Taiwan: The Bottle Is Half Full or Half Empty?

There was an election yesterday in Da-An district (Taipei – TAIWAN) in the wake of former KMT legislator Diane Lee’s resignation in January over a dual-citizenship controversy (According facts mentioned in newspapers, she hold a dual citizenship – American/Taiwanese, which is illegal and she got taxpayers money during 14 years).

We could think that voters will start to react, following:

  • * Incredible promises from the actual President during his campaign
  • * The way the party of Diane Lee reacted, leading people to believe that it was protecting her
  • * The story about Kuo (see my previous posts) and his unbelievable words about Taiwan and Taiwanese (he was still representing Taiwan administration in Canada)
  • * The fact that he was fired not because his writings, but because his behavior when he faced his superiors
  • * The fact that it took half month for the president, to condemn Kuo’s behavior (maybe the election pushed the president to finally say something?)
  • * The speech of the president lauding the “Taiwanese miracle” before referring to Taiwanese as “descendants of the Yen and Yellow emperors”… Oh yes?
  • * Just name it…

In fact, the result is (CNA):


Chiang garnered 46,065 ballots or 48.91 percent of the vote, against Chou’s 36,465, or 38.72 percent of the total, among the 94,186 valid votes cast, representing a turnout rate of 39.12 percent


KMT got more than 26% compared to the DPP ballots…

DPP could still say that it obtained more than what it got in previous elections in that district.

But the reality is crystal clear…

And Taiwanese still believe that Taiwan will remain Taiwan?

NO. Or maybe (?)

And Taiwanese can learn?

NO. Or maybe (?)

I remember what a former French President, Charles De Gaule, said about French:

” Les Français sont des veaux”

What would he say here?

Anyway, give bread and games and people will be happy, right?

So, the bottle is half full because DPP got more than in the past or the bottle is half empty because KMT still won elections?

What do you think?


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Taiwan: Political Marketing?

Usually, political campaign ads are quite boring everywhere, including in Taiwan… until I read the today Taipei Times and saw that picture:


Yes, it’s HULK!

“The Democratic Progressive Party’s Lin Shui-shan, who is planning to run for a seat as Taipei County councilor, is portrayed as The Hulk in a campaign ad in Taipei County yesterday.”

Can you believe that?

As you know (or maybe not), this party (DPP) is called the “green party” (nothing to do with ecology).

This candidate could choose something different, such as the “Green Giant” (you now, the vegetable brand…) but no, he chose HULK…

Do I need to add something more?

Let’s show some mercy to this candidate…



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Taiwan: Campaign Funds

Dark day for Taiwan…

Not because the Taiwanese baseball team lost against the Chinese team (by the way, how come? The Chinese team was qualified because it belongs to the country which organized the Olympic Games, but I never heard that it was a “top team”… Maybe the Taiwanese team was too confident?)

My point now is about the story concerning the former president of Taiwan: Chen Shui-bian.

The DPP’s motto was something like “fight against corruption”…

And what do we have now?

The former president apologized for the disgrace he has brought to the party by mismanaging campaign funds.


20 million of American dollars (or 30 according the sources) were wired to foreign accounts, using (at least?) the name of his son and his daughter in law.

During his press conference (same day that the news came out, letting the people know that the Swiss government asked explanations about a possible money laundering case – so he had no choice…), the former president acknowledged he did not declared according the law, his campaign funds he received between 1993 and 2004.

Sure, under campaign laws, candidates are required to report all campaign spending, but they were not required to report all political donations until the passage of the Political Contributions Act in 2004.

But anyway, I still do not understand.

Firstly, he said that it wasn’t him but his wife who wired the money.

Secondly, he said he didn’t know until early this year.

Thirdly, when he learnt it (by the way how did he learnt it? His wife told him during the breakfast “Oh by the way, honey, I wired a while ago your campaign funds?”), he decided to use the fund for Taiwan diplomacy…

Frankly speaking, do you think that it is easy to believe?

Beside, he accused the previous presidents and the actual one of doing the same in the past.

Prosecutors are now investigating this case. I do not think they will do the same about the former presidents and the actual one.

Anyway, even if the former KMT presidents and the actual one did the same, I have one question:

Is it a reason to do the same?

My answer is definitely, no.

But I have more questions:

1 – I don’t know the Taiwanese laws and regulations about this subject. But how come public campaign funds are in control by the candidate?

