I think too. The DPP and the KMT will emerge as the rightist and centrist options, and Taiwan will host two competing nationalist parties, with no real progressive alternative, just like the US.

Red A said...

Well, Michael, the communist party exists here and apparently they don't get many votes. I'm guessing there are other far left/progessive parties as well.

Of course, we could game the electoral system into producing properly progressive parties, but I'd suggest it's best to keep it simple.

After all the current system took out the New Party and PFP is sure to follow...isn't that worth the TSU dying off (because Lee Ten-Hui will eventually, anyways.)

All tongue in cheek here...don't get all rascally angry on me. I don't have much of a dog in this fight.

Michael Turton said...

Well, see, that's the thing. I don't think the PFP IS going to die. It's basically a party of corrupt local politicians who are tightly linked to local factions and enjoy "ethnic support" from the die-hard mainlanders. So I suspect that it will manage to hang on for a while. I'm curious to see what happens to it after Soong dies.


Anonymous said...

Sure the PFP will disappear; just like the New Party, it will simply run out of voters, and its candidates will be recycled into some new-sounding version of the Pan-Blue fringe.

STOP_George said...

I would argue that the traditional "right" vs. "left" issues of North America and elsewhere is superceded by the "democracy" vs. "fascism" dynamic at present.

Until Taiwan achieves official independence and becomes a seasoned democracy (without the values that the KMT and PFP hold dear), it is in Taiwan's best interest to have the DPP be strong -- regardless of their right-wing leanings. You can't have your moon-cake and eat it too.

It's too bad, though, that most Taiwanese don't have the guts at present to make the TSU a stronger party.

STOP_George said...

May I also point out that the U.S. is struggling against (read -- "bending over for") fascism at present. In fact, I would argue that Taiwan has more freedom, in many ways at present, than America.

Interestingly though, unlike Taiwan, the U.S. is gripped with "right-wing" fascism.

Michael Turton said...

I don't know whether Taiwan is, at the moment, freer than the US. But it is clear that the two countries are headed in different directions...

Red A said...

Dude, the PFP is going to DIE DIE DIE.

They had their chance, but instead the KMT made nice comeback.

I give it as long as the New Party existed for.

p.s. interesting how we agree that Soong's death would be a major turning point...same with Lee and TSU.

For KMT, Lien's death would help it for sure, which is why I think it will be around for a while.