In both the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential campaigns, little is being said about what really concerns voters, while bucketloads of scandal-related vitriol are being flung back and forth like so much confetti.
In the KMT camp, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and his supporters can’t seem to say anything of substance that is not related to the Yu Chang Biologics Co case, in which his main opponent is accused profiteering from an investment deal.
Meanwhile, DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and other party heavyweights are spending all their time accusing Ma of involvement in the Fubon-TaipeiBank merger.
Both of these cases stretch back years. They have little bearing on Taiwan today and should not be the deciding factor in what is likely to be Taiwan’s most important election yet.
It is a law of politics that if you look deep enough into any politician’s history, you are bound to find something that could possibly lead to a scandal. There is no such thing as a politician who has never gotten their hands dirty. If a presidential candidate claims to be squeaky clean, that is simply because their aides did the dirty work for them.
Taiwanese should not be asked to vote for something that does not exist. They should be given a choice between the platforms of candidates from opposing parties with opposing visions of the nation’s future, and then they should choose the vision they prefer.
How do Ma and Tsai plan to address Taiwan’s economic dependence on exports, especially when those exports go mostly to China, whose bubble appears likely to burst soon?
Which party has a better plan for addressing environmental concerns in Taiwan, such as the building of chemical plants on prime agricultural land and reducing Taiwan’s ecological footprint on the world?
Do any of the candidates have an idea of what to do about Taiwan’s declining birthrate and how to shore up society against the negative effects that a population decline will produce?
Who will announce effective education reforms that could provide a better starting point for the next generation?
Do any of the candidates have ideas about how to fix Taiwan’s ailing network of water pipes, drainage ditches and drinking water reservoirs?
There are plenty of important issues that Ma and Tsai could focus on without ever touching on cross-strait relations, ethnic rivalries, party assets and skeletons in the closet.
Moreover, these areas of concern are what voters really care about. Voters hope they can choose a candidate that has plans to improve Taiwan’s future, not just empty slogans. They want evidence of a candidate’s ability to govern effectively through the introduction of a realistic policy platform.
It is a lot like a job interview: A prospective employee should not just show up to a new company with hundreds of pieces of paper saying: “I can do this job,” but nothing to back up their claims. Jobseekers need to produce a resume and a cover letter and in the interview they need to tell the prospective employer why they would be a good candidate for the job.
Instead, all we are getting is Yu Chang and Fubon. In the end, both the KMT and DPP are leaving voters with nothing to vote for but personality or party allegiance.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is an expert at bluffing and keeping the West on its toes, pushing relations to the edge before pivoting without warning. However, hemmed in and fuming, he is deadly serious about being heard on Ukraine. Those close to the Kremlin said that the Russian president does not want to start another war in Ukraine. Still, he must show he is ready to fight if necessary in order to stop what he sees as an existential security threat: the creeping expansion of the NATO in a country that for centuries had been part of Russia. After years of disillusionment
At a time when China continues its assertive policy toward its neighboring countries, the regime of Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Bhutan last month to resolve a longstanding border dispute. However, this is not the first time China and Bhutan have taken such efforts on this issue. Over the years, China has expanded its claim over territory in Bhutan. China claims over 764km2 of Bhutan’s territory, which includes Doklam, Sinchulung, Dramana and Shakhatoe in the northwestern region and the Pasamlung and Jakarlung Valleys in the central part of Bhutan. Although the two sides held
The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) sixth plenary session has ended and from all appearances, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) has set the stage to rule for the rest of his life. Some might be tempted to declare that this calls for Xi to do a victory lap, but all is not well on the other side of the Taiwan Strait. To parody a line from Ya Got Trouble, a song from Broadway musical The Music Man: “There’s trouble in River City, (aka, Beijing). Trouble with a capital T, which rhymes with C for CCP.” Why? Taking control of a nation is always much
Among the voices expressing concern for Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai (彭帥) over the past two weeks, one was barely audible — that of her long-time former doubles partner Hsieh Su-wei (謝淑薇). Following their defeat in the WTA Finals championship match in Mexico on Nov. 18, Taiwan’s Hsieh and her Belgian partner Elise Mertens fielded questions via a Zoom call. Chinese state media had just released an incredibly suspicious e-mail, purportedly from Peng, and Canadian tennis Web site Open Court broached the issue. With the entire tennis world chiming in, seeking Hsieh’s opinion seemed obvious. However, the Web site’s reporter prefaced her question