Posts Tagged ‘nominations’

The race in Changhua 1

November 27, 2011

If you are the type of person who thinks that democratic politics should be about a clean and pure competition between differing sets of lofty ideals, with a good dose of soaring rhetoric infused with impeccable logic, please cover your eyes.  Democracy in Changhua 1 is not like that at all.  This is the sort of place that we educated and urbane intellectuals tend to look at condescendingly, wondering if those people understand the basic principles of democracy at all.  If you want to win an election here, you need to have extensive personal networks, attend a lot of weddings and funerals, do a lot of favors, and be more than happy to ignore the finer points of the law while doing so.  It’s hard to have a long political career if you don’t have some money flying around.  That’s not to say that the voters here don’t care about high politics; of course they do.  However, their ideals are deeply embedded within a system of personal politics, and it isn’t always easy for outsiders to understand what’s going on.  All this is a long way of saying, no matter who wins this district, don’t expect that legislator to become one of the more eloquent spokesmen for judicial reform, integration into the international system, a more extensive social welfare system, or anything else.  None of these people are that type of politician.

Changhua 1 is centered on Lugang and Homei Townships, and the voters are overwhelmingly Min-nan.  In 2008 the KMT won the seat, but they will have a difficult time hanging on to it this year.  There are two different stories to tell, one on the green side and one on the blue side.  The green side is simpler, so let’s start there.

Changhua has never been one of the DPP’s better markets.  They have won control of the county government a couple of times (1989, 2001), but both times they lost it after only one term.  The DPP has never done very well in assembly elections.  They have never been able to play the game of traditional politics as well as the KMT’s candidates, and they always seem to be a little disappointed on LY election nights.  Unlike Chiayi or Kaohsiung, the traditional candidates have mostly remained in the KMT, so the DPP hasn’t made that much headway here.  It isn’t impossible to imagine a similar transformation happening in Changhua.  Underneath the regular politics you sometimes get a glance of what could happen if local factions were married to a Taiwan nationalist ideology, but Changhua generally remains in its old patterns.  That’s why 2012 appeared at first to be heading for a repeat of 2008, when the KMT easily swept all four seats.  There is potential for the DPP here, but they just don’t have the kind of politicians who can exploit that potential.  In Changhua 3 and 4, they are running the same old candidates who have repeatedly shown that they won’t be the ones to break through.  Expect easy KMT victories there, even if Tsai Ing-wen wins the presidential vote in those districts.

The 2012 race in Changhua 1 seemed to be developing along this familiar script.  Two things have derailed that train.  First, Chen Chin-ting 陳進丁 joined the DPP.  Chen entered politics relatively late in life, running for the National Assembly in 1996 after he was already 50.  Chen won that race and then won three straight terms in the legislature.  For this whole time, he was an independent.  In the legislature, he was one of the mainstays of the Non-Party Alliance, whose other prominent members were “outstanding” people like Lo Fu-chu 羅福助, Yen Ching-piao 顏清標, Lin Ping-kun 林炳坤, and Tsai Hau 蔡豪.  As a non-ideological alliance, the Non-Party Alliance followed the money and almost always cooperated with the blue camp.  On occasion they were willing to play the dirty cop role, sponsoring legislation that the KMT wanted but didn’t want to be too closely associated with.  So that’s the kind of person we’re talking about.

In 2008, Chen’s career hit a major roadblock with electoral reform.  He had hoped that the KMT would treat him like Yen Ching-piao or Lin Ping-kun and yield the district to him.  However, the KMT insisted on nominating its own candidate.  Chen ran as an independent and darn near won.  He got 34% of the vote, and pushed the (very weak) DPP candidate all the down to 21%.  However, the KMT nominee got 45%, and Chen’s stint in the legislature was over.  He apparently didn’t want to abandon his political career, but he seems not to have been sure about how to extend it.  There was some speculation that he might run for Lugang mayor in 2009, but he eventually decided against that.  Instead, he concentrated on getting his daughter elected to the county assembly.

The 2009 elections were an important marker on the national political scene.  This was the first test of the post-Chen Shui-bian era, and the DPP announced its comeback with strong performances all over the island.  These continued in the by-elections in early 2010.  I’m guessing here, but it is quite easy to imagine that a consummate political speculator like Chen Chin-ting could see an opportunity unfolding.  In July, he (and his daughter) joined the DPP.  He immediately announced his willingness to run for legislator if his party needed him.  And just like that, the DPP had a politician capable of playing in the big leagues of Changhua politics.

Chen had some competition for the DPP’s nomination, but he seems to have beaten the field fairly convincingly.  I have not seen any reports of discord in the DPP camp since the nomination was finalized.


What about the KMT’s side?  It starts with Lin Chin-chun 林進春.  Lin was elected to the County Assembly in 1986 and then served two terms in the Provincial Assembly.  In 1998, the Provincial Assembly was abolished, so he moved to the legislature where he won two more terms.  In 2004, he stepped aside and let his wife Chen Hsiu-ching 陳秀卿 have some of the fun.  Her election to the legislature went smoothly.  If you are counting, that’s six straight victories.  2008 would be the seventh, as Chen Hsiu-ching beat Chen Chin-ting and the (lousy) DPP candidate in a three-way race.  This is one of the more impressive records in Taiwanese politics.  In a nutshell, the Lin family is very, very good at the election game as it is played in Changhua.

Chen Hsiu-ching was not unopposed for the KMT nomination for the 2012 election.  Three other politicians also registered, including the Wang Hui-mei 王惠美, the mayor of Lugang, Ruan Hou-chueh 阮厚爵, a county assembly member and relative of former county executive Ruan Gang-meng 阮剛猛, and Yang Yu-chen 楊玉珍, the vice-county executive.  One has to imagine that Chen would have been able to defeat this field, but we’ll never know.  There were rumors that she was sick, and she suddenly died after the registrations were complete.  Almost immediately the Lin family announced that her son Lin Yi-pang 林益邦 would represent the family in the election, but the KMT refused to start the primary over to let him participate.  Instead, they conducted telephone surveys with only the three other candidates, and Wang Mei-hui won.  The KMT immediately announced her as the party’s nominee.  The Lin family responded by announcing that Lin Yi-pang would run as an independent.

The KMT has clearly mishandled this situation.  For some reason, they decided that the registration deadline was inviolable, even in clearly extenuating circumstances.  My guess is that the powers within the local party office really wanted Wang to get the nomination.  When they had the opportunity to eliminate the Lin family, they took it.  This is all in marked contrast to the KMT’s behavior in Taipei 4, my local district.  In Taipei 4, the incumbent was ineligible for the KMT’s nomination due to a court case.  However, a few days after the party primary was finished (and the winner was known), the previous ruling was overturned.  The KMT immediately stopped the whole process, and eventually decided to completely rerun the primary.  Eventually, the incumbent won the nomination.  It sure looks like the people in the Taipei party office wanted the incumbent to get the nomination, and they were willing to bend, even break, the rules to obtain that outcome.  So you might understand the Lin family’s unhappiness that the Changhua party branch insisted that rules were rules, and they were out.  That’s not how it worked in other places.


So now there is a three-way race, between Wang (KMT), Chen Chin-ting (DPP), and Lin Yi-pang (IND).  I have to think that this is one of those rare cases that the KMT will come in third.  Lin Chin-chun is still around running the show, and he is a master of his art.  Moreover, Lin Yi-pang will be able to play the sympathy card, asking voters to show their love, respect, and gratitude to his deceased mother while also complaining that the KMT and Wang treated them shabbily.  However, it is unlikely that the KMT will be completely marginalized.  It is very rare for a KMT nominee to be pushed under 20%.  This is a problem for the blue camp.  Chen Chin-ting is a very strong politician in his own right, and he will be adding a large chunk of DPP votes.  Moreover, Tsai Ing-wen figures to do reasonably well in this district, and the green camp could break even with the blue camp on party list votes.  In short, the DPP will probably end up with a sizeable victory in Changhua 1.  I’m guessing that the result will be something like Chen 45%, Lin 35%, Wang 20%.



some of the races

July 3, 2011

Today I’m going to write a bit about some of the more interesting district races.  If I have time, I might also say something about the DPP’s party list.  However, since I generally don’t like to react too quickly to news events, I might leave that to a later date.



Taipei City 4

This is a district with a clear and consistent Blue majority.  In a one on one race, the KMT should always win this district.  However, the Blue camp may or may not end up with one candidate.

The KMT incumbent is Tsai Cheng-yuan 蔡正元, and he wants to run for re-election.  However, he was convicted of embezzlement and, according to the KMT rules, he was ineligible to contest the KMT’s primary.  Tsai never wavered in his determination to seek re-election.  He covered the district with ads trumpeting all his achievements, and it seemed quite likely to me that if the KMT nominated someone else he might still run as an independent.

