How'd the KMT win? What's next? WTF?
They got high with a little help from their friends
In startling contrast to my predictions that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) was desperate in the runup to Saturday's legislative election, they won a 2/3 majority.
However, in line with my aforementioned predictions, DPP votes were much higher than the numbers promoted in those pan-blue polls. Let's take a look at the helping hands that lifted the KMT to this win.
First of all was the new system which was rigged in the KMT's favor with its "winner takes all" setup assuring 8 seats in Taipei City alone. Even without all the other problems, the new system alone may have done the DPP in.
As for the polls, ESWN's Roland Soong says that calling them "pan-blue" is just an excuse (actual quote: "contemptuously dismissed as 'pan-blue' polls"), but Michael Turton does the actual analysis which self-described pollster Soong should have provided. Turton's pulling back of the curtain shows that even though the KMT numbers were right, the DPP figures Turton analyzed showed that the polls were off by as much as 75% regarding that side of the political divide. He also shows how even though the total number of DPP votes increased over those of 2001 and 2004, fewer seats were gotten due to the new system.
Clever Claire's own analysis of the numbers focuses on those same figures and tells us that "KMT gets 53.5% of the votes but obtained 77.22% of the seats, while [the] DPP's 38.17% [of the] votes gets them only 16.46% [of the] seats."
Low voter turnout (less than 57%) looks like a very important (if partial) factor here. Ya think those distorted pan-blue polls might've discouraged a bunch of DPP voters from going to the polls?
Then there's the issue of voter intimidation -- even by one's parents! My wife's father returned from the polling place before voting and "reminded" her (because one of the KMT's "observers"/henchmen saw him carrying his notification slip for the referendum) not to take the yellow notification slip with her. Of course she responded, "That's none of your business." But the fact that there were two slips and that they were different colors sure made it easy for the "observers"/henchmen.
Kinda makes those KMT cries of "The DPP-controlled CEC is repressing us!" fall flat, eh?
My wife and her sister both witnessed these "observers"/henchmen telling people outside the polling station where she voted "Don't vote for the referendum" as uniformed police officers stood by doing nothing.
The KMT aired their fake ads to the very end. Even after several fakes were discovered in their earlier ads, another guy pretending in their ads to be poor was discovered to have two children studying in Canada.
Vote buying was also a serious problem. Despite it being known about by everyone already, the evidence brought it even further out of the shadows this time around. Still, that wasn't good enough -- unless some of those cases turn some election results around. Don't know how probable that might be, however.
The help continues
As long-time observers would expect, the very non-neutral international media used this opportunity to kick their incessant distortion of Taiwan into high gear.
A BBC article on the outcome which quotes "China analyst" Shirong Chen refers to the KMT in their headline as "Taiwan nationalists," not only leaving the "Chinese" part off their full name, but getting it completely backwards. A different BBC article reveals that Shirong Chen is, in fact, their China editor. What else would one expect from the Beeb?
Echoing the meme, an Associated Press piece mirrored on CNN and under a different headline in the New York Times (probably in hundreds of other places as well) calls the KMT "Taiwan's opposition Nationalist Party." Ugh!
What the DPP did wrong
* They allowed five of the "11 bandits" (11寇) to represent them. Did that get them any of those so-called "swing votes"? Nope.
* They allowed (by drawing lots, for cryin' out loud!) the gerrymandering of voting districts which gave them fewer seats even with more votes. And some people call that "greedy"?
* They didn't properly handle transitional justice or the redshirts or James Soong's threats or the constant flow of slander from the pan-blue media or so much more.
What can be done now?
* Gladly remember, as Hai Tien at the Bala Daily (巴樂日報) reminds us, "that we're not the ones who respond to losing an election by crashing trucks into government buildings, inciting riots, and throwing rule of law out the window."
* Turn off the pan-blue media -- unless you're going to spend the time to point out their contradictions a la Media Matters for America -- and encourage others to do the same.
* Brush up on the kinds of logical fallacies you will experience when dealing with KMT supporters so you'll know how to deal with them.
* If you have that right, get out and vote on March 22, 2008. Even if you don't have that right, you can encourage others to do so. Help others wake up in the meantime. Get a blog, comment on others' blogs, upload videos to YouTube, do everything in your power as a human being. It won't work with everybody, but I have singlehandedly gotten people to take off their blinders and switch their votes from the KMT to the DPP before. Have you even tried? Do you give up easily? Do you expect it to happen all by itself?
* The editorial in Sunday's Taipei Times has some thoughts about how to turn things around in the next  days.
* Brainstorm in the comments section. Pro-democracy comments are what I'm looking for. If you're anti-democracy, feel free to reveal your true colors as well.
* Sunday's Taipei Times has a PDF file that can be downloaded showing the results of the election on a huge map, Taipei City and Kaohsiung City are shown in a smaller image along with legislators at large and aboriginal seats, votes by party are a bit more visible, and a graphic comparison of the 2004 and 2008 legislatures is also available.
* The Liberty Times (自由時報) has separate pages (zh) showing vote counts for all the legislative races, votes per political party, and votes for the two referendums.
* Read about the BBC's anti-Taiwan bias as previously covered at It's Not Democracy, It's A Conspiracy and Taiwan Matters:
1) BBC gets Taiwan all wrong* In order to get a feel for how much of the international media constantly brainwashes the world with Chinese propaganda about Taiwan, take a look at my collections of examples of some of the more common memes they use:
2) BBC angers all who care about Taiwan
3) BBC still not getting Taiwan right
4) BBC continues Taiwan deception
5) BBC strikes again
6) BBC Taiwan Coverage: Pathetically Biased
7) BBC cooks up more nonsense about Chen recall bid
8) Who will observe the Taiwan observers?
9) BBC has news about Taiwan totally backwards
10) Another distortion piece from the BBC
1) Memes: Taiwan provoke China (22 items awaiting addition)* Watch Talking Show (大話新聞) every night from 8:55 - 10:55 PM on SETN or catch the online version at your convenience via the TaiwanUS.net web site.
2) Memes: Taiwan "renegade province" (35 items awaiting addition)
3) Memes: [Taiwan and China] "split in 1949" (42 items awaiting addition)
* Check out some of the blogs in the sidebar.
Lessons to be learned: Taiwan, 台灣, 2008 legislative election, 2008 立委選舉, 2008 立法委員選舉
Cross-posted at It's Not Democracy, It's A Conspiracy!