11/28/2010

Taiwan Has Spoken?



Today the people of Taiwan voted. To me, it seemed like a referendum on our President, Ma Ing-jeou, and his China leaning policies (some have even called them appeasement). I am not very politically minded. I will say I'm glad it's over. The loudness of the extravaganza has been unbearable. Here in Monga, we've been putting up with loud speakers that intrude into our homes deep into the night, smarmy palm-pressing politicians at every MRT station (in the mornings, no less) and all kinds of annoying chest beating. Last week, I had to, get this, listen to how Taipei IS Hau Lung-pin (郝龍斌) and that Chen Shui-bien is still corrupt. The rally actually took place on the common grounds of my apartment building, and lasted until around eleven o'clock. (Hau Lung is the son of 郝柏村, Taiwan's premier 20 years ago who fought tooth and nail against democratic reform.) Later that night, when my wife sent me out on a beer run, I couldn't help but notice all the garbage left behind. This garbage was cleaned up by janitors employed on my, and other occupants of my apartment complex, dime the next morning. 

Anyway, my wife was simmering tonight because Taipei, where she and her ancestors going back 300 years have lived, is still KMT-land. I rented "Formosa Betrayed," an interesting new film about how Taiwan and its inhabitants have been colonized and controlled by invaders from China the last 60 years. After watching "Formosa Betrayed," she was on low boil. She told me that she was once educated to revere the KMT, that she had been taught to see the Japanese, who built Taiwan into Asia's second most economically powerful place, as scoundrels. She had even gotten into arguments as a young girl with her grandma. According to Grandma, the KMT were not saviors but rather "beggars and thieves." Later, when my wife learned about the 2-28 Massacre, when the KMT murdered 30,000 Taiwanese intellectuals in an early power grab and the 38 years of martial law that ensued, she came around to a new way of thinking. 

I don't think all is lost. There are some interesting statistics emerging from tonight's election. The most telling is that the DPP, the pro-Taiwan party here, has actually won the popular vote. Here are the latest tallies: 


Taibei
中國國民黨:795,403 (55.65%)




民主進步黨:626,075 (43.81%)

Xin Taibei
中國國民黨:1,115,536 (52.61%)
民主進步黨:1,004,900 (47.39%)

Taichung
中國國民黨:730,284 (51.12%)
民主進步黨:698,358 (48.88%)

But, in Gaoxiong/Tainan DDP pulled ahead:

Gaoxiong
民主進步黨:821,089 (52.8%)
中國國民黨:319,171 (20.52%)

Tainan
民主進步黨:619,897 (60.41%)
中國國民黨:406,196 (39.59%)


I pulled these totals off Michael Turton's comment section. Michael also has some interesting insight into the KMT-related gangster shenanigans that led to the shooting in Yong-he last night of a KMT official's son: http://michaelturton.blogspot.com/2010/11/sean-lien-shot.html

On a different note, David on Formosa is promoting blogs for a "Best Blog of Taiwan" contest. I think it's cool to promote Taiwan related blogs. I should probably read up more on this subject. If I were to vote, I think I'd give the nod to http://danshuihistory.blogspot.com/. Eyedoc, the curator, runs a terrific history-based site. David put up his mentions here; I'll give the link: http://blog.taiwan-guide.org/2010/11/some-great-taiwan-blogs-in-2010/

2 comments:

Fonghui Wong said...

KMT is worse than what its supporters think and better what its critics say. This quote sounds a little odd to me:

...interesting new film about how Taiwan and its inhabitants have been colonized and controlled by invaders from China the last 60 years

If the Chinese, who came to Taiwan in 1945 are invaders, what were the Chinese, who came to Taiwan in the 17th century to those, who lived here for at least 8000 years before?

And I'm very amused about your notion about Japanese, who built Taiwan into Asia's second most economically powerful place. They were still occupiers. Here you're using the same argument China uses for Tibet.

Your blog was linked to me by David. Frankly, I was expecting more from you.

Patrick Cowsill said...

"And I'm very amused about your notion about Japanese, who built Taiwan into Asia's second most economically powerful place. They were still occupiers."

Of course they were. Did I ever say anything to the contrary? I'm interested in comparing the Japanese occupation to the Chinese occupation. I've done it repeatedly, just harping away. Why? People are trying to say the China liberated Taiwan from Japan for the better. I'm not sure this is true.

"Here you're using the same argument China uses for Tibet."

What argument is that? I'm not making any argument other than Taiwanese people should know more about the past. I don't know what's going on in China and Tibet right now. If the argument is the same - I really have no idea what you're talking about - it is by coincidence.

I'd love to write about the people that came here 8,000 years ago. Or the people that may have been here much longer = negritos. There just isn't very much information to go on.

If you're looking for the politicization and revision of history, you won't have to look far. It's everywhere. If you're looking for something specific, let me know. I might have read something. Good luck in your exploration.