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Mar 19, 2008

Chuang fall out

A blue media strategy in the days running up to the election has been to give a lot of air time to stories about Chuang Kuo-jong (莊國榮), one of the most inflammatory officials in the executive. Chuang is not a DPP member, but he has been campaigning for Hsieh and recently bad mouthed Ma Ying-jeou's late father at a DPP event on Sunday, resulting in universal condemnation and a written apology to Ma.

The most rational & widely shared criticism of the DPP for the last 8 years has been bad administration: frequent cabinet shake ups, almost yearly premier changes, and a cacophony of undiplomatic speech being broadcast by various executive officials. Stories about Chuang are meant to remind people of these sub-par performances and cement the feeling that the DPP is just too incompetent to run th executive. This reinforcement is especially important in light of the Tibet events, which in green media has been focusing even greater attention on Ma's One China principal and the CPP's ruthlessness, as well as Hsieh's attacks on Ma's economic policies which might have some people wondering just how close to a "common market" they're really willing to go.

Hsieh and Ma have also been encouraging people to vote fo rthe referendum as a way of supporting Tibet and denouncing the Chinese violence there. Given the poor show of the referendum last time, the KMT's silence since it's official promotion of their own referendum, and legislator Hong Hsiu-chu's self-funded anti-referendum ad (she was #2 on the at large KMT list, remember), I don't expect either will pass.

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