Why Some Young Taiwanese Might Not Be Able to Vote

Written by  J. Michael Cole. It was a problem during the 2012 elections, and it’s going to be a problem again less than three weeks from now: Because of the timing of their final exams set by the Central Election Commission (CEC) and inflexibility on the part of the Ministry of Education (MOE), a number …

Why the KMT is going to lose

Written by Jonathan Sullivan. It is not news that DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen is heading for victory on January 16. She has enjoyed a double digit lead across all polls throughout the year, rising to a 30 point lead at one stage. She recently crossed the psychological 50 point mark. Her rivals, Eric Chu …

Riding through Taiwan 2016

Written by Michael Turton. Two of Taiwan’s most popular stimulants, betel nut and pigeons. Photos of candidate posters and banners along roads in Taichung, Changhua, Yunlin, and Chiayi taken on a bicycle ride through the area, plus commentary and translation. To see any photo in detail, just click on it. In my district, Tanzih in …

Taiwan 2016

Written by Jonathan Sullivan. For a race where one candidate, the DPP’s Tsai Ing-wen, has enjoyed a seemingly unassailable 20 point lead over her rivals for much of the year, Taiwan’s presidential and legislative campaigns have been full of excitement. Much of that excitement, indeed gleeful disbelief, has been generated on the Green side of …

The Impact of Replacing Hung Hsiu-Chu

Written by Timothy S. Rich and Hannah Neeper. One of the more interesting aspects of the Taiwanese presidential election campaign has been the nomination and later replacement of Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Hung Hsiu-Chiu. Partly due to the declining popularity of the party and several presumptive candidates opting not to run, Hung easily cleared the 30% threshold …

Taiwan’s Pan-Blue Camp is at War with Itself

Written by J. Michael Cole. Something rather extraordinary occurred outside the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) headquarters in Taipei on 7 October as hundreds of angry protesters gathered to vent their anger at the party. Unlike the usual protests by civic activists or pro-independence groups, this crowd was made entirely of pan-blue supporters—in other words, of …

Youth, Taishang and absentee voting in Taiwan

Written by Courtney Donovan Smith. In the aftermath of last year’s Sunflower protests, there was considerable hand-wringing in both established parties about the clear lack of trust the protesters had in them. Both the DPP and KMT vowed to increase communication, boost outreach and to pay more attention to the needs and aspirations of the young. …

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. …

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, …

Taiwan’s national security debate between elections

Written by Michal Thim. National security and defence is not usually a major concern in local elections but that should change during the presidential and legislative elections which come next in the election cycle, in 2016. During the next few months, both major political parties will nominate their presidential candidates, and both major contenders will have to address …