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Jan 16, 2012

Revisiting single member districts

Much to my surprise, there seems to be some rather thorough dissatisfaction in the legislature with the current single member district system. Not only has Speaker Wang Jin-pyng restated his long held belief the single member district is "not good for democracy," but the DPP is likely to introduce a constitutional amendment next legislative session, and also will ask the Constitutional Court to rule on the constitutionality of the current system.

One of the issues the media has raised is that the single member districts have turned "blue" areas bluer and green areas greener, further polarizing the country along north-south lines.

Since larger parties benefit from a single member district system, it's interesting to see them regretting a policy that has increased their own clout. We'll see what changes are actually proposed. Right now, the legislature seems just to be in the complaining phase. 

What next?

So the DPP loss is not unexpected, though I find it disappointing. But the big question now is how the KMT and CCP will conduct their relations over the next four years. No doubt, the closeness of this election and the uncertainty of a future KMT candidate's popularity -- combined with the fact that most non-political topics have already been discussed between the two sides -- will result in CCP intentions to "ratchet down" the '92 consensus through a written agreement and a possible peace agreement.

From Beijing's perspective, the best course of action is to lock Taiwan in to some sort of political framework before anyone else can win or lose. From the KMT's perspective, this is also beneficial, as it gives them the option of painting any non-'92 policy the DPP may advocate as "dangerous," as they've just done, but perhaps with a stronger effect. Indeed, both the KMT and CCP hope that they can ultimately force the DPP to adopt the '92 consensus and eventually the "inevitability" of political integration.

It seems nearly certain that the CCP and KMT will reach some sort of compromise on this front over the next term, leaving the DPP completely out of the discussions.

The question is, how effective will Beijing's pressure be, and how much are they willing to compromise? Similarly, to what extent can the KMT hold out from various pressures, and how much can they convince China it must accept a more Taiwanese-conscious oriented solution? 

As you may know, I've long speculated on what form any peace accord could take, and mostly drew blanks, but I'm starting to believe we may see something quite modest in terms of substance but full of the same pomp you'd expect from a full blown "peace agreement." It might yet be labeled a peace agreement, but I wouldn't be surprised if it avoided such language in favor of merely declaring the basis of cross-strait discussion to be the '92 consensus, and finding a way to define that term. 

Jan 15, 2012

Voting result breakdown by county

Legislative breakdown: Apple Daily is reporting the KMT wins 64 seats, a majority; the DPP 40 seats, the PFP and TSU 3 seats each, and nonpartisans or NPSU candidates winning 3 seats. This is a relative loss of 17 seats for the KMT and an increase of 13 for the DPP. 

On the presidential side, note the relative balance of areas where a party wins more than say, 55% of the vote.  The DPP is not really all that dominant even in most places it wins. 

2012 Presidential Elections percentages and votes
Ma / Wu ticketIng / Chia ticketSoong / Lin ticket
Taipei City57.87%、928717 votes39.54%、6345652.58%,41448
Taipei County53.72%、124567343.45%、10075512.81%、65269
Taichung City52.15%、79233444.68%、6787363.16%、48030
Tainan City39.80%、43527457.72%、6312322.47%、27066
Kaohsiung City44.18%、73046153.42%、8831582.38%、39469
Yilan County44.88%、11549652.52%、1351562.58%、6652
Taoyuan County57.20%、63915139.85%、4453082.94%、32927
Hsinchu County65.76%、19079730.93%、897413.30%、9599
Hsinchu City57.43%、13472839.48%、926323.07%、7216
Miaoli County63.84%、20620033.18%、1071642.97%、9597
Zhanghua County50.58%、36996846.49%、3400692.92%、21403
Nanto County54.62%、15870342.36%、1230773.00%、8726
Yunlin County41.67%、15989155.81%、2141412.51%、9662
Chiayi County39.04%、12094658.57%、1814632.37%、7364
Pingtung County42.92%、21157155.13%、2717221.94%、9562
Taitung County66.47%、7282330.50%、334173.02%、3313
Hualian County70.29%、11881525.94%、438453.76%、6359
Penghu County49.75%、2257945.65%、207174.58%、2082
Keelung City59.28%、12829436.76%、795623.94%、8533
Chiayi City46.26%、6953551.04%、767112.68%、4042
Jinmen County89.23%、346768.21%、31932.54%、990
Lianjiang County86.60%、45078.03%、4185.36%、279
Total votes51.60%、689113945.63%、60935782.76%、369588

Jan 14, 2012

Re: Taishang

After reading articles like this, I wonder: doesn't anyone consider whether Taishang in China will lie about their voting intentions while in China? Or even after they get back to Taiwan? After all, it's a secret ballot. Why take any risk? 

watch election results LIVE

Watch Taiwan election results tonight live using this link.

Jan 7, 2012

Just sayin'

The Tsai campaign has been making some noise about a "post partisan era" that they intend to usher in. This is all well and good if you have some expectation that the KMT will cooperate, and I think the DPP is clearly aware that they wouldn't.

So why say these things as the election nears? First, and most obviously, this stance attracts middle voters who do not subscribe to the traditional blue-green divide and who yearn for cooperation and consensus, values highly treasured in Taiwan society if not in its political culture. But secondly, maybe this position is an early outreach to Soong Chu-yi and the PFP.

In some crazy world where the PFP actually manages to win enough legislative seats that it could form a coalition government with the DPP, Tsai's call to post-partisanship might be a stealth signal to the PFP. And if Soong wishes to remain relevant, he might just give legs to a "Taiwan consensus" policy by allowing the DPP to negotiate with the most viable "pro-unification" party, resulting in some sort of "One China Constitution" position that the KMT will have a great deal of trouble refuting directly.

If this scenario miraculously plays out, the question will be: does Soong love the spotlight more than his strict adherence to pro-unification principles? I suspect he loves the spotlight more.