Thu, Nov 07, 2013 - Page 8

Advice for mayoral race

Ko Wen-je, (柯文哲), a rising political star and a favorite of the media in recent days, has again generated controversy in the political arena when he said: “There are two suns in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)” and “the next chairperson of the DPP should not be the candidate for the presidential election in 2016.”

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) likes the comments, which will help to switch the public’s attention away from the KMT’s corruption cases. The DPP hates the statements, which may harm its solidarity.

Who is Ko Wen-je? A well-established physician who takes care and watches the physical condition of former President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

Ko is a person who speaks his mind. People like what he says and the way he says it. He has gained admiration from the public, especially from the pan-green camp. People like him so much, some suggest he should run for mayor of Taipei next year. Ko’s popularity rating in several polls is the highest among the potential candidates from the green camp.

As a physician, he has no record of political activity. As a nonprofessional politician, Ko may have overestimated himself and underestimated the public’s intelligence.

He seems to interpret the polls differently. He does not seem to know that oftentimes popularity ratings do not transfer to the voting booth. For example, in last year’s presidential election, James Soong (宋楚瑜) had a popularity rating of 10 percent, but he won only 2 percent of the vote.

Politics is art and how people express it is also art. What a politician thinks is not necessarily what will be.

As an intelligent person, Ko needs to know that if he wants people to take him seriously, he has to show that he is a responsible, respectable and credible person.

He must declare that he is an independent candidate for the Taipei mayoral election next year (he is not yet a member of the DPP), present his platform — his vision and his plan for the city — and explain to the citizens of Taipei why he is the best person for the job.

Ken Huang

Murrieta, California