Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Chu Re-arranges the Deck Chairs on the KMTitanic

An old swine but not in a new bottle.

The bad news keeps rolling in for the KMT: corruption investigations, and another resignation, this time of the Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi.

When I first heard that Ma had stepped down and there would be a change of Chairman, I wrote:
But there is a perception that Chu will push for "reform", a much bandied about word with no clear meaning -- it is obvious that it will be limited and likely to focus on rebooting the party machine, especially its vertical linkages to local factions and local precinct captains (more on that below). The KMT is simply too invested in its China policies and the structural issues I have discussed at length elsewhere.
That's what I thought two months ago. Then two days ago I wrote a long post after I heard that new KMT Chairman Eric Chu was appointing new heads for the KMT party organizations in the cities and counties. What possibilities this presented! Nope. My initial reaction is looking more and more correct. translated the information on the KMT's not-so-new local chapter heads...
Of the 23 spots, there are 10 incumbents but also 3 people who formerly held the same position and were shuffled out, and 2 more who are professional chapter directors, moving around to wherever the KMT needs them. That makes 15. It’s funny Chu didn’t even replace the Tainan party chief after the epic bribery that happened just under his nose. The way-unbalanced gender ratio is also dispiriting.


The Verdict: 15 Old Faces (65%), 10 Incumbents (42%), 91.3% Male, everyone’s over age 40.
Chu has also made himself head of the National Policy Foundation, the KMT's internal think tank, with Hau Lung-bin, former Taipei mayor, as one of the vice chairman. Chu is now party head, head of its internal mechanisms (he got rid of Ma's Zhongshan council and restored authority to the Central Standing Committee) and his people are now in position in all the local chapters. He's tightened his grip on the local party networks by moving a few new people in, but the party's stated goal of getting younger people into the positions has somehow disappeared.

This is the same KMT that just got blown out in the 2014 election, only the names have been changed. Far reaching changes not in the offing yet. Unless we see them... well, you can do the math yourselves, folks.
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1 comment:

Unknown said...

On Hawaiian independence - I've long thought America should formalize a process for joining and leaving the United States. It should include a vote in which at least half the eligible voters of the territory for the change, and a super-majority (3/5 or 2/3) of the people who show up to vote support the change. This would be to prevent a situation in which a territory changes its mind frequently - entering and leaving on whims.

Of course each time a territory joined would also require some sort of approval by American voters or their representatives.

Leaving would present some technical issues to work out too, particularly for strategically important places like Hawaii. But if a group of people don't want to be Americans, I don't want them to be part of my country.

The really tricky part is deciding how big a region has to be before it can vote to leave. 3 people in a house shouldn't be able to vote to leave.

One thing the article on the movement for Hawaiian independence left out is the amount of support it gets from Hawaiians. I suspect it is not very much.