2 – How come the wife of the candidate has the signature of the bank account?

3 – How come the former president was not aware that the bank accounts were closed?

4 – If public donations for election are really the full property of the candidate, in that case, something is wrong about the law.

5 – How come the Swiss Taiwan Office needed one month to deliver to the Taiwanese authorities the request from the Swiss government?

What do you think?


Obama and The New Yorker

On the cover of their July 21st issue of The New Yorker Magazine, a highly controversial cartoon featuring Barack Obama dressed in foreign clothes, and his wife Michelle Obama dressed as a militant radical, both celebrating with their much publicized fist bump in the Oval Office, all in front of a portrait of Osama bin Ladan.

If that is not enough, there is an American flag burning in the fireplace.

This cartoon aparantly was supposed to be a “satirical lampoon of the caricature Senator Obama’s right wing critics have tried to create”

Sure, it is a sort of humor…

Not too far?



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Both U.N. Bid Referendums Vetoed

Two referendums took place yesterday alongside the presidential election.

While the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) had proposed a referendum on joining the UN using the name “Taiwan,” the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) initiated its own, asking the nation whether it should seek to “rejoin” the international body using the name “Republic of China” or any other “practical” title that would uphold the country’s dignity.

In Taiwan, the Referendum Law states that two thresholds needed to be attained for a referendum to be valid.

First, more than 50 percent of eligible voters need to cast a referendum ballot, and second, of the valid votes, 50 percent of the voters need to respond in the affirmative to the referendum question.

By law a failed referendum question cannot be asked again for a period of three years, so this subject will be out from the front pages for a while…

The controversial referendums on Taiwan’s quest for U.N. membership failed to pass the legal threshold Saturday, marking yet another blow to the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration.

A total of 6,201,677 voters, or 35.82 percent of the electorate, took part in the DPP-initiated referendum asking voters whether Taiwan should join the United Nations under the name “Taiwan.”

The figure fell far short of the minimum 50 percent needed for the referendum to be counted valid.

Among those who cast their ballots, 5,529,230 voted affirmatively while 352,359 cast “no” votes. The remaining 320,088 ballots cast were invalid.

As for the main opposition KMT-initiated referendum on rejoining the United Nations under Taiwan’s official title “Republic of China, ” “Taiwan, ” or any other suitable name, the participation rate was slightly lower at 35.74 percent.

Among the voters, 4,962,309 cast affirmative ballots, compared to 724,060 who voted “no.” An additional 500,749 ballots were invalid.

The two referendums were doomed from the beginning in part because of the extremely high legal threshold they had to meet. The initiatives were also seen as political ploys that had little relevance for Taiwan’s U.N. membership bid.

Taiwan, as the Republic of China, lost its U.N. seat to the People’s Republic of China in 1971, and has made unsuccessful bids annually to rejoin the body since 1993.

As expected, neither of the two UN referendums passed. This must not be interpreted as meaning that Taiwanese do not want UN membership.

Rather, the referendums were sacrificed because they had been overly politicized and manipulated by both the DPP and the KMT.

The fact that six consecutive referendums have failed to pass in the past four years probably means that similar referendums are unlikely to be held again in the foreseeable future.

The New President in Taiwan: M. MA

The KMT sweep back into power after eight years in opposition with an overwhelming victory in yesterday’s fourth direct election for president.

Voting, which took place between 8am and 4pm, was peaceful, with no reports of clashes at the 14,401 polling stations across the nation. And no report of any problem the following day (today), not like in the past…

A total of 13,221,609 people voted in the election, a turnout of 76.33 percent (quite a high figure) of the 17,321,622 registered voters. There were 117,646 invalid votes.

The KMT ticket won 7,658,724 votes, or 58.45 percent of the ballots, with the DPP pair garnering 5,445,239 votes, or 41.55 percent.

The CEC announced the official results at 9.30pm.

Ma will formally take over on May 20, when President Chen Shui-bian steps down upon completing his second term in office.

In more direct language, the electorate rejected the DPP’s campaign and reverted to the approximate 60-40 pan-blue/pan-green split of the 2000 election.

That is, the 10 percent of voters that the DPP stole from the KMT in 2004 have returned to the fold.

After a trying eight-year experience with a divided government, Taiwanese have chosen a unified government led by the KMT.

Let’s see what will happen and let’s hope for the best.

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