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

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Trust the Chinese Nationalist Party?

Why not just add the word "not"?

During Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Mr. Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) presidential campaign, he used the double entendre 「馬上好」 (mǎ shàng hǎo) as a slogan. The phrase can mean both "Ma becoming president is a good thing" and "Things will be good soon."

It's not, and they won't.

The campaign was taking place at a time when, in contrast with constant pan-blue media reports to the contrary, Taiwan already had a very healthy economy. At that time, the news hadn't yet come out that during the first quarter of 2008 -- under the administration of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) -- Taiwan's GDP growth rate was a "better-than-expected" 6.06%.

Ma's campaign extended the slogan of "mǎ shàng hǎo" to imply that an even more immediate "change" would occur (although they failed to tell us in which direction that change would take us). One of the ads which used that slogan had someone lampooning former president Chen. In that commercial, a child's voice asks, 「那還要等多久?」 ("So how much longer will we have to wait [for things to get better]?"). The fake Chen replies, 「馬‧上就會好」 (mǎ shàng jiù huì hǎo), or "When Ma is elected, things will be better immediately."

See/Hear for yourself (video starts slowly):

0:20 YouTube video: "馬上就會好"

That's only what we said, not what we meant
A little over one month ago, I had already suggested my own variation on Ma's slogan. Now, even his team is realizing that they'd better backtrack.

Yesterday's news reported that Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) announced that 「馬上漸漸好」 (mǎ shàng jiàn jiàn hǎo) ("Things will gradually get better") will be the new slogan. He claimed that 「馬上」 is "just an attitude" (態度) and that the slogan is now being used by the DPP to "hurt the Ma administration." That might be a good excuse if the KMT hadn't come up with the slogan themselves.

Liu Chao-hsiuan changes Ma's tune - Hosted by ImageShack
Liu Chao-hsiuan (劉兆玄) helps Mr. Ma (馬英九先生) change his tune
(Image via SET's Talking Show [大話新聞])

For now, all I can do is (foolishly?) hope that the KMT doesn't do irreparable damage to Taiwan while they're in office -- as if they're not already well on their way to doing so.

Shapes of things to come: , , Mr. , 先生, , , , , ,

Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Deep thoughts 2, June 7, 2008

A one-man band?

It would be rather difficult for one person to make off with 560 metric tons of fertilizer all by himself.

The usual subjects: , , ,

Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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Deep thoughts, June 7, 2008

What's in a name, huh?

Perhaps Taiwan's new Minister of Foreign Affairs, Francisco Ou (歐鴻鍊), is not aware that the United States has a Taiwan Relations Act -- not a "Republic of China Relations Act."

Even Thomas Christensen (remember him?) has the sense to call Taiwan "Taiwan" -- at least he does when the context includes the PRC (AKA "China").

Beyond Francisco's grasp: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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