Combined elections should be put to referendum

I had a letter published in the Taipei Times today. The letter suggests holding a referendum on combining the presidential and legislative elections. I believe this is one of several referendums that could be held in conjunction with the forthcoming presidential and legislative elections. The most important one would be a referendum to amend the birdcage provisions of the Referendum Law.

While the idea of combining the presidential and legislative elections (“KMT mulls idea of combined legislative, presidential election,” Jan. 18, page 3) is good in theory, the means of achieving it should respect democratic principles.

With the legislative election now less than a year away, it is not the time to start changing the rules. Furthermore, any changes in the dates of elections that involve extending term limits would seriously harm voters’ democratic rights. Continue reading “Combined elections should be put to referendum”

A new generation steps forward in the elections

DPP rally in Taichung

There has already been some excellent analyses of the Taiwan five cities election by Michael Turton, Nathan Batto and Bruce Jacobs. I just want to add a few points to the discussion.

While there was no clear victor in the elections, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have more to celebrate than the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). Although the DPP will be disappointed that they didn’t pick up an extra mayoral seat, they did boost their overall vote and showed that they have a very good chance of winning the presidential election in 2012. Continue reading “A new generation steps forward in the elections”

More election campaign posters

The five cities election (五都選舉) will be held on Saturday 27 November. As a follow up to my previous post on election campaign posters in Taichung I want to post a few more photos that I have taken over the past few months in various places. More photos can also be found in the “Five Cities” Election Campaign Posters gallery at my Taiwan photo gallery site.

Taichung goes global - Hu poster

Jason Hu (胡志強), Taichung Mayor and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate for Mayor of Greater Taichung, is using the slogan “Taichung goes global.” I’m not sure which train he’s riding. It’s definitely not the Taichung MRT!

Poster for Su Jia-chyuan in Taichung

Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全), the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) candidate for Mayor of Greater Taichung, is putting out the message that he can do things that Jason Hu has failed to do. Continue reading “More election campaign posters”

DPP beats KMT in social media campaign

Screenshot of DPP website

In the lead up to the local elections in 2010 I wrote a post about the use of social media by politicians in Taiwan. I noted how the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was far more active online than its counterpart, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

Screenshot of KMT website

I have gathered some data about the use of social media by the mayoral candidates in the five cities election (五都選舉) taking place on 27 November. All candidates are using several forms of online communication as part of their campaign. This includes websites, blogs, Plurk, YouTube, flickr and Facebook. Links to these sites are clearly shown on the front page of the KMT and DPP websites. This is shown in the two screenshots in this post.  Continue reading “DPP beats KMT in social media campaign”

Hsiao Bi-Khim on the election campaign

Taiwanese politician Hsiao Bi-khimKlaus Bardenhagen, a German reporter based in Taiwan, interviewed Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), director of the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Department of International Affairs, in Banqiao yesterday. He kindly provided me with a copy of the interview for use on this blog. In the interview Hsiao talks about the current election campaign and the the development of democracy in Taiwan.

I recently noted how the DPP was actively encouraging youth to vote. Hsiao explained, “Young people, according to polls, favour our party over the others by a two to one margin which is very good. Unfortunately the young people are not reliable because their voter turnout is low. Only about 30% of the young people come out to vote. So we really want to increase the voter turnout among younger people.” Continue reading “Hsiao Bi-Khim on the election campaign”

Youth can change Taiwan!

My recent letter in the Taipei Times ended by saying that youth must speak out to protect freedom in Taiwan. After I posted a link to my letter on Facebook Michael Turton commented that the youth also need to vote.

It seems very timely that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) just released a campaign video featuring rapper Dog G (大支) titled “Change Taiwan” (改變台灣). The DPP writes in the description of Dog G’s video that they want youth to actively participate in and contribute their ideas to the election campaign. They go on to write, “the DPP wants to promote an overall increase in the youth vote. It is not just concerned with the overall breakdown of votes between the parties. The key point is that youth should play a key role in this election!” Continue reading “Youth can change Taiwan!”

Prediction market for the five cities election

Election campaign posters in Taichung

The five cities election (五都選舉) is exactly one month away. On 27 November voters will go to the polls in the newly merged and upgraded special municipalities of Kaohsiung, Tainan and Taichung as well as Taipei City and Taipei County (which will be renamed Xinbei City/New Taipei City). The latest numbers from National Chengchi University’s Prediction Market Centre give some pointers to the likely results.

Greater Kaohsiung

  • Chen Chu (DPP) 64.1
  • Yang Chiu-hsing (Ind) 26.5
  • Huang Chao-shun (KMT) 8.7

Greater Tainan

  • William Lai (DPP) 85.0
  • Kuo Tien-tsai (KMT) 9.4

Greater Taichung

  • Jason Hu (KMT) 67.0
  • Su Jia-chyuan (DPP) 31.5 (Su is not actually listed, price is for “other”)

Taipei County (soon to be renamed)

  • Eric Chu (KMT) 49.4
  • Tsai Ing-wen (DPP) 50.6

Taipei City

  • Hau Lung-bin (KMT) 45.5
  • Su Tseng-chang (DPP) 51.5

Continue reading “Prediction market for the five cities election”

Election campaign posters in Taichung

Taichung election campaign posters

Although the “five cities” elections (五都選舉) are still more than three months away, billboards promoting election candidates have been in place for many months. Over the last few months I have been photographing some of the billboards around Taichung. Some of the photos with comments are included in this blog post. A larger collection can be found in the “Five Cities” Election Campaign Posters gallery at my Taiwan photo gallery site. Although the focus is on Taichung I hope I will get the chance to add some photos from other cities in Taiwan before the elections are held.

Most of the posters tend to have a pretty simple design. There is a large photo of the candidate occasionally adopting poses such as the raised fist.  There are usually only a few words describing the candidate such as their party and the position they are running for. This is also often accompanied by words such as “hard-working”, “capable” and “honest” indicating the candidate’s qualities and also the phrase “earnestly requesting your vote”. A few posters do vary from this theme and get a little bit more creative though. Continue reading “Election campaign posters in Taichung”