Monday, February 27, 2006

Fire Sale on Kaohsiung City Council Votes

I've decided that what I really want to do is become a Kaohsiung city council member so I can get tons of cash showered on me by gang-connected politicos. It's a dirty job, but somebody....

Kaohsiung prosecutors on Saturday night raided an illegal gambling house which is suspected of being used to generate funding for a candidate running in the Kaohsiung County Council speakership election.

"We received a tip-off that Kaohsiung County Council Speaker Hsu Fu-sen (許福森), who is seeking re-election, was involved in vote-buying and we investigated the matter," Kaohsiung District Prosecutors' Office Spokesman Chung Chung-hsiao (鍾忠孝) said yesterday.

Hsu, a member of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and suspected of having close ties with gangsters, has been the council's speaker for eight years.

Chung said the accusations levelled against Hsu were that he had offered councilors bribes ranging between NT$500,000 (US$15,150) to NT$1 million in exchange for their votes.

I think it is about time that we dredge up the old saw that history repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. Taiwan has gone one-up on that one, uniting tragedy and farce with great economy of force in Kaohsiung city council elections. As I noted once before, the quintessential corruption case of modern times is the Chu An-hisung case.Longtime Taiwan-watcher Lawrence Eyton's article on the Kaohsiung City Council election that was bought by Chu An-hsiung is a great introduction to local politics on the Beautiful Island.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're welcome to the Kaohsiung city council member job.

As for me, I've been thinking that if my current gig doesn't work out, I might begin an exciting new career as a duck tongue smuggler.

Mom would be so proud.