Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Taiwan: How the numbers are faked

I know some of you out there still have trouble accepting in your gut that so many of those nice numbers you see on Taiwan's TV screens are totally bogus. Numbers are, after all, an American cultural habit. But ESWN found a nifty little nugget that is a primer in number creation by fiat:
During the recent DPP primary election, Huang Chao-hui was supposed to be runnng against Pasuya Yao in the fourth district of Kaohsiung. But negotiations resulted Yao going to the first district instead. Therefore, there was no election in the fourth district.

On primary election night, SETTV began to report on the vote counts across Taiwan. For the fourth district in Kaohsiung, it showed that Pasuya Yao had 3,002 votes compared to Huang Chao-hui's 3,001 votes (see sub-title in the above screen capture). The entire district has only 5,000 or so voters.

Huang Chao-hui said that he called SETTV as soon as he found out. On his first call, he called the general telephone line and was routed around without getting any result. On his second call, he was told that the matter will be dealt with. But it took a long time before the numbers were removed. Still, his supporters were agitated. "It was really weird."

According to SETTV, it used 30 student workers to cover the voting centers across Taiwan, so that these votes could not have been fabricated in the studio. [Note: Fabricated vote tallies are known to have occurred in previous elections because the news television channels need to show higher totals in order to gain viewers who think that they are getting more up-to-date numbers that are closer to the final result.] Thus, this case was an unintentional mistake.
SETTV tends to be pro-Green. Pasuya Yao, the former GIO head, is so awesome, he can win in two districts at once. We need more legislators like that....


Jason said...


...That Pasuya Yao is the only thing in the universe exempt from the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle?

...Pasuya Yao can trace his lineage all the way back to the coupling of a sabretooth tiger and pure "Awesome"?

...Pasuya Yao is the only thing that stops China from invading?

Michael Turton said...

I pity you, so distant from the Great Yao. I live here only in the hope that one day I will be Ushered into His Presence.


Anonymous said...

This is the coolest thing I've ever heard - making up election results to show your news report is more up-to-date. Who needs vote-buying in a system like this? Making up numbers is much cheaper.