The TSU: We’re back, baby!

So apparently, the Taiwan Solidarity Union still exists. Who knew! I learned of their continuing existence because they published a half page ad in the Liberty Times yesterday. This has to be my favorite ad in several years. I’m not quite sure why it tickles me so much. Do they understand how crazy it is to publish a voting guide for strategic voting five months before the election? We don’t even know who the contestants will be yet. And look at how they have helpfully defined all the other political parties in various far-fetched ways! And their totally unrealistic policy proposals! Did anyone tell them that there is a range of enormous mountains on the island or a big body of water next to it? Even though this ad is half bonkers, the other half is somehow extremely informative.

Here’s the ad:

The top line reads, “unity in the green camp, but differences on the party vote.” On the left side, the red font reads, “if you support these policies, vote for these parties.” The logos are for the DPP, NPP, Taiwan State Building Party, and Social Democrats. Their respective policies are abolishing the death penalty, raising the minimum wage and applying labor laws to foreign workers, huge increases in tobacco taxes, protecting Taiwan’s sovereignty, and not amending the constitution to formally change the name of the country. On the bottom left, they have the logos for the two new radical independence parties, the Formosa Alliance and the Taiwan Action Party Alliance. People who oppose Tsai Ing-wen are encouraged to vote for those two parties. On the right side it lists the TSU’s positions:

  • Protecting Taiwan’s sovereignty by amending the constitution to change the name
  • opposing recent revisions to the labor standards law (concerning consecutive working days or mandatory two-day weekends; also, they think it should only set a maximum number of working hours everything else should be left to negotiations between labor and capital)
  • opposing abolishing the death penalty
  • applying different standard to Taiwanese and foreign labor (NT30,000 minimum wage for Taiwanese labor, NT8,000 minimum wage for foreign labor, you must hire one Taiwanese worker for every four foreign workers, this cuts the price of labor in half!)
  • oppose huge increases in the tobacco tax
  • allow and encourage automobile racing, light aircraft, and coastal and canal yachts
  • development projects for the west coast
    • bridge between Taiwan and Penghu (next to the bridge, there will be large-scale enclosed aquaculture, under the bridge will be tidal power generation, next to the bridge wind power generation
    • east-west rail line from the east coast to Yunlin and Chiayi to Penghu
    • 80km artificial island off the west coast (Changhua to Tainan), upper layer for wind power, forested lower layer to help reduce air pollution
    • Canal on the Changhua to Tainan coast for yachting and waterside residences

To top it all off, the orange box at the bottom sneers, “You don’t care about policies? Your vote is a worthless fart! Cast your party for the TSU; the communist bandits will shit their pants.”


I wonder who has an investment interest in auto racing and/or yachts. Those are flat-out weird. Also, they are entirely focused on southern Taiwan. There is no mention of the north, and the only mention of the east is the bananas idea to run a railroad straight through the Central Mountain range to Hualien. I also love the idea of building wind turbines in a forested area. Have they never noticed that all the vegetation around the base of a wind turbine is always removed? I dunno, maybe these guys aren’t exactly world-class civil engineers.

Yet, this ad does say something substantive. First, the TSU is clearly defining themselves as a conservative, Taiwan nationalist party. Never mind all the progressive stuff that the NPP and Social Democrats are pushing, they think the DPP’s economic policies are basically socialist! Second, they are differentiating themselves from the two new radical independence parties by supporting Tsai Ing-wen. They think everyone in the green camp should vote for her (including supporters of those two parties, but they aren’t asking for party votes from people who oppose her.

But let’s not let actual information distract us too much from the main message: The TSU is batshit zany. They are throwing down a marker to all the other small green camp parties: we dare you to try to match our superficially reasonable but utterly delusional ideas. We are the craziest motherfuckers in this polity, so stay off our turf. (Especially the turf on the magical artificial island next to the impossible bridge!)

5 Responses to “The TSU: We’re back, baby!”

  1. Hermann Halbeisen Says:

    Excellent peace, Nathan, but don’t get too excited about it!



  2. Rev. Michael Stainton Says:

    Oh you wicked man. How can you call such bold creative and original ideas crazy. I like the Bridge to Penghu. Then it can link up with the bridge to China.

  3. Kaifu Wu (@scrungew00t) Says:

    They also put the hi-res version on their FB page:

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