Friday, January 04, 2008

Legislative election fun

Just a few days ago over on Forumosa a bunch of us were speculating as to why Ma Ying-jeou seems to appear in the news more often than Frank Hsieh. Today the Taipei Times published on indicative little tale on that. Seems there have been complaints that Hsieh hasn't been visible enough to give a boost in the legislative elections.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh's (謝長廷) camp yesterday dismissed complaints that he has not been campaigning aggressively enough for his party's legislative candidates.

Former DPP chairman Yu Shyi-kun, who heads the DPP electoral campaign, said on Wednesday some pro-independence groups had told him that the party's internal relations between the legislative elections next week and the presidential poll in March should be like that between a hen and its chicks.

However, they told Yu, the hen -- referring to Hsieh -- was too busy, so they didn't have much choice but to ask the rooster -- President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) -- to take care of the matter.

Hsieh spokesman Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) said Yu's comment had been a "friendly reminder," but was blown out of proportion by "certain media."

"It proves the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] is anxious about the elections and came up with this kind of scheme to split the DPP," he said.

The legislative elections are highly likely to be a big win for the KMT, probably around 65-70 seats by the count of the redoubtable A-gu. Blogger Feiren (Rank, Taiwan Matters!) suggested that Hsieh is probably lying low hoping none of that egg sticks to him. The way I see it, when that debacle finally occurs, Chen Shui-bian may be forced to step down as Chairman of the DPP to "take responsibility" for the debacle (indeed, that may have been why Chen became Chair in the first place: because then none of the defeat will stick to anyone who still has a political future). This means that by default, either Hsieh or someone handpicked by him will have to take over, though I'm betting it will be Hsieh himself. This will be a tremendous psychological boost for the campaign, since everyone is completely sick of Chen Shui-bian now, as A-gu observed. It might even be the DPP plan.

I sure hope so. At the moment things are not looking bright for the DPP -- Hsieh's presence is muted, the legislative elections are sure to be a defeat, and Chen Shui-bian is a liability. But in 2000 and 2004 they said we had no chance either.....

6 comments:

Prince Roy said...

My whole point in starting that thread was not only does Ma appear more in the news broadcasts, both Blue and Green, but he also appears more in the talks shows. You'd think the talk shows would be getting their guy's name out there, but I've yet to see them mention Hsieh. If their strategy is to capitalize on so-called Chen fatigue, without ever giving people a reason to vote for Hsieh other than his name is not Chen Shuibian or Ma Yingjiu, then good luck to them. Seems extremely risky.

Benjamin said...

Yeah, but in 2000 and 2004 the DPP had no chance because of the KMT machine. This time it seems the problem is the DPP itself, or rather disappointment with and missteps by the DPP. Big difference...

Oh yeah, and no Lien Chan. The only election he's ever won is the won for worst candidate ever...

Ben
bent.tw

Anonymous said...

"since everyone is completely sick of Chen Shui-bian now"

For anyone making this claim, can he/she do a better job than Chen?

Or can KMT do a better job in managing Taiwan's economy in last 8 years or in the future?

Look at Japan's economy, it had a long expansion till the end of 1980's and then had a long pause. It seems to me, Taiwan is just following similar stages.

As a Taiwanese, Mr. Chen has my support!

Wulingren said...

The notion (expressed in a thread below) that Chen will take the blame for legislative losses and then Hsieh will take over from there is an interesting one. Of course, it is hard to know what the DPP plan is, or if they even have one. But I am reminded of the period before the mayoral elections last year. There was the president's son-in-law, several recall attempts, James Soong making a lot of noise, the red shirts, and repeated calls for Chen to step down. And the general word on the street--at least in Taipei--was that things were looking very bad for the DPP. Most were projecting that it would suffer major defeats in both Taipei and Kaohsiung. Where was Hsieh during all of this? There were claims--never proven--that he was involved in corruption when he served as mayor of Kaohsiung. Others (including some on this site) were questioning why he was even running for Taipei mayor and what was his strategy? I even remember some of my neighbors who were associated with the DPP went to Japan for a month, to avoid Taiwan during the DPP losses. But apparently, Hsieh was quietly consolidating his base and setting down the foundation of his strategy. Then, there was a moment--I don't quite recall when it was--when I started to notice Hsieh rallies around town, in the park across from Yuanshan station, on Chengde Rd on the way to Beitou, and elsewhere. His generally hopeful message started to appear in commercials on TV. And come the mayoral elections, not only did he beat the expectations game but Chen Chu also won in Kaohsiung, a win that resonated quite strongly with the crowd in front of Hsieh's headquarters on election night. And the DPP was rejuvenated, at least for a time. It is likely that Hsieh will play a more promenant role after the legislative elections. Is that part of a strategy, a missed opportunity by Hsieh to help the DPP candidates, or President Chen's ego at work? I think only time will tell.

Anonymous said...

I am a Taiwanese, and Chen Shui-bian has my support.

Wulingren said...

Ooops! You said that in this post, not in a thread below. That was just a result of me coming back to your site quite often.