"Pay close attention to that man behind the curtain!"

Monday, March 22, 2004

Crackpot theories

Spokespersons for Taiwan's president Chen Shui-bian have already told the Lien-Soong camp (the crybaby losers in Saturday's election) that they have the right to the judicial process of determining the legal status of the election's outcome, but that they should wait until Monday morning when the court is in session and go about it in a reasonable manner.

Despite an earlier promise by Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou (KMT) that he would order everyone to clear the area by 10 PM Sunday night (in accordance with existing laws regarding rallies) -- a promise on which he later reneged -- thousands of supporters, led by KMT and PFP legislators, are still gathered in front of the Presidential Office in Taipei demanding an immediate recount -- which will not happen without proper judicial procedures being followed. These procedures include submitting a written statement to the court declaring reasons for requesting a recount, and presenting evidence to support such claims -- not just making lots of noise and crying "Unfair!" This kind of behavior is unacceptable even for junior high school students.

These crackpots have now spread their silly conspiracy theories to the international media that Friday's assassination attempt of President Chen and Vice-President Annette Lu was a "stunt." Certain doubting Thomases [LINK] want Chen to "show the people his wound to prove the shooting was not a stunt." Photos of Chen taken while he was being treated at the Chi Mei Hospital, as well as video of his arrival there, has been shown on local TV news late Sunday night and are being kept as "potential evidence" to ward off such crackpots. The doubters also say that "too many questions remained about the apparent assassination attempt just hours before the polls." I guess these people aren't very familiar with the doubts which remain surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy over 40 years ago.

How about this for a crackpot theory? Since Lien and Soong "predicted" both the assassination attempt ("[The] DPP might resort to all sorts of dirty tricks" [LINK]) and the riots ("[T]he 'complexities' of collecting and casting three ballots will inevitably spark election conflicts and 'riots.'" [Emphasis mine] [LINK]), they must be to blame for both of these events.

I want to add that I think it's the Lien-Soong camp that has likely cheated in this election, and they're crying foul because they still lost despite their efforts. According to the people I've talked with, the numbers at pro-Chen rallies I've attended, the number of campaign signs visible on the streets (keep in mind that the opposition is filthy rich), and the nature of the campaigns conducted by each side, I had predicted that Chen would get between 60 and 80 percent of the vote. His supporters are enthusiastic, but not loud and violent like so many of Lien's and -- especially -- Soong's.

The raucous nature of last night's protests in Kaohsiung, Taichung, and Taipei may give the impression that these people are everywhere, but while I was out on the streets of Taichung Sunday afternoon, there was no sign of such people. Like Bush's Republican protesters for hire, they're a loud minority with lots of money backing them up. I hope that Taiwanese supporters of Chen's Democratic Progressive Party have learned some lessons from the 2000 debacle in Florida and have a plan to prevent a similar outcome in the aftermath of this election.
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