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Jul 31, 2008

This is fun

Mess around with it!

Assuming everything goes right for McCain and he wins NH, VA, CO, FL, IA, MO and NM, (and also assuming he doesn't pick up the long shots of MN or WI), then he doesn't need OH, IN or PA. He would have exactly 270 electoral votes, exactly two more than Obama. Another way to look at that is that Obama needs OH, MI and PA very badly.

But how likely is that? Not very. So let's try the experiment the other way; assuming McCain can win PA, OH and MI, what does Obama need? He basically needs to win all but one of the other contenders (NH, VA, CO, FL, IA, MO and NM).

So this is why I think PA, OH and MI are the biggest battlegrounds to watch, even though the Obama campaign has to look everywhere, not just these three states. But I figure the other competitive states are likely to split rather than end up in the same candidate's column, while PA, OH and MI could go as a block.

Household Registration Law

The latest incarnation of the stupid Household Registration Law (戶籍法).

Campaign spending

May I direct your attention to one of the latest posts on 538, which includes this graphic from the NYT:

Obama's taking Florida a lot more seriously than I would spending wise: I've been stuck on the formula:

(PA * OH * MI)2 + (VA / CO)stretch + (MN * WI)keep = Landslide

I'm not ignoring MO, IA, NC or NM, all of which the Dems could win (and NM is always a good indicator for the overall picture). But I didn't see the battle being won there.

So I was surprised to see such little focus on OH and MI, and very surprised to see all the spending in FL, which I figured the Dems might as well write off this election because it wasn't looking good. Also, shocking McCain's spend nothing in FL.

Now another interesting note: this is just ad dollars, not total spending. And Obama is using his money to hire local recruiters (that's right, hire, not just volunteers) who will try and register some 10 million new voters and get them out on election day. And that's an expensive operation. Obama's campaign has more full time paid staff than any other campaign ever. It's a bold move and a real way to take on the difficulties his campaign faces.

But ads do win you free airtime talking about the ad. And they do influence voters. So I hope Obama picks up the advertising at some point. Then again, right now he gets so much free network airtime, even if it's mostly negative, why spend a lot more?

Jul 30, 2008

Well, it's not all bad news

A cat which travelled from Taiwan to Nottinghamshire in a shipping container full of polyester yarn is recuperating after his five-week journey.

Video at the link.

Beijing keeps pressure on Taiwan

Who could have predicted this?

Lawmakers from the main opposition D-P-P have blasted the government over what they charge to be "hypocrisy" in regards its delegations to the Beijing Olympics and that of the nation's diplomatic allies.

According to D-P-P lawmaker's .... the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' lauding of the decision by Taiwan's 23 diplomatic allies not to send their heads of state, or vice presidents to the Games' opening ceremony contradicts the Ma Administration's decision to send several high-ranking K-M-T to Beijing.

Speaking to reporters ... a D-P-P spokesman said that it is total "hypocrisy" for members of the ruling party to attend the event while the leaders of Taiwan's allies are not allowed to send their leaders to the same event.

The D-P-P has called on President Ma Ying-jeou to explain the apparent double standard.

Airraid drill will shutdo-- er, black out pubs

Look slike they would have power after all, but they'll just have to block light from exiting the windows.

At least it's a Tuesday.

The Taipei City Government is advising residents to stay home and turn off all their lights between 10:30 and 11PM next Tuesday for the first annual Wan-An air raid drill to be held at night.

The drill covers northern Taiwan and will affect Taipei, Keelung, Yi-lan, Tao-yuan and Xin-chu cities and counties.
Cause no one would bomb anywhere else, right?
According to the Ministry of National Defense ... local government's off all cities and counties involved in the drill will enforce rules calling for all convenience stores, night markets, bars, clubs and pubs to turn off their lights and halt operations during the drill.

Taipei's mass-rapid transit system will continue operations during the drill, but passengers who exit trains will be directed to designated areas, while drivers will be required to pull their vehicles to the side of the road.

Failure to follow the rules will result in fines between 30 and 150-thousand N-T dollars.

