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Dec 25, 2007

Looking more like one step

After the Central Election Commission threatened to replace any city and council election commission members who would not agree to a one step method of handing out ballots (and gave them two days to make up their mind), the city governments have sort of quieted down on the topic.

The Cabinet yesterday issued an ultimatum to local election commission heads,
stressing that those who failed to implement the one-step voting format during
the Jan. 12 legislative election would be dismissed, replaced, brought to
justice and disciplined...

Upon learning of the possibility that the CEC could replace the heads of the local election commissions in pan-blue-governed cities and counties, KMT caucus whip Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) yesterday threatened to sue the CEC for malfeasance.

The blue counties appear to be getting ready for a strategic retreat, though the Taipei City government has some rather vague statements amounting to "switch the personnel if you want," while they avoided using the words "two-step method." There was also a quotation from an un-named CEC member that said local governments said they would be willing to use a "one-step method" as long as they didn't have to emply that particular phrase.

I've also discovered from talking to my reporter buddy that in this election, even if your ballot goes into the wrong box, it will be counted (just maybe after most of the ballots that were in the right box are counted). So there's no real basis that the DPP can somehow use the one-step method to make the election luan (亂).


Also, a couple of other notes on the legislative election: First, both myself and a friend have recently been taking note of election activities in a few places (Dashe and Meinong in Kaohsiung County, Pingtung City, Yunlin, and Chiayi County). Our general (and biased?) feeling is that the DPP is working hard-- candidates are in at temples, at Sunday street fairs, even isolated mountain villages. They are driving around their campaign trucks in person, they have widely distributed merchandise (hats, flags, bumper stickers), and they're dealing with voters.

In contrast, besides a ton of bus and bus stop ads, the KMT seems to have the following going for them in the places the two of us have observed:

1) Some hungover looking worker dudes hanging up flags by the road in Meinung
2) Some campaign people for a Yunnlin county candidate hanging out in Caoling at a coffee shop on the grounds of a China Youth Corps hostel.
3) Some old man handing out flyers in Pingtung City and "reminding" people not to even take a referendum ballot.

I'd like more reports on election activities in your area. Have you seen candidates? How does the street-side flag coverage work out? What about trucks or other campaign activities?


David said...

In my neighborhood in Taipei County it seems the green is making a little better effort than the blue. However, the overall level of campaigning activity and amount of posters and flags seems less than during the local elections.

Raj said...

Yes, it does look like the CEC and central government are pressing the matter. Hopefully they will get their way, because it can't be good for democracy if local regions ignore central instructions when it's convenient.

As I said on the PD blog, the KMT shot themselves in the foot when they petitioned the CEC to have a two-stage system - if they couldn't force the issue, why talk to them at all? To force the DPP to have a two-stage format in their own areas?


Unknown said...

didn't the blue legislative pass a law last week making 2 step voting legal. of course the DPP cabinet branded the law as illegitimate. the respective parties have to sort out the division of powers between the executive and legislative branch in the future. maybe a parliamentary system is better.
most of the papers I read suggest KMT and allies could grab to 2/3 of seats and the rest green seats.
that's typical of the blue over positive perception. one can add another 10 seats to DPP predicated target of 40 seats.

阿牛 said...

I didn't particularly care about a presidential vs a parliamentary system, and still think either would be better than the current confusion.

But with the way the legislature is going to be so powerful and small, as well as blue for the forseeable future, I'd rather see a presidential system at this point. But again, either one would be fine.