Wednesday, October 08, 2008

DPP exaggerations do not help

I just read the DPP newsletter for August, which discusses the August 30th, 2008 rally.

On President Ma Ying-jeou’s 100th day in office, more than three hundred thousand people marched on the streets of Taipei to express their frustration and disappointment with the poor and feeble performance of Ma’s administration.

The rally, initiated by the Taiwan Society, quickly drew a life of its own with many supporters and organizations signing on to join from all across the nation.

As I and many others have noted, there were not 300,000 people there. Not even close. Why not pick a nice conservative figure like 120K and say that? It's silly to lie about something that even a moment's glance at the evidence can show is totally wrong. By picking a rational figure well supported by pictures and witness testimony, the DPP can gain credibility and look reasonable. These are good things. For the DPP to be a credible opposition, it first has to be credible.

Can we get a rewrite on that one?


Anonymous said...

Even more important than whether there were 100,000 or 300,000 demonstrators is the composition of the demonstration. During the rallies leading up to the presidential election, it was glaringly obvious to both local and foreign observers, and was noted in the media here and abroad, that the attendees at the Ma rallies were significantly younger (and more female) than at the Hsieh rallies. I know many young professionals who voted for Ma whose parents voted for Hsieh. Unless the DPP can bridge the generation gap, its fate is sealed regardless of what the KMT does. I did not attend the August 30 rally but watching news footage and news photos, it is clear that this is the same old TI crowd who showed up on August 30, there did not seem to be any ex-Ma supporters in the crowd, a constituency that is critical to the DPP’s future.

Tim Maddog said...

Hey, if Mr. Ma can say that there were "only 50,000," then 300,000 isn't that much of an exaggeration.

Doubting commenters (with names like "anonymous") who talk about "the composition" of the rally while saying things like "I did not attend" and "it is clear that this is the same old TI crowd" can check out some of my photos and video to get a better idea of what it actually looked like on the ground. Yes, the "old TI crowd" is still there, but there were lots of younger people there, too.

Tim Maddog