I have to admit I was more than a little upset at the result of last week’s election. To sum it up in the simplest terms: In the battle between dull and duller, dull just squeezed past the post a nose ahead of his slightly less interesting rival.
Anyway, having gotten over the minor bout of depression sparked by the thought of four more years of the riderless and rudderless horse, another story broke that genuinely had me considering anew going up to the top of Doufu Towers and throwing myself off.
The story I’m talking about of course is the rumor that the sacrificial pig, aka “heir apparent,” or Sean Lien (連勝文) as he is better known, may run for Taipei mayor.
One could be forgiven for thinking that his near-death experience and surviving a bullet in the head would have been enough to sate young Lien’s appetite for all things political, but then I guess the temptation of the position, the power and of course the chance to follow in the family’s footsteps and make a comfortable, well-paid, stress-free living at the expense of taxpayers is just too much to resist.
The only saving grace for yours truly is that the Doufu household happens to be located in New Taipei City (新北市).
And so it was that the stories touting Lien as a possible future Taipei mayoral candidate began to surface.
It could just have been that the cable news channels were stuck for a story on a slow news day, but the Sherlock Holmes in me detects something far more sinister.
My guess is that the release of the story was timed to gauge public reaction while Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) supporters were still drunk on the success of the Jan. 14 victory. People may have been drunk, but surely they were not that drunk.
There was no doubt that Lien junior’s supporters would tout his “successful” record during his previous sinecure at the expense of Taipei’s taxpayers — as chairman of EasyCard Corp — and membership of KMT royalty as suitable credentials for the job.
They would probably also ignore the strange coincidence that saw the KMT-dominated legislature pass a law (nicknamed by some the “Sean Lien Act”) to help Lien smoothly achieve his stated aims, just five months after the inexperienced Lien had surprised observers by ascending to the EasyCard throne.
The worst-case scenario would see him win and serve a term or two. If that were to happen, then Lien would surely begin to get too big for his boots and begin to consider a shot at the presidency.
After all, anyone worth his salt knows that all the democratically elected presidents of Taiwan have previously served as Taipei mayor, although I get the feeling the current occupant of the mayorship may be the one who proves the exception to that particular rule.
If this indeed is the path that has been chosen for Lien junior, then it would seem nothing can stop the Sean Lien sedan chair procession to the Presidential Palace and political stardom.
Except perhaps one thing — Lien’s complete and utter lack of persona and charm.
While it’s true that a corpse in a KMT-embroidered vest could probably win the election for Taipei mayor (in fact, I forgot one already has, and was re-elected in November 2010), am I alone in thinking Lien just doesn’t have what it takes to win the big one, given that he has less charisma than his famously dour father, and probably even less than the said corpse?