Posts Tagged ‘Jason Hu’

ECFA and Jason Hu

June 5, 2010

There have been two big news stories in recent days that have the potential to fundamentally alter this year’s elections.  First, the TSU’s petition for a referendum on ECFA was rejected by the reviewing committee.  The DPP has declared all-out war.  I don’t know exactly what this means (and so far it isn’t very much), but if the DPP gets too radical, it could marginalize itself.  On the other hand, there isn’t exactly a groundswell of support for ECFA.  The DPP simply shouldn’t overplay its hand.

Second, Jason Hu has trouble with organized crime in Taichung.  This is the kind of development that could derail his re-election campaign.  It isn’t a big enough story to do that yet, but if we keep hearing new angles to this story and we are still talking about it in two or three months, all bets are off.  Public safety and local elections are a nightmare combination for the KMT.  On the other hand, 2010 doesn’t feel much like 1997 in several ways.  In 1997 there had been public anger building about organized crime in politics for several years.  The Bai Xiaoyan case simply focused that anger.  And when Chen Jinxing stormed the South African embassy one week before the election, the public could hardly help but think about public safety and organized crime when they cast their votes.  (Aside: If you don’t know the history of 1997, this paragraph is probably very confusing.)  The current case will have to grow a lot before we approach those levels.

I feel like Mr. Obvious today.

UDN county executive poll

May 18, 2010

Yesterday the United Daily News published a massive poll (466<n<749 for each county) in which it assessed satisfaction with the performance of Taiwan’s local county executives.   Most of us have no hard data to determine which local executives have done a good job, so we go on much less obvious and much less reliable cues, such as what the taxi drivers tell us, the tone of media reports, your friend’s uncle’s story, and so on.  The UDN is a hard piece of data.  It is an aggregation of a lot of people’s feelings, rather than a single person’s feelings.  As such, this is the type of poll that gets cited in election campaigns, either to crow about one’s fantastic performance or to attack the incumbent for a dismal job.

The media (and lots of media outlets are commenting on this poll, not just the UDN) focus has been on two things.  First, the headline was the individual winners (Chen Ju) and losers (Huang Zhongsheng).  Second, the DPP executives did better as a group than the KMT executives.

Methodologically, I have a small question.  Today, the UDN published another question from this same poll on whether residents in the various cities and counties think their locality is a suitable place to live or not.  The Greater Taipei area graded out much lower than anywhere else.  I wonder which of these questions they asked first.  That is, which question polluted the other one?  It is probably no coincidence that Hao Longbin, Zhou Xiwei, and Zhang Tongrong all got fairly low marks and also that Taipei City, Taipei County, and Jilong City were all deemed relatively unlivable.

Here are the results of the poll:

county name name status party satisfied dis-satisfied
…………………………… ………………..…… …………. …………….…. ……… ……….. ……………
Kaohsiung City Chen Ju 陳菊 direct DPP 75 10
Miaoli County Liu Zhenghong 劉政鴻 re-elected KMT 73 7
Kaohsiung County Yang Qiuxing 楊秋興 direct DPP 72 7
Chiayi City Huang Minhui 黃敏惠 Re-elected KMT 67 13
Changhua County Zhuo Boyuan 卓伯元 Re-elected KMT 64 8
Taichung City Jason Hu 胡志強 direct KMT 63 20
Tainan City Xu Tiancai 許添財 direct DPP 62 16
Pingdong County Cai Qihong 曹啟鴻 Re-elected DPP 61 10
Hualian County Fu Kunqi 傅崑萁 new IND 61 8
Yunlin County Su Zhifen 蘇治芬 Re-elected DPP 61 10
Penghu County Wang Qianfa 王乾發 Re-elected KMT 53 21
Jinmen County Li Wotu 李沃土 new KMT 53 7
Taidong County Huang Jianting 黃健庭 new KMT 52 11
Jilong City Zhang Tongrong 張通榮 Re-elected KMT 51 21
Tainan County Su Huanzhi 蘇煥智 direct DPP 51 21
Taipei City Hao Longbin 郝龍斌 direct KMT 50 28
Nantou County Li Chaoqing 李朝卿 Re-elected KMT 50 18
Lianjiang County Yang Suisheng 楊綏生 new KMT 50 23
Chiayi County Zhang Huaguan 張花冠 new DPP 49 6
Ilan County Lin Congxian 林聰賢 new DPP 46 6
Taipei County Zhou Xiwei 周錫瑋 direct KMT 44 27
Taoyuan County Wu Zhiyang 吳志揚 new KMT 44 8
Hsinchu City Xu Mingcai 許明財 new KMT 42 10
Hsinchu County Qiu Jingchun 邱鏡淳 new KMT 38 20
Taichung County Huang Zhongsheng 黃仲生 direct KMT 37 25

UDN classified executives into three different statuses.  Newly elected executives were elected last November, so they have only been in office for about six months.  They typically have low satisfaction but also low dissatisfaction ratings, as voters are still forming opinions about their performance in office.  There are two exceptions.  Both Yang Suisheng in Lianjiang County and Qiu Jingchun in Hsinchu County have high dissatisfaction ratings.  The KMT blew a by-election in Hsinchu a couple of months ago, and KMT supporters might still be mad at Qiu for that there.  In Lianjiang, I have no clue what is going on, but Lianjiang only has a few thousand residents, so they probably all know through the gossip networks if Yang has done anything bad.

