A craze for piggy bank donation boxes for Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) presidential campaign prompted the party to declare this month “little pigs month.”
At a press conference yesterday, to which children had been invited, DPP campaign spokespersons called on supporters to adopt piggy banks to support the party.
The spokespersons said supporters could return and stand by Tsai’s side with “fattened pigs” when Tsai officially registers her candidacy with the Central Election Commission later this month.
The piggy bank phenomenon stems from an incident last month when the DPP returned three piggy banks donated to the party by three-year-old triplets in Greater Tainan after the Control Yuan warned the donations were in violation of the Act Governing Political Donations (政治獻金管理條例). The act stipulates that only people of voting age and those who meet other voting eligibility rules are allowed to make political donations.
The incident sparked a craze among Tsai’s supporters for piggy banks, and although the DPP subsequently ordered 80,000 piggy banks, they still couldn’t meet demand from supporters.
Sources said many DPP service areas have even bought piggy banks on their own initiative to hand out and many stores have taken piggy banks out of storage to sell because of demand.
DPP spokesman Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲), who came up with the piggy bank campaign, yesterday said that when he returned the piggy banks to the triplets, their grandfather donated NT$30,000, leading him to think of the idea.
“A factory owner told me that the total amount of piggy banks he sold in a decade didn’t match the amount sold in the past week,” Lin said.
To avoid violating the political donations act, the DPP said that when collecting the piggy banks late this month, it would label the banks with the name, address and telephone number of the donor, adding that if the donation exceeds NT$100,000, the DPP would also send the donor a receipt for a political donation.
In a speech on Sunday at the opening ceremony of the DPP’s regional campaign headquarters in Greater Taichung, Tsai said the piggy bank idea had received much more support than she thought it would.
The comments were prompted after crowds of supporters were seen putting money into a piggy bank sitting on the podium at the event.
In light of the eagerness exhibited by the crowd, Tsai said that supporters did not need to be so eager to give donations right then, but could “fatten the pigs” at home for the January presidential election against the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), which she said has numerous resources and party assets.
Although the KMT has a lot of money and assets, Tsai said, the DPP has “little pigs,” and this reminds supporters that the DPP has the backing of the people.
“That is the greatest asset,” Tsai said.
“The little pigs represent expectations and hopes that a political party can lead Taiwan and care about all Taiwanese,” Tsai said, adding that the January election would be the “little pig against the big wolf” and the “small shrimp against the big whale.”
“If I am elected president, I would keep a piggy bank on my office table to remind myself that the DPP’s return to power was because of the hard work of many people,” Tsai said.
Translated by Jake Chung, Staff writer