Since the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) confirmed that Ma Ying-jeou (
Ma's acquittal on corruption charges has now eliminated the greatest obstacle to his presidential run. But prosecutors have already appealed the ruling and many variables remain. It is by no means a foregone conclusion that the KMT will reclaim its position as the ruling party, but most politicians in both camps predict that the pan-blue camp will retain its legislative majority in January, and with it, the speakership. The KMT feels the powerful speakership is more within its grasp than any other position. As such, many members have put off supporting Ma and have begun plotting to take this coveted seat.
KMT politicians have always put themselves first, the party second and the people last. As soon as a tempting target appears, its tradition of ferocious infighting once again rears its ugly head and politicians start behaving like a pack of ravenous dogs. For example, when the party was negotiating between Ma and Wang for the presidential candidacy, Ma told former chairman Lien Chan (
Although Ma has emphasized many times that he supports Wang continuing as speaker, the party has repeatedly delayed listing Wang among its legislator-at-large candidates, ostensibly to force him to toe the line. It has even sent out rumors that Wu could be the speaker, thereby pressing the party's pro-Wang faction to start a petition to topple Wu and even push for Wang to run for president.
Nobody seems the least bit concerned with Ma. Instead, they shamelessly scramble for their own scraps of power. Judging by the squabbles over the chairmanship, presidential candidacy and speakership, it is clear that the KMT's politicians have not yet moved beyond the power-thirsty mentality that has characterized their party since its infancy. During its eight years in opposition, it has failed to take a hard look in the mirror and reform itself.
As for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), although Frank Hsieh (
The past few presidential and mayoral elections in Kaohsiung were decided by extremely small margins. Next year's presidential election may very well be the same. Although Ma's poll numbers are up and his prospects seem to be improving, the more unified party will enjoy a great advantage over the divided one. In light of this most basic of election principles, Ma and Siew shouldn't celebrate too soon.