The second group of executives includes those who were re-elected last November, while the third group includes executives from counties and cities that already are or will become direct municipalities later this year.  Most of these executives have been in office for 4.5 years (four have been in for 8.5 years), so opinions have already had time to form on them.

Note the discrepancies in satisfaction ratings by party.  Among the direct municipalities, DPP members Chen Ju and Yang Qiuxing were the best.  Jason Hu and Xu Tiancai had roughly equivalent ratings, but the KMT eagerly nominated Hu for another term while the DPP dumped Xu in favor of a better candidate.  Likewise, Hao Longbin is roughly in the same ballpark as Su Huanzhi, but the former will be running as a KMT candidate while the latter could not make it as a DPP candidate.  Bringing up the rear are the two miserable KMT executives, Zhou Xiwei and Huang Zhongsheng.  Of course, there is more to performance than satisfaction ratings, but this certainly doesn’t make the KMT look good.

Ji drops out of Taichung race

April 14, 2010

Legislator and Taichung County Black Faction member Ji Guodong 紀國棟 has announced that he is dropping out of the race for the KMT’s nomination for Taichung City mayor.  The KMT has responded by cancelling its plans to hold telephone surveys.

There is still one other candidate in the race.  However, legislator and Red Faction leader Liu Quanzhong 劉銓忠 has reportedly refused to accept the results of a telephone survey.  The Liberty Times suggests that he looks like he is going to run to the bitter end.

At any rate, if there is no telephone survey,  there is basically no way for Jason Hu 胡志強 not to get the nomination.  Moreover, he (or the KMT) has apparently made a deal with enough Black Faction members that he can count on the support of one of the main Taichung factions.  It remains to be seen how much of the Red Faction will remain recalcitrant.

KMT nomination contestants

April 6, 2010

The KMT finished accepting applications for its mayoral nominations on April 3, and it will hold telephone surveys on April 14.  These surveys are not decisive; the KMT can choose to ignore the results or nominate someone else entirely.

In Xinbei City, only Zhu Lilun 朱立倫 filed for the nomination, so there will be no survey.  Technically, the party could still draft someone else, but they won’t.  The contestants in the other cities are as follows:

Taipei City:  Hao Longbin 郝龍斌 (incumbent mayor), Yang Shiqiu 楊實秋 (city council).

Taichung City:  Jason Hu 胡志強 (incumbent Taichung City mayor, former foreign minister), Liu Quanzhong 劉銓忠 (legislator, brother of former speaker, Taichung County Red faction), Ji Guodong 紀國棟 (legislator, Taichung County Black faction).

Tainan City:  Guo Tiancai 郭添財 (former legislator), Li Quanjiao 李全教 (former legislator), Xie Longjie 謝龍介 (Tainan City council).  Both Guo and Li are based in Tainan County.

Kaohsiung City: Huang Zhaoshun 黃昭順 (legislator), Hou Caifeng 侯彩鳳 (legislator), Zhang Xianyao 張顯耀 (legislator), Su Yinggui 蘇盈貴 (former Taipei City Labor Affairs Bureau Chief), Lai Fengwei 賴峰偉 (deputy secretary general of presidential office, former Penghu County executive), Lin Yishi 林益世 (legislator, Kaohsiung County Red faction).  The first five are based in Kaohsiung City, and Lin Yishi is from Kaohsiung County.

In Taipei City, Hao will win easily and Yang will end his quixotic campaign and turn his focus back to retaining his city council seat.  This was probably his purpose anyway.  By spending his money now, he doesn’t have to compete for attention with a dozen other candidates.

I have no idea who will “win” in Tainan City.  They all look weak to me.  The prize is the right to get slaughtered in November.  I’m not sure any of these three can manage 35%, much less a majority.

In Taichung, one possibility is that Liu and Ji will drop out before they get to the polling stage.  I think what they are doing is negotiating the best deal possible for their respective factions.  They don’t have a lot of leverage right now because there is no way either can win the telephone survey segment.  However, an independent campaign by one of them that splits the KMT vote is the most realistic scenario for a KMT loss in this race, so look for the KMT to buy them off.  I expect this to happen earlier rather than later.

In Kaohsiung, the two stage polling plan seems to have disappeared.  Five of the six candidates are from Kaohsiung City, so it would be rather awkward to have a Kaohsiung City poll to determine who would meet the Kaohsiung County winner.  However, they do seem concerned that six candidates is too many.  They might try to convince someone to withdraw, or they might only take the polls as advisory.  If I were them, I’d eliminate three or four candidates, perhaps with a first round of polling, and then use a survey to figure out who the strongest finalist is.  I still think Lin Yishi is the best of the field.  But they don’t ask me.