Two KMT city council members openly considered contesting the nomination.  Wu Shih-cheng 吳世正 eventually dropped out, and Li Yan-hsiu 李彥秀 was the only person to formally register for the nomination.  According to the KMT rules, if there is only one candidate, a telephone survey is still necessary.  That candidate must win at least 40% support to get the nomination.  40% is quite a high threshold.  In several districts, we have seen “I don’t know” or “none of the above” win the race, but that didn’t affect the results with two or more candidates.  In a single candidate race, it was no easy task for Li to get 40% support, especially with Tsai looming in the background.  So Li and Tsai both campaigned hard (even though Tsai wasn’t actually in the contest).  From his point of view, he didn’t want the KMT to nominate anyone.  If they didn’t have a nominee, they might eventually just have left the district open for him as an independent ally.  On the other hand, if the KMT nominated Li, Tsai would be faced with expulsion from the party and a very tough three way race.  In this scenario, the most likely outcome may have been a DPP win.  The green camp should probably get somewhere around 40-45%, and it seems unlikely that either Tsai or Li would have been able to push the other one under 15%.  In the event, Li managed to pass the threshold fairly convincingly, with nearly 50% support.  It seemed we were headed into that three way race.

However, something interesting happened.  The KMT did not immediately announce Li’s nomination (as they did in several other districts right after the survey was completed).  Instead, they waited.  And then the court ruled on the appeal to Tsai’s court case and declared him not guilty.  Suddenly, there were no obstacles to Tsai receiving the KMT nomination.  And immediately, the KMT started to prevaricate, sending out suggestions that they might rerun the primary.  Li wanted no part of this.  From her point of view, she had played by the rules and won, and now she wanted the nomination.  However, the KMT eventually announce that it would hold a new survey with both Li and Tsai.  Again, this was intensely contested, and Tsai eventually won by about 1%.  This time, the KMT immediately announced the results and officially nominated Tsai.  It seems pretty clear that the KMT really wanted Tsai to win the nomination all along.

We haven’t heard much from Li since the contest ended.  There are clearly lots of bad feelings between her and Tsai, but the question is whether she will run against him in the general election.  I think the odds are against it.  She would have to quit the KMT and run against the party nominee in a single seat race, which is no easy task for even the strongest incumbents, much less a city council member.

But wait, there’s more.  After Tsai’s nomination was announced, he was convicted in another case.  This hasn’t inspired the KMT to retract his nomination, but it would give any other blue candidate more ammunition in the general election.

Even if Li decides not to run, there is another possible blue candidate lurking in the wings.  The PFP has announced its intentions to run candidates in several districts as a response the KMT’s blatant efforts to marginalize it.  In 2008, the KMT gave the PFP four spots on its party list and nominated a few PFP figures in the districts.  This year, the KMT has given the PFP almost nothing.  So the PFP is responding by threatening to run candidates, who might draw enough votes to cause the KMT candidates to lose.  One of the PFP’s best politicians is from Taipei 4.  City council member Huang Shan-shan 黃珊珊 is a very respected lawyer.  She also has no ethics questions surrounding her, unlike the KMT nominee.  It is quite easy to imagine her drawing 15-20% of the vote if she runs.  Of course, it is not clear as of now that she will eventually run; the PFP-KMT bargaining game is still playing out.

So we might eventually end up with a straight one on one race, in which case the KMT should win easily.  We also might end up with a three way race, in which the DPP might be able to steal this seat.  Either way, it has already been more dramatic than expected.


Taoyuan 5

Taoyuan 5 is not merely a solidly blue district, it is closer to impregnable.  Even in a three way race with the two blue candidates evenly dividing up their votes, the DPP might not have enough votes to win.  So again, the drama is all in the blue camp.

Chu Feng-chih 朱鳳芝 is the incumbent.  She was first elected in 1989 and is now the second most senior person in the entire legislature.  (Speaker Wang Jin-pyng is far ahead of everyone else; he was elected in 1975.)  She came out of the Huang Fu-hsing party branch (the branch for military veterans), and Taoyuan 5 has plenty of retired soldiers, mainlanders, and loyal KMT supporters, so this district should fit Chu very well.  However, much to everyone’s surprise, Chu did not win the party primary.  Instead, the mayor of Pingzhen Township, Chen Wan-de 陳萬得, beat her in the telephone survey.  The KMT duly nominated Chen, and Chu’s only hope to prolong her career seemed to be in convincing the KMT to put her on the party list.

However, Chen was subsequently convicted in a civil case over a financial dispute, and he eventually gave up his nomination.  (One imagines heavy party pressure behind the scenes.)  The KMT has not yet announced a new nominee or even how it will decide on its new nominee.

Chu is back in the picture.  However, she has made it clear that she will accept the KMT’s nomination only if they simply give it to her.  She will not participate in any contest for the nomination.  The KMT seems to want to nominate her, but the fact that she participated in and lost the primary is inconvenient.

Chen also hasn’t completely given up.  He might not be running, but he has chosen that old chestnut of Taiwanese electoral politics: ask voters to prove your innocence by voting for your wife.  In other words, while Chen is too tainted to be presentable, his wife is perfectly clean and innocent.  (Note: please reread the previous sentence with a heavy dose of sarcasm.  Much better.)

No matter how this race turns out, the seat will probably end up in the blue camp’s hands.  In fact, the DPP hasn’t even bothered to nominate anyone yet.


Taoyuan 3

Taoyuan 3 has a similar partisan distribution to Taoyuan 5: the blue camp should always win this race, even with two blue candidates.  Inexplicably, the incumbent is a DPP member.  As readers doubtless remember, the DPP won this district in early 2010 in a by-election.  That by-election was, in many ways, the perfect storm.  The KMT nominated an outsider, Apollo Chen 陳學聖, without extensive ties in the district and who had not won the (advisory) surveys conducted prior to the election.  A local politician who had wanted the nomination ran against him and took a fair share of votes.  The DPP nominated a local politician who had extensive local ties but not enough partisan coloration to arouse the loyal blue voters to action.  And in a by-election, the KMT had a very difficult time motivating voters to get out and vote.  With the low turnout, a split KMT vote, and a weak KMT candidate, the DPP candidate somehow squeezed out a victory.  My immediate reaction: enjoy the rest of this term because the DPP will never be able to hold this seat.

A year and a half later, there is an outside chance that the DPP might hold Taoyuan 3.  It is not that the DPP has suddenly become more popular in the district, but that the KMT seems to be repeating all its mistakes from the by-election.  Apollo Chen (and yes, I feel silly every time I write the name Apollo), unbowed by his humiliating defeat in 2010, decided to try again.  His main opponent this time was no mere local politician, but Cheng Chin-ling 鄭金玲, who has served in the Provincial Assembly and legislature since 1994.  Chen managed to beat Cheng in the telephone surveys, but Cheng announced immediately that she would run in the general election, where she will doubtless be a formidable opponent.

(In a somewhat surprising way, Chen might be the beneficiary of the district lines drawn by the DPP that weakened the KMT in this district.  Chen is an interloper; he started his career in Taipei City and only moved to Taoyuan after losing his re-election bid to the legislature in 2004.  He threw his lot in with Eric Chu, who was then county executive.  However, when Chu moved on to the vice-premiership and mayor of New Taipei City, Chen stayed behind in Taoyuan.  I’m guessing his core support is a mixture of loyal KMT voters and people involved in the business-construction state.  Cheng, on the other hand, is a military politician.  She, like Chu Feng-chih, draws her support from military veterans, their families, and mainlanders.  Taoyuan 3 is centered on Zhongli City, which has a large military presence.  However, Zhongli is too big to be a single district, so it had to be divided.  The DPP plan cut many of these military areas off and put them in the neighboring Taoyuan 6.  The KMT still has overwhelming support in the remaining areas of Zhongli, but the proportion of military veterans and mainlanders is significantly lower.  If the KMT redistricting plan, which left the military areas in district 3, had been adopted, Cheng almost certainly would have been able to beat Chen for the nomination.  On the other hand, the DPP would never have won the by-election in the first place, so Chen might already be the incumbent.)

I haven’t heard anything about this race in a month or two, so I assume Cheng still plans to run.  She will be a stronger opponent than the local politician who split the KMT vote in the by-election, but I think it is still highly unlikely that the DPP can steal this election again.  First, the turnout rate will be higher.  Second, the stakes will be higher.  In the by-election, only four seats were up for election, and there was no question of the KMT losing power.  That will not be so clear this time.  Third, the concurrent presidential election will polarize the electorate along party lines.  All of this works against the DPP in Taoyuan 3.  On the other hand, the fact that there is even a sliver of hope in this district is a major victory for the DPP.





















