Well, what we have learned from this election? Social movement are in continuous development. From the death of army corporal Hong Chung-chiu (洪仲丘), the Sunflower movement and food safety scandals, Taiwan has accumulated momentum demanding change from the government; Ko smartly jumped into the campaign and stuck to his vision and promises; the young voters successfully used the power of social media, while the KMT played its same sad, old tune. Combine all these factors and that tells us why the independents and DPP could lead the rich and powerful KMT by such a large margin.
These elections were an act of will for, and belief in, change. Taiwanese have just cast their votes to make a choice for their future. Hopefully, next time they can cast their votes to identify their identity, nationality and sovereignty.
Absentee voting needed
On the same day that voters turned out for the nine-in-one elections in Taiwan, there was also a state election in Victoria, Australia. I followed both elections with interest and voted in my home state of Victoria.
Voters in both Victoria and Taiwan can be pleased about the way the elections were conducted and have a high degree of confidence in the integrity of the results.
One major difference between the two elections is that in Victoria, almost 30 percent of voters cast their votes via pre-poll or postal vote.
Victoria voters also had the option of casting an absentee vote, ie, voting in a district other than the one they were registered in on election day.
However, in Taiwan, many people are denied the opportunity to vote because they cannot attend the polling booth near their registered residence on election day.
This leads to significant disenfranchisement of military and emergency services personnel, as well as university students, shift workers and other people living away from their registered residence.
Rather than informal arrangements, such as a student association organising buses for students to travel home (“University students, military members take steps to vote,” Nov. 19, page 2), the Central Election Commission needs to implement pre-poll and absentee voting to ensure all Taiwanese have the opportunity to vote.
These measures could be given trial runs at by-elections before being adopted for nationwide elections.