Taiwan's Elections Draw Near

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Tuesday January 03, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

Taiwan's presidential and Legislative Yuan elections are drawing near. The ballot sheet listings have been sent around and for those that doubted it, James Soong is in and committed. His party, the People's First Party is certainly hoping big; they have at least 15 candidates available for their legislator-at-large positions. It will be interesting to see what percentage of the vote that their party receives. I am not predicting that one, but I do believe that they will have no trouble getting past the required 5 per cent this time now that they are free of the KMT.

What may be of more interest to those outside of Taiwan is that there are eleven parties that are competing to get legislator-at-large positions. That's right eleven. Most people may not have heard of all eleven and most of them won't make the cut of getting 5 per cent of the party vote, but the possibility that they can makes them part of Taiwan's democracy. I would like to see the Green (environmental) Party get one of those positions, but I don't think they will get enough votes. The vote will probably help the DPP, KMT, PFP, and TSU get candidates in but the others, we will have to see.

As for the legislator in our district, there are nine people competing for one position and three are independents. Hope does spring eternal, which is true, and that is also a privilege of being in a democracy.