KMT still hates referenda

No surprise here...
The government will not follow the previous administration’s strategy of using the name “Taiwan” to apply to join the UN, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday....

In tandem with this March’s presidential race, the pan-blue camp pitched a referendum asking voters to support a bid to “return” to the UN or any other international organization using a “pragmatic” and “flexible” title.

A pan-green backed UN referendum asked voters to support an application for UN membership under the name “Taiwan.”

Both proposals failed to reach the necessary threshold to be valid.

“As a result of the failure of the referendums, we cannot use the word ‘return’ or ‘join’ in our UN entry strategy this year,” said Chen, adding that the administration had not yet decided on whether to use “Chinese Taipei” in its bid as suggested by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) during his campaign.
OK, this is clever of the blue camp but total B.S. The referendums were not rejected in any legal sense; there was not a "no" vote that resulted in the failure of either of them. Instead they simply didn't reach the absurdly high voter threshold and were invalid. That does not mean the government can't try to use "return" or "join" this year; neither did the failure to pass the 2004 referendum meant Taiwan could not buy missiles from the US, as the KMT then claimed.

So the KMT is displaying their tactic of dealing with referendums. You can't get people to vote "no" on it, so boycott it, split up the ballot stations, and call it "manipulative electoral strategy" instead of "empowering the people" even when you're pushing your own referendum. When less than half of all eligible voters pick up a ballot, call it a rejection to make the result sound more legally binding than it is.

Jul 29, 2008

Central Committee Elections

Sadly, no time to give you the details, but over the last week the DPP and KMT have both had re-elections for their central standing committee. Legislators dominate the KMT CSC, while the former "New Tide" faction did very well in the DPP's election and the candidates from the Justice Alliance, A-bian's old faction, won only 2 seats. Read about the DPP's old factions here; read internal DPP complaints about the election results and the dominance of New Tide here.

By the way, these committees are a Big Deal. True to a Leninist party model, these central standing committees make most of the important policy and directional decisions most of the time, until the occasional meetings of the full central committees and, much more rarely, the party congress.

So whoever is in charge of them has an awful lot of say behind the scenes.

Facebook news alert

Hsiao Bi-khim is single!

I hope she's ok with the change of status and wish her well. Best of luck, Bi-khim, and single men!

Thank you Doug

Young, that is.

Taiwan is aiming to open five sectors of its economy to mainland Chinese by the end of the year, as part of a campaign by a new China-friendly administration to boost growth, media reported on Saturday.

The five areas are the financial, economic, transport, human resources and land sectors, Taiwan's two Chinese language business dailies reported, citing Premier Liu Chao-shiuan.

Not included was the real estate sector, the Economic Daily reported, although the two-month-old administration of President Ma Ying-jeou has said it would eventually like to open that sector to mainland investors as well.

Liu's announcement was the latest in a string of new policy initiatives announced by the fledgling Ma administration aimed at boosting the local economy by forging closer ties with the fast-growing Chinese economy.

China has claimed self-ruled Taiwan as its territory since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949 and pledged to bring the island under its rule, by force if necessary.

Deader than a doornail

The MOE will make another doomed attempt to "reenter" the United Nations this year. The details will be clear in August or so. But the KMT will try to get US, Japanese and EU support for the bid, perhaps by altering the name used to apply. Nothing is decided yet though.

Ma calls for volunteer military

With the plan to be implemented in the next 4-6 years.

Ma also hopes to open up unrestricted investment from China into Taiwan by late August.

