What a rare moment for People First Party Chairman James Soong (
To any politician, no news is bad news. In the past months, the opposition alliance has completely overshadowed Soong's personal allure. This puts the PFP in a crisis, as Soong's personal appeal is about the party's only asset. Therefore, PFP launched a campaign to seize the headlines, so that Soong would have a chance to shine.
Forever eager to speak Soong's mind whenever the master fears a backlash, PFP Vice Chairman Chang Chao-hsiung (
After all, his excellent performance in this role almost won him the presidency. To tap this tragic image, Soong has obsessed about the PFP's grievances in its effort to cooperate with the KMT. What possible grievances could the PFP have suffered? Chang was the one repeatedly lambasting the KMT.
In the crucial Taipei County Commissioner's race, the PFP insists on keeping its candidate, although Chin Chin-sheng (
The recent turn of events has also stirred speculation about a love triangle between the PFP, KMT and DPP. The PFP is trying to keep a relatively equal distance between both so it can play "The Price is Right." The PFP desperately needs political and financial resources -- not just for the year-end elections, but for Soong's presidential aspirations as well. Both the KMT -- the richest political party in the world -- and the DPP have what the PFP needs. How to make them more willing to share those goodies with the PFP has become the party's top priority.
It is a foregone conclusion that no single party will win a legislative majority in the year-end elections. Without resources and qualified candidates, the PFP is expected to place behind the KMT and DPP. So whoever allies with the PFP will have a legislative majority. The PFP's calculating manipulations are truly loathsome. It apparently doesn't care what policies it has to spout, just as long as it can win. For example, the common denominators in the opposition alliance are their "one China" and unification policies. If Soong can keep harping on these, then he can attract a larger voter base among current and former KMT members.
There doesn't appear to be any overlap in policies between the DPP and PFP in terms of cross-strait issues -- but the PFP has remained deliberately hazy on virtually all domestic issues -- in order not to alienate any possible DPP supporters. Under the circumstances, any alliance between the DPP and PFP would be a classic marriage of political convenience, unworthy of any blessing. But that is unlikely to be much of an impediment to Soong, if it keeps his political hopes alive.
The bigger question is how either the KMT or the DPP could maintain any pretense of political principles if they continue to play Soong's games -- and why the people of Taiwan would want them too.
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