Posts Tagged ‘Huang Zhaoshun’

why is Xu Tiancai stalling?

August 22, 2010

A few weeks ago, it was widely expected that Xu Tiancai 許添財 would follow Yang Qiuxing’s 楊秋興 lead and launch an independent bid for Tainan Mayor.  He has instead postponed making an announcement again and again, to the point that it is starting to look doubtful that he actually will run.  So while I don’t know what Xu will eventually decide, I’d like to address the reasons that this is not an easy decision for him.  Why is Tainan different from Kaohsiung?  Why not run?

Let’s start with the parallels.  In both Tainan and Kaohsiung, the DPP is expected to easily win a two-way race.  Both are in the south, both have been governed by the DPP for over a decade, and both featured divisive primaries in which a two-term incumbent executive lost.  From the Taipei-centric vantage point that most observers share, they are almost identical.

Of course, they are actually quite different.  Kaohsiung is much more urbanized and industrial.  Tainan is much more rural.  The urban areas are less urbanized and make up a smaller percentage of the total population than the corresponding urban areas in Kaohsiung.  In contrast, the “rural”[i] towns in Tainan are smaller, more rural, more farming, have lower education levels, and have less population mobility.  Tainan is much more homogenously Min-nan.  Kaohsiung, by contrast, has significant populations of mainlanders (including many affiliated with the military), Hakkas, and aborigines.  Politically, the current Tainan County is overwhelmingly pro-DPP, Tainan City and Kaohsiung County are moderately pro-DPP, and Kaohsiung City is about even.  As such, the new Tainan City is much more solidly pro-DPP than the new Kaohsiung City.

The races, as revealed in the polls, are shaping up differently, too.  In Kaohsiung, the KMT candidate is stunningly weak.  The KMT should be able to muster a decent showing there; I’d say that any respectable KMT candidate should be able to defend 40% of the vote.  Huang Zhaoshun’s黃昭順 polls (below 15%) suggest that she is far, far below that number.  In Tainan, the KMT candidate is doing much better.  Guo Tiancai 郭添財got 19% in a recent poll.  Since the KMT base is smaller, with a minimally acceptable target being perhaps 35%, Guo is much closer to respectable among the KMT electorate.  From Hsu Tiancai’s point of view, this difference is critical.  Yang’s strategy in Kaohsiung is to raid the KMT’s pot of votes; the KMT pot in Tainan is (a) much smaller and (b) less vulnerable.  Moreover, while Yang is clearly in second place in Kaohsiung, the polls in Tianan show Xu to only be tied with Guo for second place.  In other words, while Yang can tell KMT voters that he is the only viable option to defeat the DPP, Xu can’t quite make that argument.  In fact, he has to worry about that argument being used against him.

Organizationally, Xu is not in as good of shape as Yang.  Xu has wavered for so long about whether he will run that potential allies have already drifted over to the DPP candidate.  Of course, his inner circle is still there, but the next layer of the campaign team might have to be rebuilt significantly.  With only three months to go, that is a daunting task.  Financially, Yang is probably also in better shape.  A recent magazine cover featured Yang’s five most important backers.  Two were very rich.  One was Terry Gou, the richest person in Taiwan.  (Increased reliance on this connection might also have something to do with Yang’s recent epiphany about the benefits of closer economic relations with China.)  Xu Tiancai probably doesn’t have these kinds of financial resources to draw on.  Tainan, after all, isn’t quite the economic powerhouse that Kaohsiung is.

We also have to think about the former president.  Xu has been very close to Chen Shuibian since the early 1990s, when Xu was one of the core members of Chen’s Justice faction within the DPP.  Chen sent out very strong and clear signals during the primary that Xu was his preferred candidate.  While that wasn’t enough to win the primary, Chen is still a major pillar of support for Xu.  This is another reason that Yang’s strategy of raiding KMT votes won’t work for Xu.  There is far too much animosity among KMT supporters toward Chen to ever think of building a coalition encompassing both.  Xu would have to run on the other side of the DPP, positioning himself as the candidate most wary of China (or as the candidate who “loves Taiwan” the most).  There might be enough voters in that part of the spectrum in Tainan for a viable campaign, but it’s not obvious that these voters, presumably the most anti-KMT crowd, would be willing to inflict such a blow on the DPP.   At any rate, Xu is looking at a very different type of campaign than Yang.

On the other hand, running this sort of campaign wouldn’t necessarily imply political suicide for him the way it does for Yang.  Xu would still be on the same side of the political cleavage.  While Yang is burning all his bridges to his former DPP supporters, Xu would still look to them like someone who is still “right” on the big issues, if somewhat misguided in how to get there.

If Xu did run, Yang’s presence might work against both of them.  Xu would be trying to label the DPP as wishy-washy moderates, while Yang would be trying to paint them as extreme ideologues.  They might both fail.

In sum, Xu might still decide to run, but his calculus is very different from Yang’s and there are very good reasons for his caution.

[i] Personally, I think it’s crazy to consider any township with a population density less than 1000 people/kmt2 or a population of less than 50,000 people to be “rural.” To me, there is very little in Taiwan that is actually rural, but that’s obviously subjective.

Yang’s decision

August 10, 2010

Yang Qiuxing 楊秋興formally announced that he will run for Kaohsiung mayor yesterday.  I’ve been meaning to write about his choices for a while, so this seems to be a good time to do it.

First, I think this is going to be a disaster for Yang.  I’ll get into the reasons that I don’t think he has much chance at all of winning later in this post, but let me just start off by stating that I think he is committing political suicide.  I wonder if he is suffering from lack of a competent consigliore.  Every politician needs a wise older person to tell him or her bad news.  Younger staffers often don’t have the experience to figure these things out, and they also don’t have the independent standing to deliver bad news.  If you are young and dependent on the politician for your own future, you have to hesitate to give too much bad news.  An older person who has already made their reputation doesn’t have to be worried so much about being kicked to the curb.  Given that all politicians overrate their chances to win (since most voters they meet in the market are either enthusiastic supporters or polite enough to fake support or at least keep quiet), they need someone who can throw cold water on them.  I’m wondering if Yang is lacking that person.  And let’s be clear: if Yang is, in fact, almost certain to lose this race, he is not doing anyone a favor by running.  He could serve his constituents and his own career far better by waiting for another opportunity which, given his record, almost certainly would be forthcoming.  By running, he makes himself persona-non-grata to the DPP and an untrustworthy political speculator to the KMT.  His career ends here.

If this is such a terrible mistake, why is Yang running?  I think there are two reasons.  First, he thinks he was unfairly treated during the primary.  Second, he thinks he might be able to win by co-opting KMT voters.

Yang has complained quite a bit about Chen Ju’s 陳菊behavior during the primary.  He thinks her campaign was playing dirty tricks by spying on and putting pressure on his supporters.  He has also made remarks since the end of the campaign about how she is allowing him no breathing space at all, which I interpret as an indication that he believes that she is still employing dirty tricks.

I also detect a sense that the voters owe him.  After all, his work as county executive has almost universally been praised.  Even the (KMT) central government gives him good marks for performance in office.  How could the voters turn him out after he has done so much for them?  It seems as if he can’t quite fathom or accept that he legitimately lost the primary.  They owe him; he deserves this.

To these, I would respond that (a) politics is a rough game, and (b) in a democracy, the voters never owe elected officials anything.  Hell, Churchill got voted out of office, and all he did was hold Britain together during the Bombing of London until the relief brigades arrived (and he had something to do with persuading the Americans to show up).  If voters are tired of Yang after nine years or they think they’ve found someone even better, that’s their prerogative.

In other words, that consigliore needs to tell Yang that life isn’t fair.  Too bad.

On the other hand, if he can win, then he should run.  Whether he is paranoid or has a sense of entitlement is irrelevant.  So why does he think he can win?

The polls say that he is in second place.  Two recent media polls show roughly the same picture.  A TVBS poll has the race at 43 (Chen, DPP), 26 (Yang), 16 (Huang 黃昭順, KMT), while a UDN poll has it at 44 (Chen), 23 (Yang), 13 (Huang).    This is a stunningly strong showing for Yang, since all the people who vote on the basis of political party are supporting one of the other two candidates.  The first battle that independents have to fight is to establish that they are viable candidates.  Yang has apparently accomplished that.  Moreover, since Yang is in second place by quite a comfortable margin over Huang, there is clearly potential for strategic voting that would benefit him.  Suppose that the polls on election eve still look basically the same.  Huang’s supporters will have to face the fact that her candidacy is hopeless, and they will have to ask themselves which of the two viable candidates they prefer.  Since Chen is the DPP candidate, most of them should prefer Yang.  If you add Huang’s supporters to Yang’s supporters, you get a very close race.  In other words, Yang has a clear shot at winning.

You can see that Yang is already starting to work at this strategy.  He has been suggesting (to KMT voters) that he is the only one who can beat Chen, he has been making overtures to the KMT, and he even endorsed ECFA the other day.

Well, that’s the optimistic scenario.  What’s wrong with it?  For one thing, unless the KMT central leadership openly announces that it is withdrawing support from Huang and endorsing Yang, there is a limit to how much of Huang’s support Yang can siphon away.  Some voters simply will not abandon the KMT’s official nominee to vote strategically, no matter how hopeless the race gets.  You also can’t assume that all Huang supporters prefer Yang over Chen.  Some will see no difference between the two, and there will also be some who prefer Chen.  So you can’t simply add the two numbers together to estimate how much Yang could get.

More importantly, Yang has to worry about keeping his current supporters.  Many of these supporters are DPP supporters, and for the next four months they will be hearing waves of DPP leaders (who we will assume they like, support, and trust) tell them how it is important for Taiwan’s overall future that they support Chen Ju and the DPP.  Almost certainly, the DPP will peel off some of Yang’s current support.  Indeed, there was a story in the news about some local people who claimed to have supported Yang in the past announcing that they will no longer do so.

This process will be intensified by Yang himself.  In order to cultivate KMT support, Yang is slowly repositioning himself toward the center of the political spectrum.  This might make him more palatable to KMT supporters, but it also might alienate his current supporters.  One has to wonder how his expression of support for ECFA went over with Kaohsiung farmers, a group that Yang considers his core constituency.  (I’m not suggesting that ECFA is bad for all farmers, but the strongest opposition to ECFA generally has come from farming interests.)  Many will also look at the new interests that Yang is bringing in and wonder if they belong in the same group with those people.

By election day, Yang will be a very different political figure than he is today.  He has to convince longtime supporters to stay with the new Yang while also convincing people who have spent most of the past two decades fighting him to join him.  This is an almost impossible tightwire act.

The KMT has a long history of members not winning the nomination but then running and winning as independents in the general election.  For whatever reason, this almost never happens in the DPP.  I can only think of a couple of DPP (or ex-DPP) politicians who have even tried this in an executive race (almost certainly many more considered trying and decided that it was hopeless), and only one who actually succeeded.  In 1997, Peng Baixian 彭百顯 won the Nantou County executive race as an independent.  Some other time, I will recount the details of that strange and fascinating story.  Here, let me just note that Peng won even more accolades as a legislator than Yang has won as Kaohsiung County executive.  More importantly, while Yang’s opponent is a highly respected executive in her own right, Peng was running against Lin Zongnan 林宗男, a locally-oriented politician who was surrounded by suggestions of financial improprieties.  Most of the national DPP figures thought that they had nominated the wrong person.  (The local party was dominated by people who hated Peng, though.)  Peng won in a squeaker.  That’s it, as far as I can remember.  No other DPP politician has managed this feat.  Given that Yang Qiuxing faces a formidable foe and is trailing in the polls by a hefty margin, I’d say the odds are against him becoming the second to pull it off.

What is the KMT’s strategy in all of this?  Several DPP politicians have accused the KMT of “selling hope” to Yang in order to get him into the race, and this seems a reasonable way of interpreting recent events.  However, there is a lot more to say.

For the KMT, the starting point has to be the stunning weakness of their own candidate, Huang Zhaoshun.  It has been evident for nearly a year that the KMT did not have a strong candidate to run in this race, but this is far worse that I would have anticipated.  After all, the KMT has a solid base of support to build on.  Even in a bad year, they should probably be able to hold 40% of the vote.  However, the polls say otherwise.  Huang is running a distant third.  If you only ask voters about Chen and Huang, Chen wins by 34% (TVBS) or 33% (UDN).  This is simply bleak.

There are three reasons that I see that the KMT might want Yang in the race.  First, they know Huang isn’t going to win, but they don’t want the DPP to do too well.  With Yang in the race, Chen is much less likely to run up a landslide.  In other words, the KMT might do terribly, but at least the DPP won’t have much to crow about either.

Second, there is a possibility that the KMT leadership is mulling over the option to dump Huang and openly support Yang.  I would be shocked if they did this since it would be a thumb in the eye of all their loyal party workers and volunteers.  And remember, for the national KMT, this race is already lost.  They are worried about preserving support for the 2012 presidential race.  They need that machine to be happy.  However, we should at least mention it as a possibility.

The third reason is the most interesting.  The KMT could see Yang as a vehicle to raise Huang’s support.  The logic goes something like this.  Chen is a very popular incumbent with very low negative ratings.  Challengers only beat incumbents when voters are persuaded that the incumbent has performed poorly, especially in a partisan context favorable to the incumbent.  Huang is not doing a very good job of convincing voters that Chen is lousy.  For whatever reason, her message is just not resonating.  If nothing dramatic happens in the race, there will be a landslide.  However, if Huang’s attacks are falling on deaf ears, Yang’s might carry more weight.  You can be sure that Yang will focus all of his vitriol on Chen.  Some of it might stick.  However, the KMT might be calculating, as I have, that Yang will have a hard time putting together a coalition that supports him.  (Remember, even if the attack sticks and voters find there is something they don’t like about Chen, that doesn’t mean that they will be disposed to support the attack dog.)  As the race progresses, you might have a pool of voters moving away from Chen.  The KMT’s ideal scenario is that these voters would gravitate to Huang, not Yang.  By the time election day rolls around, Huang would have overtaken Yang in the polls, and suddenly all the strategic voting flows in the other direction, towards Huang.  In other words, in this vision, we still end up with a two-horse race, but a third horse kicks up a lot of dirt in the leader’s eyes before fading in the stretch.

At the beginning of the general campaign, I’m guessing that Chen Ju will still win this race fairly easily.  That’s not too surprising.  What might be more surprising is that I think Huang will eventually overtake Yang for second place.    I’m guessing that this is slightly different from what Yang’s closest friends and advisors are telling him.

(Remember: I guarantee these predictions are right, or double your money back!)

Kaohsiung Legislative Redistricting

May 24, 2010

I want to continue looking at the CEC’s redistricting plans for legislative yuan elections in the three direct municipalities that are changing borders.  Today we will look at Greater Kaohsiung.

The first big thing is that Kaohsiung is apparently losing a seat.  In 2008, Kaohsiung City had five seats and Kaohsiung County had four; this plan only lists eight seats.  As one might expect, these go from being relatively “light” districts (average population in 2008: 303972) to relatively “heavy” districts (average population in new districts: 342710).  I had expected that Nantou County, not Kaohsiung City, would lose the seat that Tainan County is gaining.  Maybe there are also other changes afoot.  The new plan has more equally sized districts than the old system; the standard deviation drops from 29237 to 21486.

Here are the old districts.  The first five are from Kaohsiung City, and the last four are in Kaohsiung County.

Townships/districts Pop.
1 左營 , 楠梓 Zuoying, Nanzi 350398
2 鹽埕 , 鼓山 , 旗津 , 三民 (部分) Yancheng, Gushan, Qijin, Sanmin (part) 270140
3 三民 (部分) Sanmin (part) 265710
4 新興 , 前金 , 苓雅 , 前鎮 (部分) Xinxing, Qianjin, Lingya, Qianzhen (part) 308251
5 小港 , 前鎮 (部分) Xiaogang, Qianzhen (part) 313616
6 大樹 , 大社 , 燕巢 , 田寮 , 阿蓮 , 旗山 , 美濃 , 六龜 , 甲仙 , 杉林 , 內門 , 茂林 , 桃源 , 那瑪夏 Dashu, Dashe, Yanchao, Tianliao, Alian, Qishan, Meinong, Liugui, Jiaxian, Shanlin, Neimen, Maolin, Taoyuan, Namaxia 284882
7 岡山 , 橋頭 , 路竹 , 湖內 , 茄萣 , 永安 , 彌陀 , 梓官 Gangshan, Qiaotou, Luzhu, Hunei, Jiading, Yong’an, Mituo, Ziguan 318899
8 林園 , 大寮 , 仁武 , 鳥松 Linyuan, Daliao, Renwu, Niaosong 286931
9 鳳山 Fengshan 336920

Oh, that’s boring.  Let’s throw in some political characteristics.  I’m listing the 2008 party list votes for the blue (KMT+New) and green (DPP+TSU) camps as well as the current incumbent.

blue green incumbent incumbent party
1 55.6 41.1 黃昭順 Huang Zhaoshun KMT
2 46.4 50.6 官碧玲 Guan Biling DPP
3 48.1 48.5 侯彩鳳 Hou Caifeng KMT
4 49.1 47.6 李復興 Li Fuxing KMT
5 46.0 50.6 郭玟成 Guo Wencheng DPP
6 45.0 47.9 鍾紹和 Zhong Shaohe KMT
7 46.8 48.2 林益世 Lin Yishi KMT
8 42.9 52.3 陳啟昱 Chen Qiyu DPP
9 51.4 45.3 江玲君 Jiang Lingjun KMT

You can see what a lousy election the DPP had. They lost three districts in which the green camp got more party list votes than the blue camp.  Part of that is due to good KMT candidates (Districts 6 and 7).  In District 3, the DPP lost due to a splinter candidate who took 7% of the vote.

Now let’s look at the CEC’s new plan:

Townships/districts Pop.
1 桃源、那瑪夏、甲仙、六龜、杉林、內門、旗山、美濃、茂林、茄萣、湖內、路竹、永安、阿蓮、田寮、燕巢 Taoyuan, Namaxia, Jiaxian, Liugui, Shanlin, Neimen, Qishan, Meinong, Maolin, Jiading, Hunei, Luzhu, Yong’an, Alian, Tianliao, Yanchao 332,076
2 岡山、彌陀、梓官、橋頭、楠梓 Gangshan, Mituo, Ziguan, Qiaotou, Nanzi 359,714
3 大社、仁武、鳥松、大樹、大寮、林園 Dashe, Renwu, Niaosong, Dushu, Daliao, Linyuan 366,029
4 左營、鼓山、旗津 Zuoying, Gushan, Qishan 346,380
5 三民 Sanmin 354,061
6 鳳山 Fengshan 337,871
7 鹽埕、前金、新興、苓雅 Yancheng, Qianjin, Xinxing, Lingya 297,034
8 前鎮、小港 Qianzhen, Xiaogang 348,512

Here’s the party list vote in each of the new districts, plus a brief summary of how it was constructed from the old districts:

blue green Notes
1 46.8 46.2 old #6 plus Hunei, Yong’an, Jiading, Luzhu
2 49.2 46.6 half from old #1, half from old #7
3 42.2 53.1 old #8 plus Dashe, Dashu
4 54.7 42.1 half from old #1, half from old #2
5 46.4 50.4 half from old #2, half from old #3
6 51.4 45.3 old #9
7 48.6 48.2 old #4 plus Yancheng, minus part of Qianzhen
8 46.3 50.3 old #5 plus rest of Qianzhen

Maybe we’re getting into table overload here (impossible!).  In the following, I’ll look at each district with a special emphasis on how these changes look to the incumbent.

District 1 is basically the old district 6 plus four townships.  Geographically, this is by far the largest and most rural district.  It runs from the deep mountains along the northern border all the way to the ocean.  It is ethnically diverse, with lots of Hakkas and Aborigines interspersed with the majority Minnan.  There are relatively fewer mainlanders here, though.  The addition of the four coastal towns tilts the party balance somewhat toward the KMT.  (Keep in mind that 2008 was a very good year for the KMT; present party strength is probably somewhat more favorable to the DPP.)  However, just by looking at raw party strength, this should be a very competitive district.  In fact, I don’t expect the KMT to lose it.  Reportedly, Zhong Shaohe 鍾紹和 has complained that it is too big.  Literature from American politics suggests that he should be happy about the size and complexity of his district.  If it is difficult for him to “digest,” imagine how hard it will be for a challenger who only has a few months.

District 2 is the weird one.  It is the only district to cross the county/city line.  About half the district comes from the old #1 and the other half comes from the old #7.  From a partisan viewpoint, this is a very competitive district.  The KMT had a slight edge in 2008, but it is probably closer to even today.  I would expect Lin Yishi 林益世 to try to run for re-election in this district.  It’s not a very good district for him, since he has spent his whole life working Kaoshiung County and half of this district is in the City, but the other obvious choices already have KMT incumbents.  If the KMT were trying to rig these districts, screwing over one of their better legislators is not exactly the best way to go about it.  In fact, this district makes me doubt that the CEC’s plan will make it through the legislative process without major surgery.

District 3 is the Greenest of any of these districts.  The DPP had a 52-43 advantage in the old #8, and that has been extended to a 53-42 lead in this new district.  Unlike District 2, this looks like classic gerrymandering.  Gerrymandering has two classic strategies, cracking and packing.  District 2 is a good example of cracking, in which an incumbent’s district is dismembered.  Rather, it would be a good example if Lin Yishi were a DPP legislator.  District 3 is a mild example of packing.  In the packing strategy, you sacrifice one district by putting the opponent’s strongest areas in it.  This gives you a better shot at winning the other districts.  I’m not insinuating anything immoral in this particular case.  If the old #8 had to be expanded, Dashu and Dashe are the obvious additions.  It just happens that they are also DPP strongholds, thereby making an already Green district even Greener.

District 4 comes partly from the old #1 and partly from the old #2.  This is the KMT’s best district in Kaohsiung, mostly due to the heavy military and mainlander presence in the Zuoying area.  I expect Huang Zhaoshun 黃昭順 to run for re-election in this district.  (I am assuming that she will (a) lose the mayoral election and (b) run for re-election instead of retiring or taking a sinecure in a state-owned enterprise or the like.)  Huang could, of course, choose to stay with the other half of her current district and run in District 2, but I expect she will prefer to stay in Zuoying with all the KMT votes.

The new District 5 is Sanmin District.  Sanmin was previously split between #2 and #3.  Politically, this area leans to the DPP, but the KMT won #3 last time.  I think this may be the district that sees two incumbents battle each other.  The KMT’s Hou Caifeng 侯彩鳳 has no other choice since her old seat was entirely based in Sanmin District last time.  DPP old District #2 incumbent Guan Biling 官碧玲 has to choose between following most of her old district into the new District 4 or competing in the new District 5.  Since District 4 is such a lousy district for a DPP candidate, I expect her to choose District 5.  That would make this one of the more explosive races in the next election.

The new District 6 is the only one that is completely unchanged.  This district is Fengshan City.  Fengshan leans slightly blue and has a fair number of mainlander votes.  Last time, in a battle between two 30ish women, the KMT barely won.  A rematch seems likely, since the winner has done almost nothing to distinguish herself and the loser had a very good personal reputation.

