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

Sunday, May 15, 2005

After Taiwan's National Assembly election

Post goofy election goofiness
Back in December 2004, the dominant spin after Taiwan's legislative elections was that Chen Shui-bian and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) were "defeated." (See also here.) How do you think the pan-blues will spin the results of Saturday's National Assembly election? Here are the numbers for the four major parties:

PartyActual # of votesPercent of votesSeats
PFP236,7166.1% 18
* Compiled from unofficial results reported on Taiwan's TV news.

Speech, speech
I saw 2 of the parties' chairmen giving speeches after these numbers were being broadcast.

DPP chairman Su Tseng-chang was elated and expressed deep gratitude to his party's supporters.

KMT chairman Lien Chan, on the other hand, was doing his usual Mr. Magoo impression, seeming lost and confused, and wearing a plastic surgery-like smile. Quoting what is most likely an internal KMT poll (it certainly isn't this one), he said that "80% of Taiwanese" supported his recent trip to China. He had trouble reconciling that with the low voter turnout (local news said that it was only 23.36%) which was most surely greater than the sample in the poll he was quoting. Lien said he wasn't sure if this counted as a "loss."

At least he wasn't visibly crying.

Blame it on the rain
A spokesperson from the Central Election Commission speaking on TV a while ago blamed the low turnout on today's admittedly very bad weather. I'm sure it affected some people's decision to stay home, but as I wrote yesterday, people were simply uninformed and consequently unmotivated, despite prizes of MP3 players and NT$1 million being offered as an incentive to participate.

Let's compare the results using the standard "blue vs. green" method:

127 (DPP) +21 (TSU)= 148 (pan-greens)
117 (KMT)+18 (PFP)=138 (pan-blues)

Looking at it this way, the pan-greens clearly "won." But we still don't know how the National Assembly is going to work.

Will it require a simple majority or a two-thirds vote to pass the proposed constitutional reforms? Will the pan-blues resort to underhanded methods to block developments the way they've been doing in the legislature?

Will they even try to blame this latest "loss" on an "invalid" election? There are already indications that they may be ready to try this old trick once again. A TV news report earlier this evening said that they* were requesting a constitutional interpretation from the Grand Justices to determine if the low voter turnout would invalidate the election. We'll have to wait for tomorrow's papers to come out to find out more.

I think I'm going to go to sleep for the next 14 hours. I'm as tired as a mule fucker.

* UPDATE: PFP vice-chairman Chang Chao-hsiung and loudmouth PFP legislator Lee Yung-ping are among the ones requesting the constitutional interpretation.

UPDATE 2: The Monday, May 16, 2005 edition of the Taiwan News has an English-language report on the sore-loser PFP's request. Be sure to check out PFP vice-chairman Chang Chao-hsiung's argument about why he thinks "democracy is regressing." Hint: the voters weren't simply "disinterested" -- many were kept in the dark, and those who knew the details probably didn't want to vote for a "package" when they only supported part of it.
eXTReMe Tracker
This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?