Forget about the saying “when pigs fly,” because throughout the country they are doing just that. Off the shelves, that is.
Highlighting the desire for change in the country, people are rushing to fill piggy banks and donate them to the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) election campaign. And the DPP has the Control Yuan to thank for this.
The Control Yuan last month made a fuss and warned the party that its acceptance of three piggy banks donated by three-year-old triplets was against the Political Donations Act (政治獻金法). The Control Yuan said Article 7 of the act stipulates that only people of voting age and those who meet other voting eligibility rules can make political donations. However, the article is more typically aimed at preventing foreigners, especially people from China, Hong Kong and Macau who are not eligible to vote, from making donations.
Moreover, given that the triplets donated their piggy banks under parental guidance, handing over the banks on stage with their mom and grandfather by their side, it seems like a minor infringement of the act. The donations were aimed more at a nice photo opportunity than political meddling by three-year-olds.
While the Control Yuan’s move could have dampened the DPP’s spirits, it instead aroused indignation among many Taiwanese and prompted the DPP to declare this month “little pigs month,” in which supporters are urged to use piggy banks to make donations to the party.
With the popularity of the piggy bank drive taking the DPP by surprise, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) might have an even harder time understanding what all the fuss is about, given that it appears oblivious to people’s everyday struggles despite a widening wealth gap and growing social injustice. There is a latent desire for change in the country, a fact which seems to have passed by the KMT and is clearly highlighted by a groundswell of support for the DPP’s piggy bank drive.
And yet, the KMT still does not cease to amaze with its brazenness. Seeing how well the DPP’s grassroots fundraising campaign has been received by the public, President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) re--election campaign office recently also launched a TV campaign spot calling on the public to make small donations.
How is it that a political party as rich as the KMT — which made NT$3.5 billion (US$116.1 million) last year, NT$2.9 billion from stock dividends alone — can have the heart to urge its supporters to donate money?
The truth of matter is that what the KMT fears is not the coins and notes stuffed into the piggy banks; what it finds intimidating is the power behind the piggy bank movement — the collective disappointments felt by piggy bank donors in the face of the incumbent government’s poor performance.
It is fair to say that there is a movement building in Taiwan in which — little could one imagine — piggy banks are becoming part of the nation’s electoral lore.
Hopefully the DPP cherishes and takes to heart the message behind every dollar pushed into a piggy bank. Each and every piggy bank represents not just support for Tsai and her party, but, more than everything, a yearning for change that will see people’s lives improve in a country that is becoming more unjust and economically divided.
Late last month, Beijing introduced changes to school curricula in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, requiring certain subjects to be taught in Mandarin rather than Mongolian. What is Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) seeking to gain from sending this message of pernicious intent? It is possible that he is attempting cultural genocide in Inner Mongolia, but does Xi also have the same plan for the democratic, independent nation of Mongolia? The controversy emerged with the announcement by the Inner Mongolia Education Bureau on Aug. 26 that first-grade elementary-school and junior-high students would in certain subjects start learning with Chinese-language textbooks, as
There are worrying signs that China is on the brink of a major food shortage, which might trigger a strategic contest over food security and push Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), already under intense pressure, toward drastic measures, potentially spelling trouble for Taiwan and the rest of the world. China has encountered a perfect storm of disasters this year. On top of disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, torrential rains have caused catastrophic flooding in the Yangtze River basin, China’s largest agricultural region. Floodwaters are estimated to have already destroyed the crops on 6 million hectares of farmland. The situation has been
The restructuring of supply chains, particularly in the semiconductor industry, was an essential part of discussions last week between Taiwan and a US delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach. It took precedent over the highly anticipated subject of bilateral trade partnerships, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) founder Morris Chang’s (張忠謀) appearance on Friday at a dinner hosted by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) for Krach was a subtle indicator of this. Chang was in photographs posted by Tsai on Facebook after the dinner, but no details about their discussions were disclosed. With
On Sept. 8, at the high-profile Ketagalan security forum, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) urged countries to deal with the China challenge. She said: “It is time for like-minded countries, and democratic friends in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond, to discuss a framework to generate sustained and concerted efforts to maintain a strategic order that deters unilateral aggressive actions.” The “Taiwan model” to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic provides an alternative to China’s authoritarian way of handling it. Taiwan’s response to the health crisis has made it evident that countries across the world have much to learn from Taiwan’s best practices and if