KMT telephone primary rules

April 19, 2011

The KMT recently announced rules for its telephone surveys.  85% of the result will be based on comparisons between each of the KMT candidate and the DPP nominee.  Green camp supporters will be included in these calculations.  The other 15% will be determined by a direct comparison among the KMT contestants.  In this section, green camp supporters’ opinions will not be considered.

This controversy is being reported in the context of  Taipei City 3 (Zhongshan-Songshan), and I’m not sure if it applies to all races, only races in Taipei City, or just this race.  Luo Shu-lei 羅淑雷 expressed satisfaction with these new rules.  She expects to do better among the undecideds and green supporters, and was against any efforts to exclude their opinions.

manipulation and DPP telephone surveys

April 15, 2011

Right now there is a controversy stewing over the DPP’s telephone polls for the presidential primary.  It seems that some people (and most people are pointing at Tsai Ing-wen’s supporters) are telling their supporters to only support Tsai.  Other people seem to think that this is a betrayal of democratic ideals.  I think there are (at least) two ways to think about this.

But first, let’s look at the rules.  According to the DPP rules, presidential nomination polls must compare the DPP contestants to the KMT candidate, not to each other.  So each respondent is asked for his or her preference on Su vs. Ma, Tsai vs. Ma, and Hsu vs. Ma.  The respondents are not asked which of the three DPP contestants they like the best.  If only one DPP contestant beats Ma, that person wins the nomination.  If more than one beats Ma or if no one beats Ma, then the person with the highest percentage of supporters wins.  If there are two people tied, then the person with the largest advantage (or smallest deficit) over Ma wins.  However, ties are extremely unlikely since they will figure each person’s support out to four decimal places.

Let’s think about this from a DPP supporter’s point of view.  You prefer Su to Ma, and you prefer Tsai to Ma.  Essentially, your response has no impact at all on the result of the nomination contest because you have raised both candidates’ support by an equal amount.  However, what if you strongly prefer one to the other?  Without loss of generality, let’s suppose you strongly prefer Tsai to Su, but you also prefer Su to Ma.  The only way you can help Tsai to win the nomination is to not express support for Su.  Is this unethical?  I don’t think so.  Every election has strategic voting, and this is just another form of strategic voting.  Moreover, these strategic voters don’t have to actually support Ma.  They merely decline to answer the Ma vs. Su question.  This is sufficient to make their preferred outcome more likely.

From the DPP’s point of view, things are a bit murkier.  The DPP rules are set up to privilege moderate swing voters, not their core party supporters.  That is, the DPP made a strategic choice to let swing voters choose their party nominee because that should maximize their chances of winning the general election.  However, their core supporters might not appreciate effectively being told that they don’t matter, and those supporters might respond strategically, as described above, in an effort to play a more decisive role in the nomination process.  So party supporters are effectively subverting the party’s strategic decision to marginalize them.  This does not seem surprising to me.  Why should the people who care most passionately about the DPP not be intensely interested in who it nominates?  I think the DPP rules create incentives that most supporters should not be terribly happy with.

There is something else going on that I find much more interesting.  One DPP member is accusing another of instructing supporters not only to answer that they only support Tsai, but also to misrepresent their age.  Why would you want to misrepresent your age?  This has to do with survey methodology.  Your goal is to infer from the survey respondents what the general population looks like.  Unfortunately, your survey sample (the people you actually interview) rarely looks exactly like the general population.  On some variables, such as age, sex, and geographical distribution, we have very good statistics about what the population looks like.  So we have a pretty good idea if there are too many men or too many senior citizens in the sample.  The usual way to deal with this is to weight the sample.  Suppose people 60 and over are 10% of the total population and you interview 1000 people.  Your sample should have 100 respondents aged 60 and up.  However, suppose you actually only interview 80 such people.  The idea behind weighting is to inflate these 80 people so that they represent the 100 people you should have.  So you multiply each of them by 1.25.  Likewise, if you are supposed to have 200 people aged 30-40 and your sample actually includes 250 such people.  You would multiply each of them by 0.8.  So the devious strategy is to lie about you age and put yourself into one of the chronically underrepresented categories (which if memory serves me correctly are almost always 20-30 and 60+) so that your answer gets inflated, not deflated.

Well, now this is blatant manipulation.  However, there really isn’t much the DPP can do about it.  Once the public learns this trick, the only thing the DPP can do is to stop weighting, which makes the overall results less accurate.  Eventually, I wonder if this (as well as the feeling that strategic voting is immoral or otherwise undesirable) won’t be the eventual catalysts for the DPP (and maybe the KMT) to move away from telephone surveys.

Tsai announces

March 13, 2011

Tsai Ing-wen has announced that she will run for president, and everyone expects Su Tseng-chang to follow suit in the near future.  This ends a couple of weeks during which many DPP leaders seemed to be trying to come to some consensus about who should be the nominee without going through a messy primary process.  I am not surprised that Tsai effectively ended that pressure with her announcement.  As the more junior of the two viable candidates, any negotiated solution would almost certainly have ended with her yielding to Su.

More to the point, I am a little uncertain why so many people in the DPP seem to think that avoiding a primary is desirable.  The DPP has always been an election driven party.  That is, the most powerful people in the party are powerful because they were able to grab power through electoral victories.  The natural way for them to decide who the nominee will be is through a test of strength.  This idea that conflict should be avoided at all costs reminds me of the authoritarian era KMT who were constantly trying to consolidate power around the leadership 鞏固領導中心, because any struggle among leaders might tempt one of them to reach out for popular support – and that might lead to something terrible, such as democracy.  The DPP should not get caught up in these sorts of debates.  Democratic parties fight all the time about who will lead them and which direction they will go in.  This is a healthy process.

Moreover, the DPP has an important discussion that it needs to hold.  In her campaign last year and in her announcement, Tsai spoke extensively about her vision of building a social welfare state.  If she becomes the nominee and especially if she wins the election, she will take the DPP in a very different direction.  They need to decide right now if they are willing to go in that direction.  If they don’t want to shift in the direction of social welfare, then they should stay with Su, who will probably maintain traditional DPP economic policies.  If most of the party wants to radically shift in the direction that Tsai wants to go in, they need to forge an internal consensus within the party.  Otherwise, the DPP risks a crisis later down the road when they find that their leader is going in strange and unexpected directions.  As a commentator, I’m not taking a position on whether building a comprehensive social welfare state is a good idea or not.  I’m just saying that if the DPP wants to go in that direction, they need to forge a political consensus first.  Politics must come first if the public policy is to have any chance of success.

So I think it is a very good thing for the DPP that it will have an intensely fought primary.  Taking the politics out of politics is usually a bad idea.


In a previous post, I wrote that the DPP revamped its nomination rules for the legislative nominations to give the party leader(s) the power to decide nominations for the party list and for “difficult” districts, and that this represented a power-grab by Tsai Ing-wen.  I should have written that it “looked to me” like a power grab by Tsai.  Any time a party votes to give a lot more power to its leader, I am inclined to assume that the leader (1) wanted more power, and (2) was working to get more power.  I tend to put less weight on what everyone is actually saying since people don’t always speak sincerely in such situations.  Moreover, there are lots of ways to make such decisions (ie: contested primaries of some sort) without having to resort to decisions by the central leadership.  So it looked to me like a power grab.  (Note: Power grabs are not always bad.  One of the biggest problems of Ma’s first year as president was that he refused to seize power within the KMT so that Lien Chan 連戰, Wu Po-hsiung 吳伯雄, and others could go around acting as if they were in charge.)

I’m re-evaluating that judgment in light of Tsai’s announcement that she is stepping aside as chair to contest the presidential nomination.  I did not assume that she would step aside since she didn’t bother to do so last year when she was running for New Taipei City Mayor.  However, she presumably knew that she would step aside a month ago, and so she may have realized that the nomination power would accrue to someone else.  If that is the case, then the decision perhaps was not aimed at strengthening herself within the party as a means of winning the presidential nomination.  Or perhaps it was.  She may have felt confident enough that she would leave her allies in charge of the party that this decision would work in her favor even if she weren’t personally chairing the meetings.  At any rate, I think it is a lot more fruitful to think about all these decisions in terms of whose power was increased or decreased than in terms of statements to the press.