Jul 23, 2008

Oh so true

From Josh Marshall at TPM:

As you may know, the McCain campaign has just put out a web video called 'Obama Love' a mash-up of clips of various TV commentators gushing over Obama. But let's remember we've all seen the McCain Love video. It's called watching the last dozen years of political television. Indeed, the political press's reckless and giddy love for McCain is so universally acknowledged that McCain himself has often joked about the press as his "base." So what do we have here but a candidate who can't brook the idea of not campaigning on a wave of press adulation? And now he's framing his whole candidacy around a campaign of strategic whining about the claim that the political press is treating his younger opponent like he's been treated for over a decade. He's got the preening and envy of a sore losing runner-up for prom queen.
Here are the latest numbers from the big 3:,, and

Electoral-vote: Obama 312
McCain 199 Ties 27

Electoralmap: Democrat: 306 Republican: 216 Dead Heat: 16

Jul 22, 2008

McCain's VP vetting process

"We’re going through a process where you get a whole bunch of names, and ya …
Well, basically, it’s a Google," McCain said. "You just, you know, what you can
find out now on the Internet. It’s remarkable, you know."

Home is where the heart is

ICRT reports:

The DPP has dismissed a comment by former Control Yuan president Wang
Zuo-rong saying that the trend is towards cross strait unification, calling it
nothing more than his own personal opinion.

DPP lawmaker Cai Huang-lang said the future of Taiwan must be decided by the
23 million people of Taiwan in a democratic way, a long-time stance of the now
opposition DPP. In a letter to a local newspaper, Wang called unification a
continuation of the three thousand year historical culture of the ethnically
Chinese people.

The letter said China has in the past been able to accept being ruled by
non-Chinese, but that the country being divided has not been acceptable, and not
lasted long. He concluded that unification would absolutely be beneficial for

Another DPP lawmaker declined to comment on what Wang had written, but said
Taiwanese people are exceedingly clear on what's beneficial to them, with 70
percent in polls having previously said Taiwan should go its own way.

Do you think you're better off alone?

In case anyone was wondering about Ma Ying-jeou's likely education policy, don't forget this:

Thursday, Apr 13, 2006, Page 3
Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) wants to cut back on English and Taiwanese classes to add more Mandarin classes to the curriculum in Taipei elementary schools, according to local media reports.

According to local newspapers, Ma has requested that the Taipei City Department
of Education boost the number of weekly hours of elementary Mandarin to between
seven and eight. This will result in the scrapping of one English class per week
in Taipei's elementary schools. In response to Ma's request to also cut
Taiwanese classes to make room for additional Mandarin classes, Taipei City
Department of Education Commissioner Wu Ching-ji (吳清基) said that Taiwanese
classes have already been cut back to one per week, and could not be reduced
further, the China Times reported.

One love

Ko Shu-ling reports, but we see nothing new here:

Taiwan has a great opportunity to improve cross-strait relations, and the opportunity will quickly pass if both sides do not take advantage of it, Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) said yesterday.

The government would like to see a win-win situation created on the economic front and sustainable peace across the Taiwan Strait, he said. To that end, a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement would prevent Taiwan from being marginalized economically, and the normalization of cross-strait trade would help create such a positive situation, he said.

In pursuing cross-strait peace, he said both sides must sign a peace agreement and establish a military mutual trust mechanism to establish a framework that can be developed upon.

Chiang made the remarks while addressing the Presidential Office’s monthly meeting for top government officials and civil servants.

Come together

In the name of reconcilliation, President Ma Ying-jeou will drop the slander-related lawsuits he brought against Frank Hsieh during the presidential campaign. The KMT itself is not yet following suit.

Jul 21, 2008

Two things that caught my eye today:

This from Taiwan News, which I'm reprinting here:

A nonprofit foundation yesterday selected Taiwan's 10 "best" and "worst" legislators based on their performances over the past three months.

The Congress Observation Foundation compiled its lists based primarily on lawmakers' "active participation rates" at legislative committee meetings between March 3 and June 24.

Among the 10 "best" were DPP Legislator Huang Sue-ying and KMT legislators Chiang Yi-hsiung, Lin Cheng-er, Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) and Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆), with active participation rates ranging from 35.48 percent to 97.67 percent, according to COF Executive Director Yao Li-ming.

The 10 "worst" included singer-turned-legislator Yu Tian and Chai Trong-rong of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party as well as Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), Lee Ching-hua (李慶華) and Lin Yi-shih (林益世) from the ruling Kuomintang.

They have had active participation rates ranging from zero to 20.93 percent.

