Lien parade and rally

Yesterday I went to Sean Lien’s parade and rally. I made a mistake and went to the finishing point in front of the presidential building rather than the starting point in front of the Taipei City government. There were rallies at both the beginning and end, but President Ma was at the first one and I also missed Sean Lien’s promise to rename the street in front of city hall from the completely innocuous and uncontroversial Shifu Rd 市府路 to the much more controversial and reactionary Jingguo Rd 經國路.

Anyway, I took lots of photos of the parade. Unfortunately, I am a lousy photographer and I have a cheap camera, so most of them came out blurry or had a flag waving in front of the thing I was trying to shoot. There should be a lot more pics since this was a very colorful event, but this is the best I could do.

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Of course, you have to start with an honor guard carrying the national flag.

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Followed soon after by the party flag. Check out the old guy in front with his arm straight out in front of him holding a flag. He was still high stepping after a couple of hours of marching like that. That guy must have been one tough sonofagun when he was younger.

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It was a pretty good crowd, and they were cheerful and upbeat.

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Sean Lien and his closest buddies. President Ma marched part of the way with Lien, but had gone elsewhere to campaign for other KMT candidates by this time.

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The ROC ID card is one of the symbols of the Lien campaign since Ko supposedly ripped his up.

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More happy marchers. This is the section mobilized by one of the KMT’s city council candidates. Most sections were mobilized by one group or another, and it was interesting to see the different groups in Lien’s coalition. As you might expect, they were mostly the diehard KMT groups.

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The god San Taizi 三太子 supports Lien. (Mrs. Garlic jokes sarcastically, of course he does. He and Sean Lien are both from the Princeling Party 太子黨!)

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Frozen Garlic! Frozen Garlic!

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The Lien support organization from the tourism sector. Another reason I should have set up at the beginning of the march rather than at the end of the march is that I didn’t realize it would get dark before the parade finished.

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From the Hakka group. These ladies were colorful even in bad lighting.SAM_5736

The parade kept going and going. There were a lot of enthusiastic people involved.

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Here comes the New Party contingent.

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The sign in the middle urges support for a free trade agreement. The sign on the left is especially interesting. “Will we sign an FTA? Taiwan waits for Tsai Ing-wen.” The Lien campaign has hit hard on the idea that the recent Korea-China FTA will put Taiwan at a major economic disadvantage. Note how the Lien campaign has repackaged the issue. They used the term FTA — there is no proposed “FTA” between Taiwan and China — instead of the far less popular Service Trade Agreement. Also, the “FTA” appears stalled because of Tsai Ing-wen even though the KMT holds the presidency and a majority in the legislature. Of course, Speaker Wang and the elder Lien are close political allies, so it wouldn’t do to copy President Ma and blame Speaker Wang (or internal KMT divisions) for the lack of legislative action.

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I left the parade before it was finished to go listen to the rally. I got there just as Sean Lien started speaking. The theme of the parade was “support to the end 廷到底,” and this encapsulated the rally pretty well, though it might have been even more appropriate to say, “support to the bitter end.” These were the true believers who were not about to abandon a KMT candidate. They didn’t seem angry or defensive to me, it was more that they were trying to encourage one of their own when the rest of the world seemed only to jeer at him.

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Lien poured his heart out to the crowd, complaining of internet bullying and other unfair treatment he has suffered, and the crowd responded warmly. “We still love you, Sean Lien!”

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The embattled reaffirm their faith.

4 Responses to “Lien parade and rally”

  1. Mark S. Says:

    Of course, you have to start with an honor guard carrying the national flag.
    —-
    Um, are those active-duty military personnel at a campaign event?

  2. Brido Says:

    On the FTA issue, the key is in the wording. The ECFA proposals are for a bilateral FTA-in-all-but-name (of which the STA is a part) and the reasons for it not being an FTA-in-name are purely political. It’s pretty essential for Taiwan’s economy to get an FTA deal signed with PRC since Korea and Taiwan’s trades with PRC overlap by something like 60% and there’s a 70-odd% overlap in trade structures.

    Not signing up is tantamount to saying, “We don’t want you to buy our stuff.” Economic suicide, in other words.

    • ジェームス (@jmstwn) Says:

      Could you provide more evidence it would be suicidal? The WSJ wrote, “if the deal goes through as expected, roughly 2% to 5% of all of Taiwan’s exports to China could be replaced by South Korean products, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs.” And the MOEA is not neutral on this. That would be 1-2% of Taiwan’s exports–surely Taiwan can afford to lose that?

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