Three years ago, DPP candidates got obliterated in most districts.  Perhaps one lesson that DPP politicians learned is that it doesn’t do much good to win a nomination in a lousy district.  Of course, they already knew this, but it seems to really have sunk in this time.  We see all the DPP candidates desperately trying to seize a nomination in a good district, and no one seems remotely interested in the swing districts, much less the difficult ones.   Nowhere is this more evident than in Taipei City.  Taipei City has one district that the DPP should win (Datong-Shilin), one district that it has a weak but real chance of winning (Beitou-Tianmu), three districts that it has an outside chance of winning if everything goes right (Zhongshan-Songshan, Nangang-Neihu, Wanhua-Zhongzheng), and three districts that it has absolutely no chance in hell of winning (Da-an, Wenshan-Zhongzheng, Xinyi-Songshan).  Right now everyone is piling into the one good district.  Currently there are four strong candidates (Tuan Yi-kang 段宜康, Yao Wen-chih 姚文智, Kuo Cheng-liang 郭正亮, and Luo Wen-chia 羅文嘉) and another (Chuang Rui-hsiung 莊瑞雄) has announced but withdrawn.  I haven’t heard of anyone expressing interest in any of the other seven districts.  It doesn’t take much imagination to see how this is going to unfold.  One of these four will win the nomination, and the other three will start looking for a new district.  Perhaps they will suddenly discover a burning passion to serve the voters of Beitou or Zhongshan.

Of course, this has all been facilitated by the DPP’s decision to designate 40 districts as “difficult.”  By leaving these 40 districts empty and available for losers, the DPP is basically inviting all strong candidates to take a shot at winning one of the “good” nominations.  There are always lots of consolation prizes.  Moreover, many of these so-called difficult districts are ones that the DPP should plan on trying to win.  Given the swing in popular opinion that we have consistently witnessed over the last year and a half, several of these should be considered tossup districts and many others are in the realm of possibility.

So the dilemma that the DPP faced was this.  On the one hand, it has the current system in which many politicians will end up as nominees in a district they did not really want to be in.  There is the risk that the KMT opponent will hammer them with this.  “My opponent really wants to be in Xinzhuang City.  I have always wanted to represent the people of Danshui and no one else.  He’s only here in Danshui because they didn’t want him in Xinzhuang.  Well, we don’t want their rejects!”  It might be far better if the DPP required everyone to choose a district from the beginning so that some of the stronger politicians might strategically decide that they have no chance of winning the nomination in the good district and just go straight to the weaker district.  This is what the DPP has always done in the past.  For example in 2001, they required members to choose whether they wanted to contest the county magistrate, district legislator, or list legislator nominees.  They didn’t hold county magistrate nominations first and then let the losers run for legislator.  On the other hand, the DPP might calculate that, regardless of their nomination system, the strongest politicians are overwhelmingly going to try for one of the good districts.  If they were to force everyone to choose at the very beginning, the result would be that a lot of strong candidates were effectively ruled ineligible and you would have a field of really weak candidates running in tossup districts.

Interestingly, they did not decide to have a second round of primaries in the difficult districts.  That is, they could have settled the nominations for the 33 strong districts in April and then started the whole process over for the other 40 districts with primaries being held in June or July.  If no one wanted to contest them, they would still have the option of drafting someone.  Instead, they decided to have all those nominations decided by the central party headquarters.  I don’t know why they went this route.  Maybe they worried that candidates who had already lost one primary would be financially or organizationally too exhausted to contest a second primary.  Maybe those candidates simply wouldn’t have any credibility in a new district so soon after losing in a different district.  Or maybe the people in control of the party headquarters wanted a bit more power in their hands.


catching up

February 28, 2011

It’s been a while since I have written anything on this blog because (a) I’ve got other stuff to do and (b) not much is happening in the world of elections right now.  In the past two and a half month, the major election related news has been about the very early presidential race.  Apparently President Ma is going to run for re-election.  Shocker.  It looks like Speaker Wang will remain Speaker Wang.  The KMT’s “rule” that people on the party list can only serve two terms may not be written in stone.  And Premier Wu is still rumored to be the most likely Vice Presidential candidate.  None of this is much of a surprise.  (Frozen Garlic’s mad genius suggestion: Ma should choose CEC Chair and former Chiayi City Mayor Chang Po-ya as his running mate.  It will never happen, but it would be genius.)

On the DPP side, there also hasn’t been anything that significant.  Annette Lu has announced her candidacy to a resounding yawn.  The race is between Su and Tsai, something we have been aware of for over a year.  Tsai is probably ahead now, but I think she damaged herself by overplaying her hand in the battle for the nominations process.  The DPP will have its presidential nomination in late April. (Why the rush?  The election isn’t for another 11 months.  Of course, as the leader, Tsai wants this decision made as soon as possible before anything happens to change the race.)  Tsai also got her way in the legislative nominations.  She wanted the district nominations to be decided by telephone survey, with no party member voting component, and she wanted the party chair (herself!) to completely decide the party list.  The latter, especially, is where I think she went a bit too far.  Then, a couple of weeks ago, the DPP announced that it would forgo any nomination process in “difficult” districts, and the party would simply draft candidates for these districts.  The problem is that their definition of “difficult” is so broad that it encompasses 40 of the 73 districts.  In some of these, the DPP should probably be favored to win.  This is ridiculous and simply a clear power grab.  So much for the institutionalization of the rules of competition.

Unlike last year, we haven’t heard a whole lot about the by-elections.  There is a good reason for this.  Unlike last year, when the DPP was winning amazing victories on the KMT’s turf, this year’s contests are being fought on DPP turf and should be fairly easy victories for the DPP.

One of the races is in Tainan City.  This is the KMT’s strongest district in all of Tainan.  In the 2008 KMT wave, the DPP was barely able to win this race even with a strong candidate.  In this election cycle, with things swinging toward the DPP and in a by-election (which seems to play to the DPP’s strengths), it shouldn’t be as close.  Moreover, the DPP has a clear edge in candidates.  The DPP candidate is the former mayor, Hsu Tain-tsair 許添財, while the KMT is running an incumbent party list legislator, Chen Shu-huey 陳淑慧.  The KMT made a big deal about the fact that it’s preferred two candidates both declined to run in this race.  Both were forced out of their minor cabinet positions, as party leaders (esp King Pu-tsung 金溥聰) grumbled that the soldiers the party had spent the last few years cultivating refused to fight when the party needed them.  In their defense, it isn’t really Wang Yu-ting’s 王昱婷 district, and Kao Su-po’s 高思博 family (he is Eric Chu’s 朱立倫 brother-in-law) just finished a grueling campaign.  I wouldn’t have run either if I were them.  So instead, the KMT turned to Chen Shu-huey, who is currently on the party list and the wife of former legislator and mayoral candidate Lin Nan-sheng 林南生.  She should be a competent candidate, though I doubt Lin still has as much support as he enjoyed at his apex about 15 years ago.  On the other hand, this is the first time an incumbent party list legislator has run in a district by-election, and one can imagine that this makes for an awkward argument.  Vote for me, though win or lose, I’ll stay in the legislature.  Really, you need to vote for me so that the next person on the party list can win office.  So the choice is between having one more representative from Tainan and one more representative from … Yunlin (where the next person on the party list is from, I think).

In Kaohsiung, the race is between the DPP’s Lin Tai-hua 林岱華, a former two-term legislator and Hsu Ching-huang 徐慶煌, the son of former DPP legislator Hsu Chih-ming 徐志明.  The father was an old-time member of the Kaohsiung County Black Faction.  The Black Faction was led by the Yu family, and it occupied a strange position between opposition politics and good old-fashioned money politics.  I don’t know how closely the son hews to the father’s political style, but it wasn’t all that uncommon for Black Faction politicians to change sides.  Anyway, Hsu has been nominated by the KMT.  Apparently they think their best shot is with a politician who seems to have a foot in the other camp.  In this district, it may well be.  For what it’s worth, Hsu did win about 13000 votes as an independent in 2008.  That’s not nothing, but I don’t think this election is about him.  This district clearly leans to the green camp, and if they close ranks and vote along party lines, they should win easily.  With a compelling candidate in Lin, I really don’t think this race should be close.


KMT Taichung CC nominations

June 21, 2010

From a few news stories on the internet, I have put together the results of the KMT’s telephone survey primary for nominations to the Taichung City Council.  I could not find the exact results; all I could find was who won and who lost.  However, one story reporting on the portion of the primary in the old Taichung City listed ranks for the winners (though not for the losers).

Also, a story on the portion in the old Taichung County provided the current jobs of many candidates.  This is interesting to me.  There is a pretty clear hierarchy of positions.  From best to worst, the ranking is township mayor, county assembly (ie: incumbent), speaker of township assembly, regular member of township assembly.