The "active participation rate" used by the foundation is based on how often lawmakers both appeared and spoke in meetings held by their respective committees.

A lawmaker who attended every meeting but never voiced an opinion would still be scored a zero.

The foundation also used more general measures over legislators' performances in legislative committees and in their respective constituencies to gauge their effectiveness, Yao noted.

He insisted the criteria chosen by the foundation "can pass public scrutiny."

And this:

Plans To Take Chiang Kai Shek Off 10NT Coin

The Central Bank here says there's no plan to take the image of late ROC
President Chiang Kai-shek off the 10NT coin.

The Bank has been considering a plan to put the portrait of Zhang Wei-shui,
a prominent Taiwanese dissident during Japanese colonial rule, and a recent
local Chinese-language news report said it would move forward soon.

Central Bank governor Peng Huai-nan said that nothing's been decided
regarding whether to move forward with the new coin, adding even if minted
the current coin bearing the late president's portrait will not be taken
out of circulation.

Peng said before the new coin could be minted opinions would be solicited
from all sectors of society.

He also explained that any decision to mint a new coin would need approval
from the Executive Yuan.

According to the news report ... Bank officials were divided over whether to
go ahead with the new coin ... but agreed to go ahead because high-level
sources within President Ma Ying-jeou's administration were said to have
wanted it minted.


Looks like the Iraqis are going to help us get out of there.

Diplomats from the United States Embassy in Baghdad spoke to Maliki's advisers on Saturday, said an American official, speaking on condition of anonymity in order to discuss what he called diplomatic communications. After that, the government's spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, issued a statement casting doubt on the magazine's rendering of the interview.

The statement, which was distributed to media organizations by the American military early on Sunday, said Maliki's words had been "misunderstood and mistranslated," but it failed to cite specifics.

"Unfortunately, Der Spiegel was not accurate," Dabbagh said Sunday by telephone. "I have the recording of the voice of Mr. Maliki. We even listened to the translation."

But the interpreter for the interview works for Maliki's office, not the magazine. And in an audio recording of Maliki's interview that Der Spiegel provided to The New York Times, Maliki seemed to state a clear affinity for Obama's position, bringing it up on his own in an answer to a general question on troop presence.

The following is a direct translation from the Arabic of Maliki's comments by The Times: "Obama's remarks that — if he takes office — in 16 months he would withdraw the forces, we think that this period could increase or decrease a little, but that it could be suitable to end the presence of the forces in Iraq."

He continued: "Who wants to exit in a quicker way has a better assessment of the situation in Iraq."

Maliki's top political adviser, Sadiq al-Rikabi, declined to comment on the remarks, but spoke in general about the Iraqi position on Sunday. Part of that position, he said, comes from domestic political pressure to withdraw.

Jul 18, 2008

Latest polls

Ma set expectations unrealistically high and its showing; TVBS showsonly 30% are satisfied with his performance, lower than even the DPP's poll showing 37% satisfaction.

TVBS also shows the politician with the highest current poll rating it Tsai Ing-wen, the DPP's new chairwoman.

Jul 17, 2008

Pun intended

Via Weichen:

I'm going to hold Ma to that -- if he complains he's only been in office two months and people treat him like he has been in office two years and could do everything he wanted, then after two years I'm going to ask if he's accomplished those goals.

Jul 15, 2008

More on Kuan Chung

KMT Vice chair Kuan Chung points out there were many witnesses during his speech in Wuhan and that, if the Liberty Times had bothered to ask them, none of them heard him say a thing about unification.

Jul 14, 2008

KMT Vice chair: We want unification badly

The Liberty Times lead story today is about transparent if unofficial behaviour between the KMT and CCP. This news was also printed in the very China-friendly Wenwei paper (文匯報) in Hong Kong.

There are two significant snippets that stand out in the article. First is Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman Kuan Chung (關中)'s comments at the fourth annual Focus on Taiwan (台湾周) event in Wuhan, Hubei, China. Speaking there , Guan Chung said the KMT "wholeheartedly wishes" to secure long term governance of the island and bring about peaceful annexation by unification with China. Update: Kuan Kong denies saying anything about long term KMT rule leading to unification. Or specifically, he says "Those were not my words."

