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Oct 18, 2007

Referendum updates

A few issues have been raised about recent referendum issues, and I'd like to discuss them here.

First, the PFP and KMT have sued several government officials (including the premier) for breaking the referendum law and illegally using government resources to support the DPP's referendum campaign. The accusations seem well enough founded to me, considering that the DPP and government are using identical use of logos and slogan for their particular bids. That's the more damning part.

On the other hand, the government's bid to join the UN is long standing and picked up particular steam when A-bian sent his letter to the UN secretary general. The logos and slogans say nothing about a referendum.

I suppose on the legal front it will be come a question of the chicken or the egg.

Are government promotions to join the UN [under any name?] long standing policy already supported by both the KMT and DPP -- and the DPP merely co-opted the slogans and logos to push its referendum campaign?

Or do the slogans and logos amount to carefully coordinated and illegal support for the DPP's referendum only under the guise of a general push for Taiwan to join the UN [under any name]?

I think the waters are a bit murky here, and I certainly wish the government and party did a better job of keeping these campaigns seperate. We'll see how that turns out.

The second big "issue" lately is the CEC's decision to break with precedent by handing people both their presidential and referendum ballots at once. Before, people would need to wait in two lines to get each of their ballots.

This obviously infuriated the pan-blue camp, whose campaign to defeat any DPP referendums depends on making it as hard as possible for people to vote on the issue and minimizing turn out -- they obviously have no faith in their ability to win in a true battle for public opinion.

KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou dismissed the referendum topic again, noting that "the people" wish the DPP would stop pushing "fake issues" and start serving them properly.

The DPP just noted that this will be cheaper and that there's nothing wrong with making it easier to vote.

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