Finally, we are starting to get into the very bloody portion of the election.  Taipei City actually has more seats than before, while Xinbei City has the same number.  Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung all have a lot of incumbents chasing a small number of seats.  This is not as bad for the DPP, which has historically been underrepresented in these lower-level elections and therefore still has a little bit of space to grow.  However, it is a bloodbath for the KMT.  I count 14 incumbents who did not win nominations in Taichung.  I’m guessing that most of them will quit the KMT and run for re-election as independents

Why would KMT primary losers be less likely to respect survey results than DPP losers?  KMT politicians rely much more heavily on organization, which may or may not include vote buying.  This type of mobilization doesn’t affect the results of telephone surveys very much.  As such, losers can argue that there is a significant gap between these results and the likely results of a general election, when their organizations will come into play.

spots name name F Current Win
1 Dajia 3 姚應龍 Yao Yinglong incumbent Y
林素真 Lin Suzhen F Incumbent Y
楊永昌 Yang Yongchang Incumbent
李鴻榮 Li Hongrong incumbent Y
2 Qingshui 3* 楊秋雲 Yang Qiuyun F incumbent Y
蘇麗華 Su Lihua Y
顏永滄 Yan Yongcang Y
尤璧鈴 You Biling F incumbent ?
3 Dadu 3* 林汝洲 Lin Ruzhou Dadu mayor Y
吳瓊華 Wu Qionghua F Incumbent Y
楊忠諺 Yang Zhongyan incumbent
謝蒼海 Xie Canghai Former Wuri mayor
林士昌 Lin Shichang incumbent Y
何端格 He Duange incumbent
4 Fengyuan 4* 王朝坤 Wang Chaokun Houli township assembly speaker Y
陳本添 Chen Bentian Incumbent Y
張溢城 Zhang Yicheng Incumbent Y
陳清龍 Chen Qinglong Incumbent
車淑娟 Che Shujuan F incumbent Y
劉重迪 Liu Chongdi Fengyuan township assembly member
5 Tanzi 4* 張立傑 Zhang Lijie Incumbent
王永通 Wang Yongtong incumbent
吳顯森 Wu Xiansen Daya mayor Y
王加佳 Wang Jiajia F Incumbent Y
羅永珍 Luo Yongzhen F Shengang mayor Y
何秀香 He Xiuxiang
賴朝國 Lai Chaoguo incumbent Y
6 Xitun 3* 嚴榮發 Yan Rongfa
留峰甫 Liu Fengfu
黃馨慧 Huang Xinhui F Incumbent Y(1)
張廖乃倫 Zhang Liao Nailun F Incumbent Y(3)
吳春夏 Wu Chunxia Incumbent
楊正中 Yang Zhengzhong incumbent Y(2)
陳富德 Chen Fude
7 Nantun 3* 丁振嘉 Ding Zhenjia Incumbent Y(3)
劉士州 Liu Shizhou Incumbent Y(2)
朱暖英 Zhu Nuanying F Y(1)
陳三井 Chen Sanjing Incumbent
黃淑芬 Huang Shufen F incumbent
8 Beitun 4* 賴順仁 Lai Shunren Incumbent Y(4)
陳成添 Chen Chentian Incumbent Y(2)
唐國泰 Tang Guotai Incumbent
林永能 Lin Yongneng Incumbent
謝黎芳 Xie Lifang
沈佑蓮 Shen Youlian F incumbent Y(1)
吳敏 Wu Min Y(3)
9 North 2 陳天汶 Chen Tianwen Incumbent Y(1)
陳有江 Chen Youjiang Incumbent Y(2)
顏志修 Yan Zhixiu incumbent
10 CW 2 柯貞竹 Ke Zhezhu
洪嘉鴻 Hong Jiahong Incumbent Y(2)
張宏年 Zhang Hongnian incumbent Y(1)
11 SE 3* 顏明毅 Yang Mingyi
賴頤年 Lai Yinian Incumbent Y(1)
林珮涵 Lin Peihan F Incumbent Y(3)
李中 Li Zhong incumbent Y(2)
12 Taiping 3* 李麗華 Li Lihua F Incumbent Y
詹敏豐 Zhan Minfeng Incumbent Y
賴瑞珠 Lai Ruizhu F incumbent Y
13 Dali 4* 戴萬福 Dai Wanfu incumbent Y
蔡黃金雀 Cai Huang Jinque F Incumbent Y
蘇柏興 Su Boxing Dali township assembly speaker Y
陳玉雪 Chen Yuxue F Incumbent
林碧秀 Lin Bixiu F incumbent Y
曾瑞昌 Zeng Ruichang Former Wufeng mayor
14 Dongshi 2 陳萬通 Chen Wantong incumbent Y
蘇慶雲 Su Qingyun Incumbent Y
冉齡軒 Ran Lingxuan F incumbent
15 PA
16 MA

* includes at least one female

Note: In D2, no survey was held, so apparently You Biling withdrew.

DPP city council nominations

June 19, 2010

The following are the results of the DPP’s primary process.  As explained in the previous post, the DPP used telephone surveys to determine its nominees in all contested elections.  The results of the telephone surveys are listed in the column labeled “poll.”  Before each district, I note how many seats there are in each district (m), how many people the DPP planned to nominate (nominate), and how many of these nominations are reserved for women.  In the table, I have each candidate’s name in Chinese and English, whether they are female, whether they qualified as a new candidate, whether they are an incumbent, their poll score, and whether they won a nomination.  The DPP considered any candidate as “new” who had never previously won public office (not including the extremely grassroots offices such as township assembly or village head).  New candidates were given a 10% bonus on their survey score.  This bonus is already figured into the numbers reported here.  The data on sex is incomplete.  I only know the gender of incumbents and nominees.  That is, if a candidate did not win a nomination this year and is not already an incumbent, lack of an “F” in the sex column does not necessarily mean that the candidate is a man.

As far as I can tell, only one person won a nomination due to the 10% bonus for new candidates (Qiu Tingwei, Xinbei 3).  Five women won due to the female reserve clause.  Note that this does not necessarily mean that they would not have been able to win without the clause.  For example, Yan Shengguan was the only woman in Taipei 5.  Since the DPP reserved a nomination for a woman in that district, Yan was guaranteed to win and did not need to expend any effort.  In fact, she very nearly won a nomination on the strength of her survey results.

Taipei City 1 (Shilin, Beitou)

m=12               nominate=open           Female=

Name name Fem New Inc poll win
莊瑞雄 Zhuang Ruixiong Y Y
吳思瑤 Wu Siyao F Y Y
陳碧峰 Chen Bifeng Y Y
藍世聰 Lan Shicong Y
陳正德 Chen Zhengde Y
林世宗 Lin Shizong Y
何志偉 He Zhiwei Y

Taipei City 2 (Neihu, Nangang)

m=9                 nominate=4                 Female=1

name name Fem New Inc poll win
江志銘 Jiang Zhiming Y .1967 Y
王孝維 Wang Xiaowei Y .1880 Y
高嘉瑜 Gao Jiayu F Y .1763 Y
李建昌 Li Jianchang Y .1530 Y
許嘉恬 Xu Jiatian F Y .1283
林明源 Lin Mingyuan Y .0950
陳秀惠 Chen Xiuhui .0628

Taipei City 3 (Songshan, Xinyi)

m=10               nominate=5                 Female=1

name name Fem New Inc poll win
張茂楠 Zhang Maonan y .2882 Y
洪健益 Hong Jianyi Y .2315 Y
許淑華 Xu Shuhua F y .1932 Y
許家蓓 Xu Jiabei F Y .1169 Y
陳淑華 Chen Shuhua F .1043 Y
葉問 Ye Wen Y .0300
陳泰源 Chen Taiyuan Y .0360

Taipei City 4 (Zhongshan, Datong)

m=10               nominate=5                 Female=1

name name Fem New Inc poll win
簡余宴 Jian Yuyan F Y .3188 Y
李文英 Li Wenying F Y .1540 Y
王世堅 Wang Shijian .1534 Y
黃向群 Huang Xiangqun Y .1282 Y
梁文傑 Liang Wenjie Y .0971 Y
蔡易餘 Cai Yiyu Y .0949
朱政騏 Zhu Zhengqi Y .0330
許界元 Xu Jieyuan Y .0208

Taipei City 5 (Wanhua, Zhongzheng)

m=8                 nominate=4                 Female=1

name name Fem New Inc poll win
劉耀仁 Liu Yaoren Y .2362 Y
童仲彥 Tong Zhongyan Y .2267 Y
周威佑 Zhou Weiyou Y .1933 Y
陳嘉銘 Chen Jiaming Y .1628
顏聖冠 Yan Shengguan F Y .1528 Y
周永鴻 Zhou Yonghong Y .0281

Note: Yan Shengguan won due to the female reserve clause.