The second eye-catcher is former deputy secretary-general of the Presidential Office Cheyne Chiu (邱進益) discussing details of a peace agreement at the 2008 Cross-strait Symposium in Hangzhou (兩岸研討會). Chiu indicated that if the mainland renounces the use of force, Taiwan would "not engage in any further separatist activity," end military exercises aimed at practicing for invasion from China, and work with China to prevent "third countries" (Japan or the US) from interfering in Chinese territory.

The presidential office said both Kuan Chung and Cheyne Chiu are in China in private capacities, do not represent either the government or the party, and offered no further comment on the meat of the statements, offering only that Ma's "no unification, no independence, no force" policy (「不統、不獨、不武」) is unchanged.

Responding to Cheyne Chiu's comments, Professor Xu Bodong (徐博東) of Bejiing's Lienhe University said a peace accord was premature and that "moving too fast would make the goal unreachable."

In his speech, Kuan Chung further said that the KMT must spend the next four years working hard to reverse the trends toward independence and "de-Sinification" (a KMT word if there ever was one), but that the KMT will need China's help (friendliness) to accomplish this goal.


This is the kind of thing that has drawn serious ire from the DPP and again raises questions about behind the scene negotiations between the KMT and CPP. What constitutes discussion and negotiation, and what is appropriate?

How transparent are all of these exchanges? (answer: not very.) How much will be taken care of before hand before the public negotiations proceed? (answer: probably a lot).

How will these back-door exchanges effect the public's ability to voice their opinions before official agreements are signed? If a peace accord puts specific limitations on Taiwan's options, how will the KMT ensure they are enforced even in the event of a future KMT loss: would a constitutional amendment be an option?

Damn it.

Jul 12, 2008

My felt hat is back

Made by the Master Hatters of Texas, the "Bandit," which sports a Low Cattleman crown and a low-key band, this has been laying low in Texas. But no longer -- it has found its way into my hands, and on to my head, in Taiwan.

Formosa TV

Since my loss of cable I've been limited to watching Formosa News (somehow we get that one anyway). And let me just say how disappointing it is to watch them hammer Ma's government for the economy every night on their talk show. I find the total role reversal of TVBS and Formosa TV to be absurd. Three months ago they were essentially running opposite programs -- one apologizing for the government, one slamming it. Now that someone else is in charge, there's an immediate reversal. It's very childish and indefensible. Sure, Formosa's right to show how Ma can't keep the promises he made, but really, does it have to become a FOX News level 24-hour bash fest?

Jul 10, 2008

DPP to negotiate for upcoming election candidates

The DPP will use internal negotiations, rather than a primary, to assign candidates in the upcoming mayoral and county commissioner elections.

The decision has had some mixed reviews, with Chai Trong-rong and some other legislators expressing concern this was going back toward a more authoritarian model for the party.

Supports of the decision like Yu Shyi-kun pointed out difficulty in getting qualified candidates to run for all seats, even those that are very unlikely DPP wins, as well as the potential for good candidates to group in one county or city and then run against each other even after primary results choose a DPP candidate.

There are also serious cost considerations.

The decision was passed by a large majority in the DPP central committee meeting.

Jul 9, 2008

China woo-ing blue commentators?

Liberty Times reports that several blue-leaning political commentators are being invited to China for a conference with the head of the Taiwan Affairs Office next month. No names are named.

Jul 8, 2008


Posts have been scarce these last few weeks because (1) work is busy, which is good! and (2) not a lot has been happening of interest in the areas I normally blog about. However, there are a few nuggets out there today worthy of attention:

The DPP is questioning the total lack of transparency between the KMT-CCP communications apparatus which will inevitably guide the policy decisions publicly announced by each side. Considering the Liberty Times recently suggested Ma may revive the National Unification Council, the DPP has been especially suspicious. They held a meeting yesterday to discuss this issue and mentioned in the press conference,


Although the Presidential Office has denied doing anything to reactivate the National Unification Council, the Presidential Office's actual attitude toward the Council is still not clear, and in fact there are now even more questions.
If any one wants to make a bet, I will bet my bottom dollar that Ma will revive the National Unification Council, because China will make it a demand for getting some perk ... long before we get to the peace agreement stage of negotiations.

