Share this

Apr 26, 2010

Winner of the ECFA debate?

Polls are naturally divided on partisan lines, but I have to say I was most impressed with Ma's performance in the ECFA debate. I wasn't expecting him to come out swinging. But instead, he was aggressive and dripped sarcasm, and somehow it worked better than I would have imagined. He was a man on a mission out there.

On the other hand, Tsai Ying-wen had a set of four reasonable questions which she felt Ma refused to answer even after being asked four or five times. She kept bringing that up, and that was making Ma look evasive. She was also amply able to answer questions asked to her, and appeared very competent.

The debate was quite tense. Quite something to watch. Tsai and Ma both became noticeably impatient and annoyed at several points.

I think Ma had the more rhetorically swaying argument even as I tend to personally support Tsai's logic. Tsai asked a lot of questions of Ma in that debate, and a lot of rhetorical questions began, "Didn't you think about...?" That was setting Ma up for homeruns like, "We have thought about it, and here's our awesome conclusion..." I think Ma capitalized on a difference in rhetorical style, and worked it to his advantage.

It wasn't a blow out by any means; quite close really. but I think I would still give Ma the win.


Adam said...

I agree that Ma did much better than expected. I think Tsai's big problem was that Ma kept calling her on the DPP's record.
When the DPP was in power you did this this and that. I'm just continuing your policies. I think that when the DPP was in power they said the same thing. We are just continuing KMT old policies, so how can you say we are wrong.

Unknown said...

Weird... I thought Ma's performance was awful. He came across as condescending, peeved and evasive, and he just kept repeating the same empty talking points. I was also pleasantly surprised by Tsai's performance--she came across as less bookish than usual, and kept her cool pretty well. Her personal attacks were also more nuanced, unlike Ma, who came across as decidedly unpresidential...

Islander said...

Alas, in debates, it's not who is right wins. It's the better debater that wins.