Taiwan as the World Turns; Problems, Problems, Problems

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Monday May 07, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

There is an irony here as Ma Ying-jeou prepares for his inauguration on May 20; he has not even started his second term and any honeymoon me may have wished for has been dashed. The US beef scandal hangs over the country; only 17 per cent support lifting the ban and a delegation has been sent to the USA to "ëxamine things." In reality that is a euphemism that they ahve to come up with an excuse for Ma to live up to his bargained deal with the USA for their support in the last election.

Ma's approval rating has hit an all time low; it is now down to 25.8 per cent; one-quarter of the population. Recall back when he was elected in January some pundits tried to spin it as a mandate (I was not one) even though he had dropped some two million votes from his 2008 election? Those pundits must be searching for straws to explain his now all time low rating.

Then Ma is asking the public for understanding. Understanding for what??? Understanding that he took the gold mine and left them the shaft? Understanding for his incompetence as a leader? Understanding that he remains an image president?

So the world turns for Taiwan. The DPP candidates had their second debate to decide who would be the chairman; again no one stood out for any charismatic vision. Politics is becoming a reality show in Taiwan.

What next? As Ma must be preparing his inauguration speech with a 25 per cent approval rating, one cannot wonder what he will say this time. Will he continue to try and preach his pro-China strategy? That has not worked in the past. Will he finally break down and say that there is a Taiwan Minzu? No, he would choke on those words. What will he say? Stay tuned, it is only two weeks away.