Also, the former first lady has broken her leg but is getting treatment at Taida Hospital, so she should recover.

Jul 4, 2008

No comment on this comment

I think this comment by Scott on Michael Turton's blog is a great insight:

Most KMT party members and supporters seem not to believe that China actually means any harm to Taiwan-- and especially not now that there will be a unified KMT government. They believe that the anger of China and the rest of the world is directed solely at Chen Shui-bian and the DPP. They think that if Taiwan's government can just behave, quietly cooperate with Beijing and give up the quest for de jure independence, that China will reciprocate by allowing Taiwan to indefinitely maintain the "status quo" of de facto independence. People voted for Ma because they mistakenly believe he is capable of indefinitely prolonging the so-called "status quo" --which in reality has never been static.

The majority of voters are apparently naive enough to believe that they can keep all of their freedoms and civil rights, while simultaneously acceeding to a gradual accomodation of the PRC's one-China ideology.

CNN article on direct flights

This one is full of inaccuracies and vague statements.

The first regular charter flights between China's mainland and Taiwan began Friday in a sign of warming relations between Beijing and Taipei.

The flight took off at 6:31 a.m. from Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province in southern China, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported, and it arrived in Taiwan at 8:10 am. after a 1,124-km (700-mile) journey.

Previously, the only chartered flights across the 100-mile Taiwan Strait took place during major holidays. They will now run on weekends from Friday through Monday.

So far, so good.
About 760 mainland Chinese plan to make the trip this weekend, but that number is expected to increase to 3,000 by mid-July.
Expected by the Taiwanese authorities, yes, but nothing has been formally signed on this and Beijing has indicated that China has their own considerations in the speed of expanding the number of tourists.
The charter service eventually could lead to regular commercial service.

Chinese and Taiwanese officials agreed last month to set up permanent offices in each other's territories, in the first formal talks between the two sides in almost a decade. The Beijing talks also resulted in the agreement for weekend charter flights.
Cross-straits talks between the two delegations began in 1993, a year after China and Taiwan informally agreed that the two sides belonged to "one China." They did not, however, specify what that meant, and both sides were free to use differing interpretations.

After that, the dialogue was delayed for five years over cross-strait tensions.

A second meeting in 1998 was held in Shanghai, but Beijing canceled a 1999 meeting when then-Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui proposed that Taiwan and China treat each other as separate states.

But they are separate states.

Taiwan's new president, Ma Ying-jeou, has rejected the push for independence.

Although Ma opposes unification with China, he campaigned on promises of seeking closer ties to the mainland, particularly seeking for Taiwan some of the benefits of China's robust economy.

The DPP also sought those benefits, but China denied them to Taiwan because of a refusal to accept "One China."

Taiwan separated from China after the communists victory in the Chinese civil war in 1949 -- about 2 million Nationalists Chinese fled to Taiwan and set up a government there.

Beijing has always considered it a part of China and has threatened to go to war should Taiwan declare formal independence.

Also false:

History teaches that in 1949 Taiwan was owned by Japan as it had been since 1895, not China, and would be until 1951. What split in 1949 were the KMT and the CCP.

Nominee for Control Yuan VP voted down

As the Taipei Times reported today,

Some KMT legislators have threatened to vote down nominees such as former DPP legislator Shen Fu-hsiung (沈富雄), who was named vice president of the yuan ...
Well, I just saw him get voted down by the legislature while I was watching TV at lunch. You may wonder, why would Ma have nominated a former DPP legislator for the #2 spot in the Control Yuan in the first place. Shen resigned in October 2007:

Approached for comment at the legislature, Shen, a four-term DPP legislator, said he had stayed "long enough" and "done enough" for the party....

