On Saturday evening, I went to Changhua to watch the DPP’s rally to open Tsai’s county campaign headquarters. It seems I’m not going to get around to writing a full post on that event, but, truth be told, it wasn’t that interesting anyway. There is, however, one little thing that I stumbled upon that I thought I’d share.
The DPP needs to win at least three of the four legislative districts in Changhua, and most people seem to assume that Changhua 2 is more likely than Changhua 1 to turn green. This is a little unexpected because Changhua 2 has historically been the bluest of the four districts. However, it isn’t a total shock. The matchup in Changhua 1 seems to pit a particularly strong KMT incumbent against a particularly weak DPP challenger. (I can’t recall the last time I heard a stump speaker talk about “the left” and “the right” as if those were important ideas in Taiwan. And this was rural Changhua, not exactly the place where you’d expect to find a militant class consciousness.) At any rate, it’s interesting to me that the DPP seems to have its sights set squarely on Changhua 2.
The KMT incumbent in Changhua 2 is Lin Tsang-min 林滄敏, who ran and lost for county magistrate last year.
He is opposed by the DPP’s Huang Hsiu-fang 黃秀芳, a county councilor. (After the rally, Mrs. Garlic suggested that Huang was a particularly impressive speaker and might be someone to watch out for in the future. Since Huang was speaking in Taiwanese, I really couldn’t judge for myself.)
There is also a MKT candidate.
But the weirdest thing was that we kept running into these flags for the Labour Party 勞工黨 (not to be confused with the Labor Party 工黨 or Workers Party 勞動黨 of the 1980s and 1990s).
This Labour Party seemed to be pretty well funded and organized here in Changhua City. Was the DPP candidate from neighboring Changhua 1 onto something when he spoke of the left and the right?
You’ll note that the Labor Party flag doesn’t have any names on it. In fact, the Labour Party is not running a party list, and they only have one district candidate. Of course, that candidate is running in Changhua 2. His name is Wen Kuo-ming 溫國銘. That name kept nagging at me this weekend. I knew it sounded familiar. And then I figured it out. I blogged about Wen four years ago. He used to be mayor of Changhua City, and his brother Chen Chieh 陳杰 was a KMT legislator. Four years ago, they lost the KMT district nomination fight and were then left off the KMT party list. I had’t heard of either one since then until Wen popped up as a candidate.
My guess is that Wen and Chen are exacting a measure of revenge for being sent into the political wilderness four years ago. They probably have no illusions of winning, but they might intend to soak up 5,000-10,000 votes and prevent Lin Tsang-min from winning re-election.