Bending the Rules?

Today in Xizhi District, New Taipei City, I came upon workers putting up flags. Here is one of them:

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Isn’t this interesting? I thought that campaign flags were supposed to be prohibited in New Taipei City right now. No other candidates have put any up, so why is this candidate daring to break the rules?

It looks to me like he is trying to pretend that these are not campaign flags. Instead, he is trying to pass these off as public service announcements. The banner on the right says, “Happy Birthday ROC.” Of course, if the point were to celebrate the Double Ten holiday, maybe they should have gone up two weeks ago. On the left side at the top, you have a picture of an MRT train and the slogan (roughly translated), “MRT, Just Do It.” I’m not sure what public service this is supposed to be or what it has to do with Double Ten day. At the bottom left, we are advised that free legal advice is available at the address listed. In the middle left, there is a big picture of incumbent mayor Eric Chu 朱立倫 with incumbent city council member Liao Cheng-liang 廖正良, both of whom are up for re-election in a few weeks. I think it might be important that Liao’s name is not printed anywhere they way it would be in a normal campaign flag. The only reason we know it is Liao is that his name is written on his shirt. See, no campaigning here!

This is a blatant flaunting of the rules. Perhaps Liao thinks he can get away with it because the city environmental department won’t take down banners with Chu’s face on them. This clearly puts Chu in the position of violating the rules for his own benefit or punishing his own ally. However, if those banners stay up and no one else is allowed to plant flags, this constitutes a clear abuse of power and an unfair advantage for Chu, Liao, and the KMT.

2 Responses to “Bending the Rules?”

  1. jsmyth Says:

    Speaking of Eric Chu, buses with his visage on them are coming through Zhongzheng (Taipei’s central district) constantly now, proclaiming his support for things like exercise and daycare centers. This isn’t his jurisdiction but it makes sense he’d do this: a lot of people who work in Taipei live (or are registered) in New Taipei, and all this positive name/face recognition will help him when he runs for President. His current status as the only big-city KMT candidate with a big lead and positive image is serving his national aspirations nicely.
    And I’m starting to see buses with Ko together with green legislators in Gongguan as well.

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