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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

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Ma Ying-jeou's survey dips to a new low

Presidency in limbo

According to a recent survey by the very pro-blue Global Views Magazine (遠見雜誌), Taiwan's president I-don't-mind-if-you-call-me-"Mr." Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is faring even worse than George W. Bush with an approval rating of 24.9 percent. That's quite an "accomplishment" having been in office for only four months!

I don't have a direct link to the Global Views survey [UPDATE: Here's the link (560KB PDF file) /UPDATE], but here are the headlines of some Chinese-language news stories reporting the results [translations mine]:
* 遠見民調/從政以來最低民調 馬英九施政滿意度僅24.9% (via NOWnews, which is part of the pro-blue ETTV)
Global Views survey / Lowest rating since taking office, Ma Ying-jeou administration approval rating only 24.9%

* 從政以來最低 馬英九民望僅24.9% (via Apple Action News, a division of the dubiously-motivated Apple Daily)
Lowest since taking office, only 24.9% have hope for Ma Ying-jeou

* 馬上任四月施政滿意度僅24.9% (via Hong Kong's Ta Kung Pao [大公報], regarded by some as a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party)
Ma in office four months, administration's approval rating only 24.9%

* 民調:馬英九獲從政來最差評價 64.5%民眾不滿意 (via China's official government "press agency," Xinhua [新华通讯社])
Survey: Ma Ying-jeou gets worst survey result since taking office, 64.5% of the people are dissatisfied

* 台刊民调:马英九上任4月施政满意度仅为24.9%
(via another Chinese government "agency" [read: mouthpiece], China News Service [中國新聞網 or 中新网])
Survey in Taiwan periodical: In office 4 months, approval rating of Ma Ying-jeou administration only 24.9%
Gee, I wonder how that could have happened...
This is clearly the result of Ma and his administration's damaging of Taiwan's sovereignty, their inability to live up to any of Ma's campaign promises, their mishandling of more than one typhoon, their slow, nonchalant, and inadequate reaction to the discovery of food products from China which contained potentially-fatal melamine, and their total failure to take responsibility for their own words and actions/inaction.

We're gonna get you, suckas!
Instead of responding to the opposition's reality-based attacks for all these things by changing tack, forming a new cabinet, or engaging in any introspection, they have decided instead to form a "counterattack squad." I wish I was kidding, but see for yourselves [translations mine]:
* 拒絕挨打 藍組反擊部隊 (via the pro-blue United Daily News [聯合報])
Refusing to take a beating, blues form counterattack squad

* 拒絕挨打、導正視聽 藍組“反擊部隊” (via the HK-based China Review News [中國評論新聞網])
Refusing to take a beating, countering the rumors, blues form "counterattack squad"
What they're saying is that they didn't do anything to cause such bad survey results and that it's all because the opposition -- meaning the DPP -- is spreading "rumors."

A brief history of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) "counterattacks"
For greater context, check out this nonsense from one year ago, from a source that could easily be called "an outlet for KMT propaganda" itself:
* Kuomintang tries counterattack on 'underground' radio stations (via the pro-unification China Post)
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The opposition Kuomintang, convinced that it lost the last presidential election in 2004 because of a rumor spread by underground radio stations, is launching a counterattack.

Wu Dun-yih, secretary-general of the Kuomintang, confirmed yesterday his party is asking "licensed" radio stations to air its propaganda.
And here's another more recent display of how the kind of propaganda they're talking about works:
Executives at supermarkets and wholesale stores said that some international food and beverage giants used to enjoy brisk sales here.

But their milk powder made in China under contract has now suffered steep drops, although they vouch for the quality and safety of their products.

Bakeries in Taipei said sales of their products have also become victims of the negative publicity about the tainted milk powder.
The bakeries using Chinese milk powder are the victims -- but not the consumers who may have unknowingly ingested a toxic chemical? The "negative publicity" is the problem -- not the fact that this toxic chemical made its way into Taiwan's food supply?

This propaganda portrays the situation as if it hadn't yet been determined whether or not this melamine problem even existed. It treats it as if all of the potentially-toxic products -- containing some of the 25 metric tons (at least) of milk powder and other affected products which are known to have been imported into Taiwan -- had already been tested thoroughly and deemed safe. And it makes it sound as if the customers were being "unreasonable" when they had a valid reason to be concerned about their safety.

Is KMT-led Taipei totally free of melamine-tainted food, as the article implies? With the amount that made it into the country, I think that remains to be seen.

I am concerned... for the people of Taiwan
Not that I have even half an iota of concern about what Ma could do to boost his ratings, but it's certainly not impossible for him to do so. I won't hold my breath waiting for him to make that happen, but unless there's some serious change, I can only imagine Ma's ratings plunging even further -- and not because of any so-called "rumors."

苦民所苦
Here's a recent photo of Ma feeling somebody's pain -- most likely his own:
Ma Ying-jeou feels Ma Ying-jeou's pain!
... and doing so while wearing a cap that says "ARG"! (out of view)
Ma's expression is the result of being scolded by a local official
-- from his own party! --
during a visit to Nantou several days after Typhoon Sinlaku had devastated the area.
(via the NOWnews article linked above)

Opposition rumors, my ass!

FURTHER READING (Lest we forget):
* Melamine was the chemical contaminant that was found in pet food produced in China in early 2007 and which "killed or sickened thousands of animals." Has anything changed?

* Pet Food Recall (Melamine)/Tainted Animal Feed
On March 15, 2007, FDA learned that certain pet foods were sickening and killing cats and dogs. FDA found contaminants in vegetable proteins imported into the United States from China and used as ingredients in pet food.
* Melamine in pet food may not be accidental
A nitrogen-rich chemical used to make plastic and sometimes as a fertilizer may have been deliberately added to an ingredient in pet food that has sickened and killed cats and dogs across the country, public and private officials say. A leading theory is that it was added to fake higher protein levels.

[...]

[...] "That melamine was found in all three of those, it would certainly lend credibility to the theory that this was intentional." [Stephen Sundlof, FDA chief veterinarian]
* Wikipedia: 2008 baby milk scandal

* Wikipedia: Food safety incidents in the People's Republic of China

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

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