The KMT Tries a New Way to Buy Votes and Hsu Hsin-Liang Still Looks for a Parade

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Sunday November 21, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

The KMT has a long history of links to organized crime going back to its early days in Shanghai and continuing through examples of Jason Hu's police force spending their off hours (we hope they were off duty) at the offices of "alleged" and subsequently assassinated gangsters' offices. And of course many of their candidates have been convicted regularly of vote buying. But now they are trying a new way to use their state asset dollars to stay in power.

Mayor Hau scheduled the Taipei Floral Expo to open just before elections and hopefully influence the voters as to how he was spending so much on the city. Unfortunately that one did not work out too well since cost overruns were revealed and it seems some crony friends of Hau were getting nice fat contracts to supply the flowers. Voters were not that impressed by that.

Then the KMT spent millions to get Bill Clinton to come over to Taiwan and say some good words, or at least to speak in generalities so that their spin-doctors to twist it to say Clinton supported the ECFA that Ma rammed through without proper discussion. Again, it was hoped that voters would not loook at the cost for Clinton's hot air and vote for the KMT in the elections.

Now the latest is how KMT Premier Wu is trying to spend money in a different way to buy votes. We all know the Taiwanese taekwondo star Yang Shu-chun was set up and disqualified in China so that her competition to China's star would not be tested.

Well the KMT government cannot yet bring itself to criticize China, but they also realize they must find a way to climb on the bandwagon of popular sentiment and try to get votes from it. How to do it? Wu is suggesting that Taiwan pay Yang the amount she would have earned if she had gotten a gold medal. That's a cheap way to buy votes and use the country's money to do so.

I personally do believe that Yang was set up and prevented from offering a clear challenge to China's star but to pay her for getting a gold medal (using state funds) when she did not yet win it is not the kosher way. The government should launch a formal protest.

But as was said, Ma's government chokes on having to criticize China publically and so they try to buy their way out of it under the guise of rewardign Yang. Will they get votes for such duplicity? That remains to be seen.

Finally of course there is one last item on the KMT payroll; good old Hsu Hsin-liang, the man who has not had a job since the 1980s and somehow seems to be none the worse for it. Who does fund this turncoat? Since the 2000 elections he has been pandering to the KMT and he recently appeared on on a Pan-blue TV station discussing of all things politics.

Hsu is still looking for a parade that he can lead, but the only parade the KMT will let him lead is a support role. One would think that he could see through who supports him and why, but then desperation does bind people in their need. So the world turns in Taiwan. Will the KMT's new way of buying votes succeed? We will find out in a week.