Taipei City 6 (Da’an, Wenshan)

m=13               nominate=5                 Female=1

name name Fem New Inc poll win
周柏雅 Zhou Boya Y .3372 Y
徐佳青 Xu Jiaqing F Y .2272 Y
李慶鋒 Li Qingfeng Y .1258 Y
阮昭雄 Ruan Zhaoxiong Y .1154 Y
柯景昇 Ke Jingsheng .0792 Y
江蓋世 Jiang Gaishi .0690
林一方 Lin Yifang Y .0463

Xinbei City 1 (Danshui, Sanzhi, Shimen, Bali)

m=3                 nominate=1                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc poll win
呂子昌 Lu Zichang Y Y

Xinbei City 2 (Xinzhuang, Linkou, Taishan, Wugu)

m=10               nominate=5                 Female=1

name name Fem New Inc poll win
張晉婷 Zhang Jinting F Y .1806 Y
何淑峰 He Shufeng F Y .1767 Y
賴秋媚 Lai Qiumei F Y .1633 Y
陳科名 Chen Keming Y .1525 Y
陳文治 Chen Wenzhi Y .1476 Y
張嘉玲 Zhang Jialing Y .1270
陳明卿 Chen Mingqing Y .0524

Xinbei City 3 (Sanchong, Luzhou)

m=9                 nominate=6                 Female=1

name name Fem New Inc poll win
李余典 Li Yudian .1317 Y
李倩萍 Li Qianping F Y .1246 Y
李坤城 Li Kuncheng Y .1233 Y
陳啟能 Chen Qi’neng Y .0957 Y
林克欣 Lin Kexin Y .0896 *
邱婷蔚 Qiu Tingwei F Y .0836 Y
鄭金隆 Zheng Jinlong Y .0785 Y
李世東 Li Shidong Y .0779
林秋貴 Lin Qiugui Y .0712
黃秀玉 Huang Xiuyu Y .0643
李友親 Li Youqin Y .0595

Note: Li Kexin’s was denied the nomination due to suspicions of cheating.  The last nomination was awarded to Zheng Jinlong.

Note: Qiu Tingwei originally won due to the 10% bonus for new candidates. After the Li Kexin case was settled, she won her spot over Li Shidong, also a new candidate.

Xinbei City 4 (Banqiao)

m=9                 nominate=5                 Female=1

name name Fem New Inc poll win
王淑慧 Wang Shuhui F .2234 Y
張宏陸 Zhang Honglu Y .1607 Y
林水山 Lin Shuishan Y .0998 Y
黃俊哲 Huang Junzhe Y .0972 Y
李婉鈺 Li Wanyu F Y .0952 Y
王月明 Wang Yueming F Y .0818
盧輝煌 Lu Huihuang Y .0617
石一佑 Shi Yiyou Y .0478
黃炳煌 Huang Binghuang Y .0473
詹加鴻 Zhan Jiahong Y .0421
許弘業 Xu Hongye Y .0267
廖林麗玲 Liao Lin Liling Y .0162

Xinbei City 5 (Zhonghe)

m=7                 nominate=2                 Female=0

name Name Fem New Inc poll win
林秀惠 Lin Xiuhui F Y Y
張瑞山 Zhang Ruishan Y Y
江永昌 Jiang Yongchang Y *

Note: Jiang is technically only “permitted” (報備) to run rather than nominated.  Legally, this makes no difference.  The DPP is probably doing this to circumvent rules about how long you must be a party member before getting a nomination.

Xinbei City 6 (Yonghe)

m=4                 nominate=2                 Female=1

name name Fem New Inc poll win
廖筱清 Liao Xiaoqing F Y Y
許昭興 Xu Zhaoxing F Y

Xinbei City 7 (Sanxia, Yingge, Tucheng, Shulin)

m=10               nominate=6                 Female=1

name name Fem New Inc poll win
吳琪銘 Wu Qiming Y .1976 Y
陳世榮 Chen Shirong .1708 Y
林銘仁 Lin Mingren Y .1555 Y
歐金獅 Ou Jinshi Y .1313 Y
彭成龍 Peng Chenglong Y .1241 Y
曾進益 Zeng Jinyi Y .1188
高敏慧 Gao Minhui F Y .1021 Y

Note: Gao Minhui won due to the female reserve clause.

Xinbei City 8 (Xindian, Shenkeng, Shiding, Pinglin, Wulai)

m=5                 nominate=2                 Female=1

name name Fem New Inc poll win
陳永福 Chen Yongfu Y .6638 Y
李新芳 Li Xinfang F Y .1767 Y
吳春美 Wu Chunmei Y .1595

Xinbei City 9 (Ruifang, Pingxi, Shuangxi, Gongliao)

m=1                 nominate=1                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc poll win
顏世雄 Yan Shixiong Y

Xinbei City 10 (Xizhi, Jinshan, Wanli)

m=4                 nominate=2                 Female=1

name name Fem New Inc poll win
周雅玲 Zhou Yaling F Y Y
沈發惠 Shen Fahui Y

Taichung City 1 (Dajia, Daan, Waipu)

m=3                 nominate=1                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc poll win
吳敏濟 Wu Minji Y .4699 Y
易錦隆 Yi Jinlong Y .4160
陳献宗 Chen Xianzong Y .1141

Taichung City 2 (Qingshui, Shalu, Wuqi)

m=5                 nominate=2                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc poll win
王立任 Wang Liren Y
楊典忠 Yang Dianzhong Y

Taichung City 3 (Wuri, Dadu, Longjing)

m=5                 nominate=2                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc poll win
陳世凱 Chen Shikai Y
劉淑蘭 Liu Shulan F Y Y

Taichung City 4 (Fengyuan, Houli)

m=5                 nominate=3                 Female=

name name Fem New Inc poll win
吳富亭 Wu Futing Y Y
翁美春 Weng Meichun F Y Y
謝志忠 Xie Zhizhong Y Y

Taichung City 5 (Tanzi, Daya, Shengang)

m=6                 nominate=3                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc poll win
林竹旺 Lin Zhuwang Y Y
許水彬 Xu Shuibin Y Y
廖述鎮 Liao Shuzhen Y Y

Taichung City 6 (Xitun)

m=5                 nominate=2                 Female=1

name name Fem New Inc poll win
陳淑華 Chen Shuhua F Y Y
張廖萬堅 Zhang Liao Wanjian Y Y

Taichung City 7 (Nantun)

m=4                 nominate=2                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc poll win
張耀中 Zhang Yaozhong Y Y
何文海 He Wenhai Y

Taichung City 8 (Betun)

m=6                 nominate=3                 Female=1

name name Fem New Inc poll win
曾朝榮 Zeng Chaorong Y Y
王岳彬 Wang Yuebin Y Y
蔡雅玲 Cai Yaling F Y Y

Taichung City 9 (North)

m=3                 nominate=2                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc poll win
范淞育 Fan Songyu Y .4698 Y
賴佳微 Lai Jiawei F Y .4169 Y
游金隆 You Jinlong Y .1133

Taichung City 10 (Central, West)

m=3                 nominate=2                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc poll win
黃國書 Huang Guoshu Y .6160 Y
江正吉 Jiang Zhengji .2500 Y
王世勛 Wang Shixun .1340

Taichung City 11 (East, South)

m=4                 nominate=3                 Female=1

name name Fem New Inc poll win
何敏誠 He Mincheng Y .3719 Y
鄭功進 Zheng Gongjin Y .2270 Y
陳福文 Chen Fuwen Y .2145
邱素貞 Qiu Suzhen Y Y .1866 Y

Note: Qiu Suzhen won due to the female reserve clause.

Taichung City 12 (Taiping)

m=4                 nominate=2                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc poll win
何明杰 He Mingjie Y Y
黃秀珠 Huang Xiuzhu F Y Y

Taichung City 13 (Dali, Wufeng)

m=6                 nominate=3                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc poll win
何欣純 He Xinchun F Y .4443 Y
劉錦和 Liu Jinhe .2832 Y
李天生 Li Tiansheng Y .2087 Y
林明正 Lin Mingzheng .0638

Taichung City 14 (Dongshi, Shigang, Xinshe, Heping)

m=2                 nominate=1                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc Poll win
蔡成圭 Cai Chengui Y Y

Tainan City 1 (Baihe, Houbi, Dongshan)

m=2                 nominate=1                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc poll win
賴美惠 Lai Meihui F Y Y

Tainan City 2 (Yanshui, Xinying, Liuying)

m=4                 nominate=2                 Female=1

name name Fem New Inc poll win
李退之 Li Tuizhi Y .3159 Y
賴惠員 Lai Huiyuan F Y .3020 Y
趙昆原 Zhao Kunyuan Y .2842
陳芝伶 Chen Zhiling Y .0980

Tainan City 3 (Beimen, Xuejia, Jiangjun)

m=2                 nominate=1                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc poll win
侯澄財 Hou Chengcai Y .7491 Y
郭再欽 Guo Zaiqin Y .2509

Tainan City 4 (Xiaying, Liujia, Madou, Guantian)

m=4                 nominate=2                 Female=1

name name Fem New Inc poll win
陳文賢 Chen Wenxian Y .5251 Y
楊麗玉 Yang Liyu F Y .2994 Y
邱健吾 Qiu Jianwu Y .1755

