Share this

Jan 28, 2008

Election analysis bandwagon!

I thought since most everyone is giving their final thoughts on the legislative election results, I would add my voice to the chorus.

First: I agree the main factor for the loss was the new election system, and I too fear a very dirty "permanent majority" for the KMT in the legislature as well as machine politics. Maintaining this permanent majority will become a major goal of the KMT legislature, since they can pretty much count on alternating presidential election results in the long-run. If you think about it, the KMT has always been in charge of the legislature since its inception anyway, and the new results give us little hope that this will ever change. The terrible image of the legislature has in no way resulted in any punishment from the voters.

Second: I cannot endorse using the word gerrymandering for how the districts were drawn. The vast majority of district shapes were drawn out by the CEC and agreed upon by the DPP and KMT. Among the districts that the parties wanted drawn differently, the parties drew straws to decide which plan to use. This resulted in a net benefit to the KMT, but I believe to prove "gerrymandering," you'd have to re-run the election results while pretending the DPP got every contended district drawn exactly as it would have most liked to see. I ran numbers like this to try and predict the result before the election, so I'm not exactly eager to do it again (nor am I sure where one can find the DPP's proposed districts).

Third: I think some people in the blogosphere are talking past each other. If the DPP had run a different campaign message, it would not have changed the results much. At the same time this doesn't mean the DPP ran a good campaign or had a good message. And they will very much need one to win the presidency in 2008.

Fourth: we all know the presidential election will be closer, but what are Frankie's real chances at this time? It depends on his campaign, which I'd say is going well so far. Most people don't have a detailed grasp of the issues, but there does seem to be a general idea that Hsieh is "for good relations with China," but has a less unconditional approach than Ma. And voters will disagree on whether that is a good thing or not.

But a debate with Ma Ying-jeou is absolutely key. It would be the best chance for the public to compare and contrast the two candidate's positions in the relative absence of media spin. I think everyone knows that Frank Hsieh would come out on top in such a debate. Which is exactly why Ma has so far refused to hold one.

Well, that's it for now. If someone's willing to run the numbers to demonstrate gerrymandering, I'd be interested in looking at them! :)


David said...

I think the gerrymander can really only be applied to the three seats for the outlying islands (Penghu, Jinmen and Mazu) and the six reserved seats for indigenous people. These all went to the KMT or parties/people with close links to the KMT. Given the relatively small size of these constituencies they do give the KMT an unfair advantage.

However, even if these seats were to be split 50/50 between the KMT and the DPP, the KMT would still have a dominant position in the legislature.

阿牛 said...

Regarding the aboriginal seats, there's no rational complaints since they did not actually move to the new system. Instead they were using the old multi-member system where the top three vote getters in the two catagories win.

Peng/Jin/Ma complaints make sense on a rational level, but politically you can't complain about giving each county at least some of its own representation.