Were Taiwan’s nine-in-one elections a referendum on Ma’s China policy?

Written by J. Michael Cole. The dust from the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) routing in the Nov. 29 local elections had yet to settle when analysts within the green camp started arguing that the results constituted a referendum on President M

The Rise of the ‘Pan-DPP 6.88’: Leveling the Playing Field

Written by Wen-Ti Sung. Taiwan concluded its nine-in-one elections on Saturday with results that can only be described as historic. Of the 22 mayoral seats up for grabs, the ruling party, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), was reduced to only six (and came within 2.12% or less of losing three of them); while the opposition …

Voters assert themselves as Taiwanese in a warning to KMT

Written by Bruce Jacobs. Taiwan’s opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has won an unprecedented landslide victory in the country’s local elections. The ruling Kuomintang (KMT) won only one of Taiwan’s six largest “special municipalities” in voting on Saturday and this by a very narrow margin. Elsewhere, the DPP won unexpected victories in many counties and …

Taiwan local elections: Municipalities in the front line of civil defence

Written by Alex Calvo. Local elections in many countries present voters with conflicting messages and pressures. On the one hand, they are called to choose those responsible for the management of local affairs. On the other, they may be urged, or feel tempted, to pass judgement on those in office at higher levels of government. …

Just how local are local elections in Taiwan?

Written by Michal Thim. Looking to local elections for clues as to how this or that party will fare in national elections is a precarious thing. Professor Shelley Rigger has argued earlier on this blog that Saturday’s elections should not be seen as a referendum on the KMT government and she makes many good points in support …

Taiwan: A Great Choosing Day is Coming (pt II)

Written by John Keane. As recently as two decades ago, free and fair elections were unimaginable for most citizens of Taiwan. Ground down by martial law, public conformity ran deep. Those who refused the ruling power were punished, often harshly. Heads-down cynicism flourished. The regime had mastered the dark arts of rigging elections. State-sanctioned factions, …

Crass electoral politics and the role of a militant civil society

Written by J. Michael Cole. Merely 48 hours to go before Taiwanese across the nation cast their votes in the nine-in-one local elections. With regulations barring the release of polling data ten days prior to the election, one can only now speculate about how each party, along with independent candidates, will fare on Nov. 29. What …

Don’t judge the Sunflower Movement by local election outcomes

Written by André Beckershof. A little more than half a year after the Sunflower Movement, the local elections might be seen as a first indicator of the political implications of Taiwan’s largest social movement since the early 1990s. The occupation of the Legislative Yuan was a clear sign to the ruling Kuomintang that the young generation …

Taiwan: A Great Choosing Day is Coming

Written by John Keane. For democrats, made in Taiwan is a seductive brand with definite global appeal. ‘Through the promotion of its democratic ideals’, says a stylishly confident pamphlet published recently by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ‘Taiwan has managed to build a significant amount of soft power around the world.’ The truth buried in …

Taiwan’s 9-in-1 Contest: Is it a “Midterm Election”?

Written by Shelley Rigger. Barack Obama and Ma Ying-jeou were both elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. Today, both face intractable problems and waning popularity – and two more years in office. They must also manage the results of nation-wide elections held in November 2014, halfway through their second terms. It is not surprising …