Thu, Dec 04, 2014 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTERS ]

Voters demand change

The nine-in-one elections are over and the results matched most of the pre-election polls that showed that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) would be defeated, remarkably, in Taipei and Greater Taichung. The result was even worse: They also lost in Keelung, Taoyuan County, Hsinchu City, Changhua County, Chiayi, Kinmen and Penghu. The KMT was trounced.

KMT Taipei mayoral candidate Sean Lien (連勝文) said on election eve that the Republic of China could not afford such a loss, with the endorsement of the KMT elites — President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), former KMT chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄), former vice president Lien Chan (連戰) and first lady Chow Mei-ching (周美青). However, the result was cruel: The KMT lost. The Liens’ Taiwan-China comprador dream lies shattered.

After the showdown, Sean Lien told his supporters: “We will meet again another day.”

However, the Liens have been struck from the political arena from now on and so from their role in China.

As expected, independent Taipei mayoral candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) was elected by a huge margin. Ko beat the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) candidate in primary polling and won the nomination for the non-KMT camp, then kept his promises and insisted on running a high-class campaign, with no campaign banners, no sweeping the streets with a fleet of cars and trucks and keeping his campaign funds transparent throughout the entire campaign. He had no party assets to budget, no party members to mobilize, but received donations from supporters and gathered crowds of volunteers. Ko has really established a high-standard election campaign model for Taiwan.

Ko demonstrated to the world he has run a very non-traditional campaign in Taiwan, after introducing Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation to Taiwan in his previous career as a physician. He said there is wall dividing residents from different ethnic backgrounds, different generations and the rich and poor. Shall we continue to build such walls with hate or tear them down with love?

After his election, Ko thanked the great people of Taipei for their strong will and belief that conscience is the foundation of politics. Voters believed in their power to build a better city, and change in Taipei became a reality.

Ko said winning the election only marked the beginning of his responsibilities.

Yes, there is much work awaiting all the newly elected officials. What are voters expecting? The voters have raised their voices to urge their leaders to address the problems we are facing: party infighting, partisian conflict between the pan-blue and pan-green camps, the yawning gap between rich and poor, unequal distribution of social resources, unfair judicial judgements, the survival of local industries, over-reliance on the Chinese market, food safety and corruption.

Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) resigned after the KMT’s rout. He stepped down as a scapegoat for Ma, who is the person who should really bear responsibility for the loss. Unfortunately, Ma told the public that the KMT would not be so easily defeated. He seemed unaware of how the KMT lost this election battle. The KMT was kicked out of China in 1949 for the same reason: it lost popular support. Now, Ma and his government widely open the door to China without defending Taiwan’s interests. People suffer much poorer living conditions than before.

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