District 7 is very similar to the old #4.  This is another bit of evidence against the idea that the CEC is proactively gerrymandering districts in favor of the KMT.  The KMT incumbent, Li Fuxing 李復興, will get a slightly worse district.  In his old district, the KMT had a 1.5% advantage; the new district’s margin is only 0.4%.  He had better be working the district intensively because he faces a tough, tough election.

District 8 is similar to the old #5.  This is a DPP-leaning district with a DPP incumbent.  The redistricting plan doesn’t really change the partisan balance, and I would expect this to be one of the easier DPP victories in the next election.

As I said before, I’m not very confident that this plan will sail through the legislature unchanged.  Lin Yishi 林益世 gets the worst treatment of any politician, and he is a powerful KMT floor leader in the legislature.  If I were him, I would kill this plan unless the KMT agreed to put me high on the party list in the next election.  Even that might not work.  While many faction politicians are happy to get a “free” election (in every sense), they also like knowing that they can go back to the district in the future if the party leadership decides to move them down the list.  In addition, Lin Yishi has to consider his network.  He is a second-generation stalwart of the Kaohsiung County Red Faction, and his network might not be willing to see their champion abandon electoral politics or shift into new territory.

KMT telephone survey results

April 26, 2010

The KMT finished its telephone surveys for the Taipei City,  Tainan City, and Kaohsiung City mayoral nominations last week.  They did not release the numbers, but here are the general results.

Hao Longbin 郝龍斌 won in Taipei City and will be nominated soon.  This surprises no one.

In Tainan City Guo Tiancai 郭添財 beat Li Quanjiao 李全教, but only by about 3%.  Xie Longjie 謝龍介 was a distant third.  Since this is so close, the KMT will try to negotiate a compromise between the two leaders.  If the negotiations yield no results, it may try another round of surveys with just these two candidates.

In Kaohsiung, Huang Zhaoshun 黃昭順 won.  Lin Yishi 林益世 trailed by about 5%, and Su Yinggui 蘇盈貴 was third.  The KMT will try negotiations or a second round among the top three.

So Tainan and Kaohsiung remain unresolved.

To me, the most interesting comment was from one of the losers in Kaohsiung.  Hou Caifeng 侯彩鳳 remarked that the results were basically what she expected.  After all, Huang is the only candidate who is actively campaigning.  Which makes me ask: Why?  Why aren’t any of the others campaigning?  The DPP candidates are trying like hell, and have been doing so for several months.  In contrast, two of the KMT candidates only announced they would run a week or two before the surveys, and Lai Fengwei 賴峰偉 even announced his candidacy while he was in Penghu.  Of course there are close ties between Penghu and Kaohsiung, but he couldn’t even be bothered to travel to Kaohsiung?  Why didn’t the KMT candidates (other than Huang) exert any effort?

campaign talking points

April 10, 2010

Here are a few campaign stories that involve what the various mayoral candidates are talking about.

In Kaohsiung, KMT hopeful Huang Zhaoshun 黃昭順 had a campaign event yesterday in which she stressed the need to develop Kaohsiung’s economy.  She pointed to all the For Rent signs, Kaohsiung’s high unemployment rates, declining incomes, and the large numbers of factory closures as major problems.  Former city council speaker Chen Tianmao 陳田錨 and former legislator Wang Tianjing 王天競 spoke in her support.

Also in Kaohsiung, DPP hopeful Yang Qiuxing 楊秋興 called for former president Chen Shuibian 陳水扁 to be released.  Chen has been detained for over 500 days.  However, since Taiwan is an island and there is nowhere for Chen to escape, Yang argued that it was not necessary to continue detaining him.

In Tainan, DPP hopeful Xu Tiancai 許添財 received an anonymous threatening letter.  The Tainan City party chair has forwarded it to the party headquarters and noted that if one candidate is found to have threatened another, the former candidate can be disqualified.