Poor organization and lack of experience contributed to the failure of Greater Kaohsiung’s Appendectomy Project in two campaigns on election day, activists said yesterday.
Representatives of the group’s Greater Kaohsiung branch bowed in apology to supporters at a press conference. A representative from Greater Kaohsiung surnamed Hsieh (謝小姐) cried quietly throughout the proceedings.
Activists had hoped to take advantage of the nine-in-one elections to collect the signatures necessary to enter the recall campaign’s second phase, setting up tables outside voting sites. However, petitions to recall Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislators Lin Kuo-cheng (林國正) and Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順) failed to reach the threshold of 2 percent of the electorate, with just 3,355 (1.38 percent) signatures collected for Lin and 2,321 (0.8 percent) for Huang.
In contrast, the effort to recall Taipei KMT Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元) passed the first threshold in August, breezing past the second threshold on election day with more than 40,000 signatures.
“I was surprised by the result,” said the group’s spokesperson, who is known as “Mr Lin from Taipei” (台北林先生).
He said that people from the relatively “pan-green” Greater Kaohsiung tend to be more enthusiastic about the group’s cause than Taipei residents.
Hsieh attributed the poor results to insufficient experience and organization, with a lack of staff and funding preventing the group from setting up signature-collection booths at all voting sites.
She said volunteer turnover was a key problem, with more than two-thirds of the initial summer student volunteers leaving for other cities during the fall school semester, and most fall volunteers returning to their hometowns to vote, forcing the group to quickly patch together a new team from returning students on election day.
In addition, Greater Kaohsiung volunteers failed to foresee a number of election-day expenses and did not raise any money beforehand, she said.
In contrast, volunteers in Taipei have been raising funds since May, Mr Lin from Taipei said.
Activists promised to continue working to collect signatures until the Dec. 31 deadline, when forms will be destroyed if the threshold remains unattained.
The name Appendectomy Project is a pun on a Mandarin Chinese term for pan-blue camp legislators, lan wei (藍委), which is pronounced the same as the word for “appendix” (闌尾).
PILLAGING PENGHU: A 7,539-tonne Chinese ship found mining sand in the Formosa Banks area was escorted by several CGA ships to a Kaohsiung harbor The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) yesterday announced that it had dispatched ships to intercept Chinese dredging vessels operating in the nation’s territorial waters near Penghu and detained 10 crew members, who were transported to Kaohsiung. A coast guard patrol discovered more than 20 dredging vessels in an area known as the Formosa Banks, 46 nautical miles (85km) southwest of Penghu County’s Cimei islet (七美) at about 5am on Wednesday. The agency responded by dispatching two patrol boats, the 3,000-tonne Kaohsiung and the 500-tonne Penghu, along with two frigates, to intercept the Chinese vessels, while an airborne observation unit was used to monitor
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age
CAUTION: The CECC would first observe how the nation fares after easing domestic restrictions and wait for the pandemic to further subside before making its next move The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that relaxing domestic restrictions and border controls simultaneously might complicate efforts to reopen the nation, amid discussions about Taiwan’s exclusion by other countries in their first lists of tourists. The center hopes for there to be a period of observation following the easing of domestic restrictions, before it decides what to do next, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a daily news briefing in Taipei. Chen was responding to a question about the reasoning behind the central government’s decision not to allow foreign students into the
Taiwan respects other countries’ decisions not to include it in their first lists of tourists allowed entry when they reopen their borders, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The Yomiuri Shimbun on Sunday reported that the Japanese government was considering reopening the country to tourists from Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand first. Greece on Friday announced that from June 15, it would allow visitors from 29 countries, including Australia, China, the Czech Republic, Japan, Israel, New Zealand, South Korea and Germany. Japan has not yet finalized its visitor list, but the ministry has conveyed its hope that Tokyo would