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Saturday, March 22, 2008

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Ma Ying-jeou wins Taiwan presidency

Back to square one for Taiwan's democracy

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has won today's presidential election. The web site of Taiwan's Central Election Commission (CEC) says that Ma obtained 58.45% of the vote (7,658,724 votes), and that his only competitor, Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) of the DPP, got 41.55% (5,445,239 votes). With 17,321,603 eligible voters this time around, that gives a turnout of 75.65%, despite the good weather which defied forecasts all across Taiwan.

None of the "dirty tricks" the KMT claimed the DPP would pull came to be, including fires, accusations of sexual misconduct, assassination attempts, or surprise press conferences.

And since the KMT candidate won, there are no riots tonight like there were in 2004, which is about the only "positive" thing I have to say about this.

What's next?
A-gu (阿牛) has some good suggestions about changes the DPP needs to make. I'll save my own thoughts on this for later, but I think his suggestions are a good start.

In the meantime, there will obviously be a lot more fluffing of Ma Ying-jeou by the media, as indicated by this BBC profile of Ma whose first sentence begins, "The US-educated lawyer..."

Ma studied law, but he is not a lawyer because he never passed the bar exam.

Keep an eye out for articles in the English-language media which will say that Ma has "brought peace to Taiwan." As I hinted at above, the lack of pan-blue riots may seem "peaceful," but when pan-blue legislators come show up at your door doing "surprise inspections" or when you go through a "trial by pan-blue media," the feeling will be a bit different. Also, the kind of "peace" the media will be describing is that which comes from kowtowing to the bullies in Beijing who had no right to begin with to create the difficulties that have been faced by Taiwan.

By the way, how many of you readers would sell your vote -- and, therefore, your country and your freedom -- for NT$1,300 (~US$42.62), or even 1,000 times that amount? I really want to know.

Stubs: , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at It's Not Democracy, It's A Conspiracy!

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7 Comments:

At 10:34 PM, Blogger bw said...

Well it did turn out to be the predicted and polled landslide for Ma.

I think it will be good. 1% boost to GDP and boost to hotel and tourism industry by end of the this year and 2009.

Any peace deal with China and common market talks will take some years and will be out in the open

 
At 11:01 PM, Blogger D. Corey Sanderson said...

I'm from the US, so, sadly, I can't vote in the elections; however, a vote is something almost sacred, no amount of money should be able to buy it, nor could buy it from me.

That said, I think money did have more than a "vote buying affect", but also what was mentioned over at IslaFormosa: people in the north stay there, people in the south move. So, people from traditionally DPP voting areas (e.g. the south of Taiwan) have to go "long" distances (well, long for Taiwanese...I'd go from Pennsylvania to Kansas if I had to). Thus, they have to spend money on transportation, something which some of my friends in Taiwan were unwilling to do! People in Jinmen, Penghu, etc., are even more disadvantaged by this. Taiwan seriously needs to add some kind of absentee/proxy voting mechanism, as the current process leaves some people with few options.

Case in point, my girlfriend's Grandma couldn't vote because she is from Changhua and now lives with them in Jhonghe, so she obviously could not vote...completely unfair.

But, like you said, you won't see any riots because the DPP won't whine like crybabies over their legitimate loss...no matter how much they disagree with Ma. These next four years will be very telling of the KMT, I believe.

 
At 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No amount of excuse can explain the stunning defeat suffered by DDP. I was very angry and disappointed by the election result. After following passionately your blog for months leading up to 3/22, I really believed that we are going to have a victory over KMT. I felt being duped now. The bubble just bursted for us DDP supporters. It's sad, sad man~

 
At 4:01 PM, Blogger Iceman said...

I live in the US and boy, is the media here really fluffing up Ma.
Thanks for the clarification on his education and not-a-lawyer, I don't think the media here knows.
The only fair thing one said was that US Gov. would've been happy with either candidate.

I do think Tourism is one industry Taiwan should really boost not just to China but the world.

What sucks is that Hsieh/DPP might have similar ideas in working with China, but China would never work with them.

The common market is a very tricky strategy and I'm unsure if KMT or anyone really has the answer.

Well, KMT, the ball is your court.
Put up or shut the hell up.

 
At 6:14 AM, Blogger ph said...

Why should the margin of victory be such a surprise? When the DPP first won in 2000, it was because the vote was split three ways, with the DPP winning only a plurality of 40%. When Chen won the second time in 2004, his margin of victory was razor-thin.

As for low participation, although in the previous three presidential elections turnout was about 80%, this time it was 75%; that's still pretty decent, and even if the other five percent all voted for the DPP, it wouldn't have helped them win.

 
At 1:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the green media selectively report some of the truth and sometimes spreading things that were not true against KMT, isn't it?

well, i really pity those in the southern part as they are not as educated to receive the truth from the green media.

 
At 3:33 AM, Blogger Tim Maddog said...

Huh? 要不要用中文再說一次?挖攏看沒。

Tim Maddog

 

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