Saturday, April 07, 2018

Election begins to heat up

A lovely day at Sanxiantai near Chenggong

Lots of talk floating around, but the very long scuttlebutt on 2020 is that everyone who works with DPP Administration is saying the same thing: the DPPers are inferior in performance to the KMT appointees, and many of them got their positions through connections instead of merit. Even after you apply the usual discount because the conventional wisdom is pro-KMT, it remains unsettling. That assertion may/not be true, but the fact that it is consistently said, including by very sharp and experienced lifelong DPP supporters I know, is ominous. There's already talk that Tsai will not run in 2020, hence the appointment of William Lai as Premier. It's all talk now... but still...

Looking to 2018, things are firming up in New Taipei City (below). But the DPP and KMT are running neck and neck in Taichung right now according to my man Donovan. That means that current DPP Mayor Lin Jia-lung has blown a 20 point win and tons of goodwill in a short two years, and if he loses, should be put out to pasture in some harmless post somewhere, preferably an orbital station off Jupiter. Too bad they can't clone Chen Chu.... but as has been rumored for weeks, she is heading off to head the Presidential Office.

Also in play is Changhua, says Donovan, who is ICRT's central Taiwan news guy. It's the largest non-city in Taiwan and a key industrial production center. The DPP will have to fight to keep it. The midterm election is going to be brutal for the DPP if they don't turn things around in a hurry. But if there is one thing this administration can't do, it is do things in a hurry.

In New Taipei City the KMT has settled on Hou You-yi:
Although the KMT decided not to reveal the poll numbers, a party source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Hou defeated Chou by nearly 20 percent and enjoyed a near 20 percent lead over former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) in a hypothetical scenario in which Su represented the DPP in the mayoral race.
The anonymous speaker is probably exaggerating Hou's popularity, but Hou will be a popular choice -- his various issues, such as accusations of cooperating with organized crime from his police officer days will not hurt him, indeed they might help. New Taipei City is filled with old soldiers, has a solid KMT base, and the KMT will benefit from the rebound against the DPP in 2018. The DPP wants former Taipei County (New Taipei City) chief Su Tseng-chang to run against Hou. Su is an experienced campaigner and the DPP says he is neck and neck with Hou (also an exaggeration), but he's done this before and is getting old.

BOTSTORM: A couple of weeks ago a storm of bots began following a number of individuals who are pro-Taiwan posters and tweeters (and others with Asian interests opposed to CCP positions. These mysterious bots simply appeared as extra followers but otherwise did nothing. Aaron Wytze's latest tweet shows that they have evolved and are now posting  pro-CCP news. Twitter had been deleting them religiously, but there were too many. I have not been followed by them so far.
Daily Links
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!

No comments: