Nominees for the legislative elections on Jan. 14 are not the only ones canvassing votes in the streets, with their spouses sometimes acting as an aide, coming up with campaign strategies or making fliers.
Almost every nominee has an important “other half” behind them.
In the case of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Greater Kaohsiung fifth district nominee Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲), her husband, former Tainan deputy mayor Hsu Yang-ming (許陽明), has often advised on political issues and busied himself in the campaign headquarters.
An example of Hsu’s contributions was his hand-made piggy bank with LED lights when the DPP promoted the “three little pigs” fund-raising drive, which resulted in his wife gleefully calling him a “genius.”
Hsu also personally designed all the fliers for Kuan’s three previous successful legislative election campaigns and is again making Kuan’s fliers for this campaign.
When asked, Hsu smiled and said: “I know more of what’s in her heart.”
In the second district of Taipei, one of the districts that the DPP is most confident of taking, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative nominee Justin Chou (周守訓) is fighting hard for a consecutive term against rival DPP nominee Pasuya Yao (姚文智).
“Campaigning for the legislature is kind of like campaigning for borough warden; you can canvas the whole main street by yourself, but you can’t also get the votes from the alleys,” Chou said, adding that he was lucky that his wife, former TV news anchor Wang Yong-he (汪用和), could help canvas the female vote.
“I hope to let the people feel my utmost sincerity by mobilizing my entire family during elections,” Chou said.
Chou’s aides have also said that although Wang was a celebrity, she was more approachable without her role as an anchorwoman, adding that she walks to places that are inaccessible to cars, with only an aide and a microphone.
She moved a lot of voters with her method of canvassing, the aides said.
Nominated for the seat representing Greater Kaohsiung first district, DPP legislator nominee Chiu Yi-ying’s (邱議瑩) recent surgery to remove an ovarian tumor prompted her husband, Greater Kaohsiung Deputy Mayor Lee Yung-te (李永得), to take leave from his duties to help with her campaign.
Together with her friends Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), Hsieh Hsin-ni (謝欣霓) and Cheng Li-chun (鄭麗君) helping in the campaign, Lee has also taken a hand in holding all the campaign meetings, as well as helping canvas votes.
One time, Chiu came back home late at night after a busy canvassing schedule to find that Lee had already washed all the clothes, and he then gave her a massage to take off the pressure of campaigning.
Translated by Jake Chung, Staff Writer