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Mar 27, 2007

DPP opinion poll; voting from overseas

The DPP, when taking an opinion poll that will be weighed when nominating candidates for teh 2008 presidential election, has opted for the softest version of "excluding blues."

The whole idea with this is that party members are such a small percentage of DPP-leaning voters that an opinion poll is at least as relevant as a primary in choosing your candidates. At the same, the candidate is being picked to represent the DPP, so the party wants to ask DPP-leaning voters what they think rather than ask the public at large.

Past proposals included excluding anyone who had not voted for the DPP in 3 consecutive national elections -- which would exclude a great many moderates. Some green legislators are not pleased with the decision.

Meanwhile, the KMT came up with an idea last week to make it possible for overseas citizens to vote remotely instead of coming back to Taiwan. They've been placing it at the top of the legislative agenda this week, probably because it'll be more popular than their CEC bill.

The obvious idea is to increase the number of businessmen in China who can vote without coming home (as seen from direct references to Taishang 台商 being treated as second class citizens by the DPP).

The KMT notes that according to their numbers, up to 15% of eligible voters cannot conveniently cast a ballot. They rhetorically ask the DPP "what's so scary about deepening democracy?"

I actually strongly support this sort of legislation in principal. Having to fly back to Taiwan to vote is quite absurd. But I think this sort of bill should do two additional things: (a) allow all citizens over 18 years of age to vote (currently the voting age is 21); and (b) take steps to ensure minimum voter fraud.

Now the problem with this bill is it proposes to allow people to vote electronically (using 通訊) from overseas, and if that won't be prone to massive abuse, I don't know what would be. The specifics are not normally discussed in media reports, so its hard to say much about that.

What can you do if you get so much fraud that you can't really tell the real votes from the fake ones? Or what if there is an inadequate paper trail?

In other words, the KMT should at least notice what problems are plaguing other electronic voting systems and consider that those occur *in country,* where the votes are easier to varify and voter fraud would be a bit harder.


Raj said...

What's the legislative schedule for Thursday (i.e. the order of voting)?

Also why do no votes take place on Friday - everything seems to happen on Thursday with Tuesday being a time to set the schedule. Seems strange to me - or is it just that big bills happen at the end of the week?

阿牛 said...

I'm afraid I don't know the answer to this question :( I'll try to find out, though.