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Apr 22, 2008

When's the next election?

I was asking mostly for selfish reasons (such as "Ooh, I can make a new map!" and "Maybe the DPP won't get creamed!"). And since Taiwan has a major election every single year thanks to the gradual democratization process that left elections on different dates, there's always one around the corner!

The Election of County Magistrates, County Councilmen, and Township Governors will take place in December 2009. There's a pretty good English article on Wikipedia on how the last election went in 2005 here, and some nice tables in the Chinese version here. Some likely candidates for bigger posts are listed in Chinese here.

The election turnout in 2005 was actually surprisingly high, in the 64-70% range on average. Pretty impressive.

The still more local elections, for village and borough wardens (村里長 -- you can find yours here), in which vote buying is absolutely rampant (over 800 cases in Taipei city in 2006), doesn't get the same turnout but depends on mobilization. The village and borough warden elections are run by local election commisisons. These elections look like they'll be held next in July of 2010.

Here's the law regarding the rules for running for / being impeached from these offices. ROC citizens 23/26/30 years of age and older can run (smaller offices = younger age).

In any case, I'm glad to see the DPP has also recognized the importance of doing better in local elections and building itself from the bottom up.

After the election defeat, I mused about what the DPP needs to do next. The short list was:

  1. Implement a 19 counties strategy (if you count the municipalities, 21) -- looking like the DPP is on the right track here! At least they are seeing the importance of winning more locally, though we'll have to see if they actually can get the wins.
  2. Define core issues and increase autonomy. -- This will depend a lot on who the next chairman is. By autonomy, I really mean 'room for dissent from the party line.'
  3. Form a shadow cabinet. -- DPP is doing this! I can't help but fantasize that it's all because of my little e-mail to the chairman.
  4. Highlight legislative work. -- Only time will tell.
  5. Improve the legislators' professional image. -- Here too, too early to say. But the whole party apparatus will have a more professional image if Tsai Ing-wen wins the chairmanship, and that's a great start.

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