Taiwan 2008 Legislative Elections: On the Spot

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Friday January 11, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

The voting stations are open today and already it is evident that the Pan-blue party is out to kill the referendums by boycotting them.

To pass a referendum must get 50 per cent of the eligible votes not 50 per cent of the votes cast. If there is a light voter turnout, this already stacks the odds against getting 50 per cent of the eligible votes (for the referendums it is 17,277,720.)

There are two referendums on the ballot, one to regain the "stolen assets" that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has kept. This was put forth by the Pan-green parties. The second is an anti-corruption referendum put forth by the Pan-blue parties.

The Pan-blue parties have already told their people to boycott the referendum vote thereby making it all the more difficult to reach the 50 per cent margin needed to pass from the eligible voters. They would rather sacrifice their own referendum on anti-corruption in order to make sure the referendum on returning the state assets does not pass. This also raises question as to their sincerity in even getting the signatures for an anti-corruption referendum.

To further insure and discourage other voters, the heads at voting stations in the pan-blue areas are telling voters not to worry about getting referendum ballots since "nobody cares about the referendums anyway."

The results will be in later in the day. When you see them note the discrepancy between the number of votes cast for legislative representatives and those cast for the referendums.