I’m so far behind in writing for this blog. I have three or four topics backed up in my head, and I can’t find time to write them down. Today, a couple of quick comments on the VP nominations.
I previously wrote a meandering, unenthusiastic post about the DPP’s choice. To me, Chen is an acceptable but hardly inspiring choice. It turns out that the DPP probably did the best of the three parties.
The KMT’s choice of Wang Ju-hsuan seems to be going very badly. She is supposed to represent progressive women’s and labor constituencies, but they don’t seem very enamored of her. Labor seems particularly unhappy, and that has been exacerbated by the failure of the KMT to put a labor representative in a safe spot on their party list. However, the real problem is that she seems to have all kinds of unsavory allegations flying around her. (I keep thinking of Pigpen, from the Charlie Brown cartoons, who always had a cloud of dust and bugs swirling around him.) She has an answer for all of them, and she insists that everything is technically legal. However, technically legal isn’t the minimum standard expected of a politician. We generally want to put decent, honest people in office, not people who are smart enough to extract maximum personal benefit while remaining technically legal. Mitt Romney’s line, “I pay all the taxes I owe to the government and not a penny more” is great for a tax lawyer, but we expect our democratic representatives to have a sense of civic community. Four years ago, the DPP nominated Su Chia-chuan and his technically legal farmhouse. This year, the KMT is the side suffering the PR hit.
At first, I thought that Soong’s choice of MKT chair Hsu Hsin-ying was brilliant. By allying the two main non-KMT blue parties, the PFP-MKT alliance would set itself up as the logical landing spot for all the disaffected blue voters. This would establish them as a credible party for this election, and it would also set them up as a big, powerful block for the coming post-election bloodbath/shakeout/reshuffling on the blue side. The PFP has Soong and a block of voters. The MKT has money and a different block of supporters. This was a great alliance.
There is just one problem. They aren’t cooperating on the party lists. They are cooperating in the presidential race, and they are trying to coordinate district races so they don’t compete with one another. However, they will each have their own party list. This is the most important arena for these two parties, and they aren’t cooperating! What they hell are they thinking? In fact, by cooperating everywhere else, they are sending a message to their supporters that they are allies and those supporters should try to ensure that both of them are successful. In other words, they are effectively telling their voters to split party list votes between the two lists. Whereas before the announcement it seemed that the PFP had a chance to break the crucial 5% threshold and the MKT might only get 2-3%, now it is easy to envision them both getting 4% and wasting all their party list votes. This is lunacy! By not coordinating on the most important point, they are negating all the potential benefits of cooperating. In fact, they are probably wors