Shen had been a member since 1992 when he ran for legislator under the party flag.

However, he was long considered a "loner" because of his outspokenness about the party's policies or other members with whom he disagreed.

He created a stir before the 2004 presidential poll when he gave credence to claims by tycoon-turned-fugitive Chen Yu-hao (陳由豪) that the businessman had given a donation to first lady Wu Shu-chen (吳淑珍) 10 years earlier.

Chen Yu-hao said Shen had been a witness to the transaction.

Shen's unwillingness to contradict Chen Yu-hao's allegations threatened to derail President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) re-election campaign in the week before the poll.

Shen has been sharply criticized ever since by pan-green supporters, who denounced him for being a DPP apostate and for making connections with pro-blue figures.

In April 2004, Shen urged pro-green politicians to stop using the phrase "love Taiwan" as an encapsulation of their pro-localization stance, saying the phrase was detrimental to ethnic harmony between the majority Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) and Mainlanders who came to Taiwan after 1945.

Yeah, so you can see why Ma would have nominated him and made himself appear to be reaching across party lines. But the KMT caucus would have none of that. In questioning a few days ago:
Meanwhile, Shen admitted that he had accepted a political donation of less than NT$1 million (US$32,900) from tycoon-turned-fugitive Chen Yu-hao (陳由豪) 14 years ago, but he said he had reported the money in accordance with the law for disclosing the annual assets of public officials.

He declined to answer KMT Legislator Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆), who asked about Wang’s support of claims by Chen Yu-hao in 2004 ahead of the presidential election that the businessman had given a donation to then-first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) a decade earlier.

Also, remember:
At the end of the year 2004, President Chen Shui-bian sent a list of Control Yuan member nominees to the Legislative Yuan for approval. The Pan-Blue Coalition, which holds a majority in the Legislative Yuan, has so far refused to ratify President Chen's nominees demanding that he submit a new list. This political deadlock had technically stopped the Control Yuan from functioning since February 2005.

Jul 3, 2008

Latest laws

Instead of posting them directly most of the time, now, I'll just show you how to search for them.

To see which bills have been brought up by session or bill name, check here.

To see how far along a bill is, check here.

To see which laws have most recently been passed, check here.

Ma has kept 92% of campaign promises?

Hmm. Notice all the biggies are off the list. And what about Aboriginal autonomy? Or the stupid commercial coral mining operations? Or the raises made to low level officials that got out the vote to the KMT? The last two of those weren't on the promises list, but they sure were made a high priority.

On a side note, if I were running for head of my county, I'd put only 3 things on my campaign list: water quality, road quality, traffic safety.

Ma leads cadets in servicemen's doctrine

If you missed this, you shouldn't have:

Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers yesterday blasted President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) for leading graduating cadets in chanting the servicemen's doctrine. It was originally derived from a 1936 speech - written in classic literary Chinese - by the late President Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and was suspended by the DPP government in 2003....

DPP lawmaker Pan Meng-an described the practice of reciting Chiang's servicemen doctrines as being very similar to the customs of the warlord, saying that having soldiers memorize Chiang's servicemen's doctrine was no different than having the People's Libaration Army recite Mao Zedong's Little Red Book.

I found the full text of this serviceman's doctrine, (Liberty Times printed it today as a graphic) and it drones on and on about "our" Zhonghua Minzu occupies so much land in China and has such and such a population, we have to carry out the Three People's Principles and be loyal to the Guomin Zhengfu (國民政府), which historically refers to a temporary government during the struggle against the Northern Warlords but which is also quite clearly referencing the KMT, etc... In short, it is racist, party-centric and hopelessly outdated for Taiwan.

As Taipei Times notes:
One passage in the directives’ preface — which is not recited as part of the 10 directives — illustrates just how out of date the directives have become, Chai said.

It reads: “We Chinese people, who have been building our country to today, have existed for 5,000 years, and a 400 million-strong peaceful and outstanding people has converged on a land of more than 11 million square kilometers.”
See the primer on Zhonghua Minzu: this term is geographical and political, not merely some general ethnic reference.