Tainan City 5 (Jiali, Xigang, Qigu)

m=3                 nominate=3                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc poll win
蔡蘇秋金 Su Cai Qiujin F Y
陳朝來 Chen Chaolai Y Y
蔡秋蘭 Cai Qiulan F Y Y

Tainan City 6 (Shanhua, Anding)

m=2                 nominate=1                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc poll win
樑順發 Y Y

Tainan City 7 (Danei, Shanshang, Xinhua)

m=2                 nominate=1                 Female=0

Name Name Fem New Inc poll win
林志聰 Lin Zhicong Y .6735 Y
王俊仁 Wang Junren Y .3265

Tainan City 8 (Yujing, Nanxi, Nanhua, Zuozhen)

m=1                 nominate=1                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc poll win
王俊潭 Wang Juntan Y

Tainan City 9 (Xinshi, Yongkang)

m=7                 nominate=3                 Female=1

name Name Fem New Inc poll win
林宜瑾 Lin Yijin F Y .3109 Y
陳秋萍 Chen Qiuping F Y .2588 Y
郭國文 Guo Guowen Y .2526 Y
蘇泓文 Su Hongwen Y .1019
李國璧 Li Guobi Y .0560
李建志 Li Jianzhi Y .0198

Tainan City 10 (Annan)

m=5                 nominate=4                 Female=1

name name Fem New Inc poll win
郭信良 Guo Xinliang Y .3559 Y
王錦德 Wang Jinde Y .1998 Y
郭清華 Guo Qinghua Y .1616 Y
涂韶芳 Tu Shaofang F Y .0934 Y
劉益昌 Liu Yichang Y .0883
唐儀靜 Tang Yijing F Y .0656
黃永田 Huang Yongtian Y .0353

Tainan City 11 (North)

m=4                 nominate=2                 Female=1

name Name Fem New Inc poll win
陳怡珍 Chen Yizhen F Y .4633 Y
唐碧娥 Tang Bi’e F .2696 Y
陳宗彥 Chen Zongyan Y .2141
吳杰 Wu Jie Y .0530

Tainan City 12 (Central-West)

m=2                 nominate=2                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc poll win
邱莉莉 Qiu Lili F Y Y
林俊憲 Lin Junxian Y

Note: Lin Junxian agreed to withdraw after the telephone surveys were held.

Tainan City 13 (Anping)

m=2                 nominate=2                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc poll win
李文正 Li Wenzheng Y Y
翁朝正 Weng Chaozheng Y

Tainan City 14 (East)

m=6                 nominate=3                 Female=1

name Name Fem New Inc poll win
王定宇 Wang Dingyu Y .4709 Y
蔡旺詮 Cai Wangquan Y .2149 Y
陸美祈 Lu Meiqi F Y .1696 Y
郭朝武 Guo Chaowu .0890
蔡麗青 Cai Liqing Y .0557

Tainan City 15 (South)

m=4                 nominate=2                 Female=1

name name Fem New Inc poll win
莊玉珠 Zhuang Yuzhu F Y .4949 Y
陳進益 Chen Jinyi Y .3015 Y
杜媽政 Du Mazheng Y .2036

Tainan City 16 (Rende, Guiren, Guanmiao, Longqi)

m=5                 nominate=3                 Female=1

name name Fem New Inc poll win
王雅雲 Wang Yayun F Y Y
陳文清 Chen Wenqing Y
劉正昌 Liu Zhengchang Y Y

Kaohsiung City 1

(Taoyuan, Namaxia, Jiaxian, Liugui, Shanlin, Neimen, Qishan, Meinong, Maolin)

m=3                 nominate=2                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc poll win
林富寶 Lin Fubao Y .4686 Y
蕭育穎 Xiao Yuying F Y .2993 Y
鍾盛有 Zhong Shengyou Y .2321

Kaohsiung City 2 (Jiading, Hu’nei, Luzhu, Alian, Tianliao)

m=4                 nominate=3                 Female=1

name name Fem New Inc poll win
張文瑞 Zhang Wenrui Y .3099 Y
陳明澤 Chen Mingze Y .2922 Y
黃炎森 Huang Yansen .2333
葉香 Ye Xiang F .0906 Y
鄭顯達 Zheng Xianda Y .0739

Note: Ye Xian won due to the female reserve clause.

Kaohsiung City 3 (Yong’an, Gangshan, Yanchao, Mituo, Ziguan, Qiaotou)

m=5                 nominate=2                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc poll win
陳政聞 Chen Zhengwen Y .4049 Y
翁瑞珠 Weng Ruizhu F Y .3214 Y
謝志富 Xie Zhifu Y .2737

Kaohsiung City 4 (Nanzi, Zuoying)

m=8                 nominate=3                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc poll win
林瑩蓉 Lin Yingrong F Y .4852 Y
黃昭星 Huang Zhaoxing Y .2413 Y
張豐藤 Zhang Fengteng Y .1711 Y
許仁圖 Xu Rentu Y .1023

Kaohsiung City 5 (Dashe, Renwu, Niaosong, Dashu)

m=4                 nominate=3                 Female=1

name name Fem New Inc poll win
張勝富 Zhang Shengfu .3524 Y
錢聖武 Qian Shengwu Y .2990 Y
曾欽宏 Zeng Qinhong Y .2411
林芳如 Lin Fangru F Y .1075 Y

Note: Lin Fangru won due to the female reserve clause.

Kaohsiung City 6 (Yancheng, Gushan, Qijin)

m=4                 nominate=2                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc poll win
李喬如 Li Qiaoru F Y Y
連文堅 Lian Wenjian Y Y

Kaohsiung City 7 (Sanmin)

m=8                 nominate=4                 Female=1

name name Fem New Inc poll win
洪平朗 Hong Pinglang Y .1865 Y
康裕成 Kang Yucheng F Y .1746 Y
林進興 Lin Jinxing .1702
林武忠 Lin Wuzhong Y .1593 Y
黃淑美 Huang Shumei F Y .1209 Y
潘金英 Pan Jinying Y .1166
李帝慶 Li Diqing Y .0431
劉彥賢 Liu Yanxian .0288

Note: Lin Jinxing agreed to withdraw after the telephone surveys were held.

Kaohsiung City 8 (Qianjin, Xinxing, Lingya)

m=6                 nominate=3                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc poll win
郭建盟 Guo Jianmeng .2794 Y
周玲妏 Zhou Lingwen F Y .2185 Y
蕭永達 Xiao Yongda Y .1876 Y
李文良 Li Wenliang Y .1817
湯東穎 Tang Dongying Y .1328

Kaohsiung City 9 (Fengshan)

m=8                 nominate=3                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc poll win
張漢忠 Zhang Hanzhong Y Y
陳慧文 Chen Huiwen F Y Y
顏曉菁 Yan Xiaojing F Y Y

Kaohsiung City 10 (Qianzhen, Xiaogang)

m=8                 nominate=4                 Female=1

name name Fem New Inc poll win
吳銘賜 Wu Mingsi Y Y
鄭光峰 Zheng Guangfeng Y Y
李宛蓉 Li Wanrong F Y Y
陳信瑜 Chen Xinyu F Y Y

Kaohsiung City 11 (Daliao, Linyuan)

m=4                 nominate=2                 Female=0

name name Fem New Inc poll win
韓賜村 Han Sicun .4111 Y
蔡昌達 Cai Changda Y .3536 Y
洪村銘 Hong Cunming Y .2354

DPP City Council telephone survey procedures

June 18, 2010

The DPP is determining its nominations for this year’s city council elections by telephone surveys.  This is, to my knowledge, unique worldwide.  Here in Taiwan, the KMT sometimes claims to also use surveys, but they have not institutionalized their procedures to the extent that the DPP has, and the KMT always reserves (and occasionally employs) the right to ignore the surveys and do something else.  As such, I view the KMT’s surveys as simply playing an advisory role.  Lots of parties around the world do this.  In contrast, the DPP takes its survey results as binding.  If you win the survey, you win the nomination.

This is interesting in and of itself, but there is more.  The electoral system the DPP uses in its surveys is quite esoteric.  Taiwan’s multimember districts use the SNTV system, but the DPP surveys use something just a little different.  In fact, I’m not quite sure exactly how to classify this system.

Here are the important rules.  There are two conditions, and each uses a different set of rules.  If there is only one nomination or if there are three or fewer candidates, survey respondents will only be allowed to express support for one candidate.  (OK, this part is easy to understand: it’s just a simple survey and plurality wins.)  If there are four or more candidate contesting two or more nominations the following rules will be used.

  1. Each respondent is asked for his first and second preference.  The first preference is given 2 points, and the second preference is given 1 point.
  2. If, when asked for his first preference, the respondent insists that he cannot differentiate between his two top choices, each will be given 1.5 points.  If the respondent cannot differentiate among three or more choices, his answer is coded as “don’t know” and no one is given any points.
  3. If, when asked for his second preference, the respondent cannot give a clear answer, refuses to choose another candidate, or indicates that he only supports his first choice, the first preference is given 3 points.

