California governor-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger romped to victory in the state recall election on a powerful mixture of voter rage and his own star power, analysts say. \nPolitical experts were stunned by the newly-minted politician's margin of victory, as the True Lies star had failed to reveal many details of his policies for the richest but economically-troubled US state. \nEven when he ambitiously unveiled his plan for his first 100 days in office last week, there were promises to "sweep" the Democratic government from power but few clues as to how he would tackle the state's myriad problems. \n"For the people to win, politics as usual must lose," he said in his acceptance speech late Tuesday, in which he skimmed over earlier broad pledges and promised to start working Wednesday. \nSchwarzenegger managed to overcome his policy shortcomings in the eyes of voters by successfully casting himself as a man of the people on a mission to stamp out the excesses of traditional politicians. \n"He tapped into the anger and [defeated Governor Gray] Davis became the focal point of that anger because he's such an unattractive and uncharismxatic politician," said University of Southern California political pundit Elizabeth Garrett. \n"In terms of policy we know very little about him [Schwarzenegger] and what he really plans to do, but the voters really don't seem to care," she said. \nA CNN exit poll showed that while 50 percent of voters had a favorable impression of the former bodybuilder, 64 percent said he had not addressed policy in enough detail. \nSome experts said that voters appeared to be dazzled by the Terminator star's Hollywood magnetism, which he used heavily in his campaign by repeating catch-phrases from his best-known movies. \nBut policy -- particularly economic policy -- is crucial to California, which is hobbled by a record US$38 billion budget deficit and faces rising unemployment, heavy taxes and huge immigration from Latin America. \n"He's under the microscope now and will have to prove very quickly that he and the people around him are up to the job that he's won for himself," Garrett said. \nFrom the moment he announced his candidacy, the brawny celebrity came under heavy criticism for failing to clarify his economic plans. \nUnder pressure, Schwarzenegger assembled a high-powered team of advisers that included billionaire investor Warren Buffett and former secretary of state George Schultz to help work out an economic strategy. \nSchwarzenegger has promised to slash massive and "irresponsible" state spending, which rose by around 40 percent under Davis's five year tenure. Revenues during that period rose only 25 percent. \nSchwarzenegger also said he would freeze spending and audit the state's US$99 billion budget. He promised to woo business and jobs back to California by reforming investment and employment regulations. He pledged not to raise taxes -- but with the caveat "never say never." \nWhile vowing to attack the budget deficit head-on, Schwarzenegger said it was impossible to draw up detailed plans until the promised audit was completed. \nBut he promised to immediately repeal Davis' unpopular tripling of a car tax, get a "fair share" of Indian gambling revenue and ease the deficit by renegotiating state employee union contracts. \nHis plans remain vague, however, and to accomplish any of what he has pledged, Schwarzenegger will need to secure the cooperation of the state's Democrat-dominated legislature. Most laws require a simple 50 percentv plus one majority to pass, while budget proposals need a two-thirds majority. \n"He's going to face a Democratic legislature and a Democratic lieutenant governor [Cruz Bustamante, who Schwarzenegger beat in the race to the governor's mansion] and some people just won't work with him," Garrett said. \n"He's not going to be able to accomplish very much unless he can get people to compromise, and that will be no easy task," she said. \nSchwarzenegger, recognizing the battle he faces, said after winning the polls he would call legislative leaders of all political persuasions and ask them to work with him. \n"I need your help," he said.
Recent global media coverage of Taiwan has at times reduced the nation’s success in containing the spread of COVID-19 to some East Asian values such as cooperation with social control or Confucianism. An article in Wired magazine debunks this myth, crediting the nation’s success to democracy and transparency. It is appalling to learn that this misconception still exists. Here is one thing that world citizens should keep in mind: Taiwan is the first and only country in Asia that has legalized same-sex marriage. There is nothing Confucian about that. If anything, the Confucian legacy is a major obstacle that Taiwanese
The novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 — or the Wuhan virus, after the Chinese city from which it emerged — could not have come at a more advantageous time for China’s communist government. Not for the Chinese people, of course, thousands of whom have perished because of Beijing’s lack of transparency, disinformation and cruel refusal to cooperate with international public health organizations. No, the advantage goes exclusively to Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), whose deceptive practices unleashed the deadly virus to the world. To understand how Beijing benefits from the pandemic, it is necessary
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣), tasked with reforming the party and returning it to the viable political force that it once was, is faced with a Gordian knot. The complexities of the job ahead go beyond appealing to a younger generation of voters. Chiang might have to decide between jettisoning much of what the party originally stood for and preparing it for a return to the Presidential Office, or doubling down on its founding purpose and representing what is increasingly, in the current state of Taiwanese politics, a minority view. The KMT, as the founding party and self-proclaimed champion
Although concerned over the impact of many citizens returning from Europe and the US while those nations cope with soaring COVID-19 infection rates, Taiwan has handled the pandemic with alacrity and seems to be successfully managing the process compared with many others, including European nations and the US. Despite its proximity to China, by March 3, Taiwan had only 42 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one death, while Japan had 287 cases and six deaths and South Korea had 4,812 cases and 28 deaths. This is of considerable interest internationally because Taiwan is not only located near China, but is relatively densely