When Will Taiwan Awaken? The KMT Leech Has Always Been at Your Throat, Part III, Miaoli, a Glimmer of Hope?

  Previous  |  Next  

Saturday March 21, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

With people like Kuo Kuan-ying, calling himself a "superior Mainlander," the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has since 1945 profited from Taiwan and its resources. Despite its sordid past, the current KMT government now claims to have changed and will support clean government. Who has not heard President Ma Ying-jeou say that the KMT aims at rooting out corruption? Who has not heard KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung re-echo that the KMT is against corruption? For this reason it was a real shock to Taiwanese (or was it?) that in Miaoli, the KMT supported the wife of convicted vote-buyer KMT Legislator Lee E-tin in the replacement elections.

Lee E-tin had been recently found guilty of vote-buying and forced to resign his legislative seat. In facing the question of who to choose to replace this corrupt official, the KMT did not hesitate; it chose his wife. For Taiwan watchers, this was reminiscent of another past election in Taidun. There the KMT magistrate was found guilty of corruption, but by law his wife could not run to succeed him. To get around this statute, the wife divorced her husband so that she could run. She ran and won; later the happy couple celebrated that they had kept the position in KMT hands. When will Taiwan awaken? The KMT leech has always been at your throat.

In Miaoli, however, something different happened. KMT member Kang Shih-ju broke ranks with the party in supporting such a sham. He chose to run as an independent against Chen Luan-ying, the wife of the convicted Lee. The KMT quickly cancelled Kang's KMT party membership.

Miaoli is a KMT stronghold, but despite heavy support from the central KMT, the citizens there could not take any more corruption. They elected Kang instead of Chen.

The vote was close. Kang received 41,688 votes; Chen the wife of the convicted vote-buyer Lee received 40,099 votes.

Many in Taiwan were happy to see that enough of the citizens of Miaoli were fed up and chose to vote against the wife of the convicted vote-buyer. However, the closeness of the vote raised other questions.

Obviously 40,099 still favored the vote-buyers wife. Perhaps they felt their future meal tickets would be lost if she were not elected. Such support indicates the difficulty Taiwan faces in rooting out corruption and how deep and how widespread it is. Obviously many native Taiwanese would sell out their birthright to rule Taiwan as Taiwanese in order to gain crumbs from the "superior Mainlanders" as Kuo has termed them. When will Taiwan awaken?