The DPP does three separate surveys with at least a sample size of 1068 for each race.  The results of each survey are averaged and calculated out to the fourth decimal place to get the final result.  (Note: in previous elections, the DPP required a sample size of 3000.  They also have used a filter question in the past to disqualify respondents who support the KMT.)

The source for this is this document:

I am looking primarily at pp 20-25, 43-49.

So each respondent has three votes that he can cast in the following ways:

  1. A: 3
  2. A: 2, B: 1
  3. A: 1.5, B: 1.5

Since it is impossible to cast any number other than three total votes, we could normalize the three votes to one vote, which is what the DPP does when they report the results.

This fits somewhere in the family of limited votes.  To review, the limited vote has districts with m seats, where m≧1, and each voter casts somewhere between 1 and m-1 votes.  The top m vote-getters win the seat.  Standard plurality elections are part of this family.  M=1, and each voter casts one vote.  SNTV is also part of this family.  M>1, and each voter casts exactly one vote.  However, here we have a case of voters casting more than one vote, and they can either spread their support among two candidates or concentrate it on one candidate.

I think this counts as limited vote with cumulation, except that cumulation is required, not simply allowed.  You are not allowed to give one vote to three separate candidates.

Research on limited vote systems is very sparse (except for the SMP and SNTV variants).  I need to go and look up the article, but I think I remember reading about a limited vote system for the London city council in the Victorian era.  The upshot was that everyone cumulated their votes on the local candidate, so the election essentially turned into SNTV.  That is what candidates in Taiwan seem to be trying to do.  Every banner, ad, and billboard asks people to express exclusive support for them.  However, I’m dying to know if this is actually what happens.  Are there successful candidates who get large shares of their support from second preferences?  Is there any pattern to whether a voter splits his support or not?

Another interesting question about these surveys has to do with sampling error.  In short, there is no concession made to sampling error.  If A gets a higher score than B, then A beats B no matter how small the difference is.  This, of course, is just the type of thing that drives statisticians crazy.  To simplify, the sampling error for a survey is roughly 1/Ön, where n is the sample size.  Each survey has a sample size of n=1068, so the error for each survey is .03, or 3%.  So when you do one survey, you get one answer.  If you do the same survey 1000 more times, you’ll get 1000 more answers, all slightly different.  However, 950 of those answers should be within 3% of the actual value in the population (which is what we are trying to measure).

Remember, however, that in these multimember districts, 10% or 15% support can often win the last spot.  If one person gets 13% (or more accurately, somewhere between 10% and 16%) while another gets 12% (really 9%-15%), you simply can’t be sure that the former is really stronger than the latter.  Doing three surveys helps a bit, but the answer isn’t three times better.  The error is roughly 1/Ö3204, or 1.77%.  There are going to be lots of instances in which the difference between the last winner and the first loser is more than twice that, which is roughly what it would take to say that the former is more popular than the latter in a statistical sense.  I haven’t looked at it, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the last winner and first loser were not statistically significantly different in a majority of races.  However, the DPP makes no allowance for this.  If you get a lower value, you lose.

(Note: In previous elections, the DPP required each survey to have a sample size of at least n=3000.  1/Ö9000 is 1.05%.  Better, but still not necessarily conclusive.  And very expensive.)

Of course, you now expect me to conclude that the DPP’s system is unreasonable.  Nope.  The purpose of a primary system is not to choose the most popular candidates.  It is to persuade the losers to stand down so that the party can succeed in the general election.  Think about this from the loser’s perspective.  There was a fair criterion that was well understood in advance.  The loser might not be less popular than the winner, but there is very little reason to believe that he is more popular.  Moreover, in the general election, the party nominees will enjoy the benefits of the party label.  If the loser ran as an independent, he would probably lose much of his support (since most of his supporters are also DPP supporters and would want to vote for a DPP candidate).  In other words, if you couldn’t win the primary, chances are pretty dim that you might be able to win the general election, even if you think you really had more support in the general population than the winner and just got an unlucky sample.  If the losers stand down, then this system works.

(Yes, I will be paying attention to what happens next.  This is one of the reasons that I’m so excited to get data on people contesting the nominations.)

Pressure mounts on Cai to run

May 17, 2010

The DPP mayoral nomination process for the other three cities has entered its final stages.  It was supposed to be done last week, but the DPP gave itself a one week extension.

There’s not much doubt that the DPP will nominate Su Zhenchang 蘇貞昌 for Taipei City, but the other two nominations are still very much in the air.  There is a strong push being made to shove aside the two obvious candidates, You Xikun 游錫堃 and Lin Jialong 林佳龍, in favor of the two top party leaders, Chair Cai Yingwen 蔡英文 and Secretary-General Su Jiaquan 蘇嘉全.  Neither Cai nor Su really wants to run, but they are under immense pressure to accept the nominations.  Cai threw Su under the bus first, calling on him to run in Taichung City a couple of weeks ago.  Yesterday, Su returned the favor, saying his campaign would only have direction if Cai were also to run.  (Funny, I thought they were supposed to be allies!)  For the first time in a couple of months, I am getting the feeling that Cai and Su will have to yield to the pressure and accept the nominations.

Why don’t they want to run?  There are a few common reasons.  Both seem quite happy in their present offices.  Both would be outsiders running a campaign without deep local connections and only six months to develop local credibility.  Neither has prepared at all for this campaign.  In Cai’s case, she wants to remain in national politics, with her eye on national issues such as relations with China, national security, the economy, and so forth.  Becoming mayor of Xinbei City would give her electoral experience and some experience in local government, but it would also force her to spend time on local government problems, like picking up garbage, enforcing parking regulations, and maintaining parks.  Cai has a chance to be the party presidential candidate in 2012, and I think her eye is firmly fixed on that opportunity.  Local governance is a distraction to preparation for that race.  Besides, she might lose this election.  Polls show her even with Zhu Lilun 朱立倫, not with a big lead.  For Su, the probability of losing is very high.  His job would be to lose as well as possible, hardly an attractive mission for someone who is already established in national politics.  Moreover, since no one wants to back a losing horse, Su probably wouldn’t be able to raise money easily.

Since they don’t want to run, why does everyone else want them to?  In a word, the alternatives are lousy.  In Taichung City, Lin Jialong has been running for more than five years, and is still nowhere in the polls.  He already lost by a convincing margin to Jason Hu 胡志強 once, and there is very little reason to believe it would be any better this time.  The other local candidates, such as Guo Junming 郭俊銘 and Qiu Taisan 邱太三, have even worse prospects.  In Xinbei City, the situation is perhaps even more desperate.  The DPP is mostly resigned to losing Taichung, but they think they should win Xinbei.  At the beginning of the year, the KMT was saddled with a lousy incumbent, Zhou Xiwei 周錫瑋, and both Su Zhenchang and Cai Yingwen were leading him in the polls.  Since then, Zhou has withdrawn from the race in favor of Zhu Lilun, Su opted to run in Taipei City, and Cai doesn’t want to run.  What looked like a likely victory for the DPP has turned into a likely defeat.  As in Taichung, the other potential nominees aren’t appealing.  Former Premier You Xikun has emerged as the strongest of the bunch, but he still trails Zhu in the polls but a wide margin, as much as 20%.  At this point, the most likely outcome of a You candidacy would be something like a 55-45 defeat: respectable, but a clear defeat nonetheless.  If the DPP wants to win, they probably need Cai Yingwen.

One thing this illustrates to me is just what a tough game electoral politics is.  If you look like a loser, you will be cast aside.  Lin Jialong has been working hard for five years, but since he has little in the way of public support, the DPP won’t hesitate to push him aside if there is any better option.  You Xikun has had six months to prove that he could win the Xinbei race.  There hasn’t been much movement in the polls.  Well, he had his shot, and now it’s time to look for someone else.  The KMT was desperately trying to do the same thing in the Kaohsiung and Tainan races.  The difference is that they never found any better options.  Even Wang Jinping 王金平 didn’t look like he would win Kaohsiung, and Wang is such an effective Speaker that they party can hardly afford to sacrifice him for a few extra percentage points.  The DPP has better options in Cai and Su.  Cai is clearly more popular than You and is even with Zhu.  Su is only even with Lin, but that makes him a far better vehicle for the DPP.  Su hasn’t even started to develop a campaign yet; he can only go up.  No voter is going to re-evaluate things with a Hu-Lin matchup.  With a brand new face in the race, there is a chance that voters will take a fresh look, not only at the DPP side, but also at Jason Hu and his record.

I’m not sure that nominating Cai and Su helps the DPP in the long run, especially for the 2012 presidential race.  However, it would clearly make them stronger in this year’s elections.