Skip to content

Daily shorts Dec 7

Global Voices Online has extracts from Chinese bloggers discussing the first televised debate. There is more on Chinese netizens’ love for the debates here  and here. “Only when state leaders are elected via a democratic process can China become a democracy. Leaders produced via other methods are only dictators under a fake skin of democracy.” I shall refrain from saying that this can also be true of elected leaders. Even more love for the debate here, but including the damning conclusion that “Ma was too weak, Tsai was too feminine, and Soong was too fake.” Its a pity that we’re no longer in Movember, because a strong moustache could be the answer for all three.

Stung by the criticism from an anonymous Chinese blogger that he is fake, and cavalierly eschewing my moustache idea, James Soong instead attempts to set a new world record for use of the word extraordinary in the same sentence. “In this extraordinary time, we need an extraordinary man to lead an extraordinary team to use an extraordinary approach to break away from Taiwan’s extraordinary plight.” A good effort, Sir. He also has some advice for Tsai Ing-wen’s campaign sloganeers: “Taiwan can’t be ‘Next,’ Taiwan has to be first.” Wasn’t “Taiwan First” one of CSB’s slogans in 2004?

Tsai says that she wants “to restore Taipei to the city I remember from my childhood.” A noble intention, but it made me wince when I checked when Tsai moved to Taipei from Pingtung: 1967. Now, I think Taipei is one of the most liveable cities in the world, but that 60’s architecture was brutal. I couldn’t find an appropriate image I could use, so here’s some video from 1959 instead.

If you weren’t already getting sufficient value out of James Soong’s campaign, his running mate just came up with a doozy. He accused the National Security Bureau of launching an electronmagnetic wave attack on his house. He said “If I hadn’t quickly moved out of my home, I would have lost my mind.” …Guys its no fun when you make it this easy.

Finally, Ma has solicited the help of the First Lady on the campaign trail. A campaign staffer gushed “the first lady is very charismatic and is always great with the public.” Can she sub for Ma in the next debate?

Mail me at, follow me on Twitter @jonlsullivan, or access my papers at

Published inInternational PoliticsTaiwan 2012


  1. Kwan-Fan Su Kwan-Fan Su

    A Netizen’s video edit of Ma’s debate with Tsai’s rebuttal.


    • Jonathan Sullivan Jonathan Sullivan

      An excellent video: thank you for sharing it. Edits can of course be misleading, but it really gives a sense of one of Ma’s line of attacks: ‘Taiwan under CSB was awful, do you really trust the DPP not to do the same again?’ Naturally, Ma doesn’t say anything about the structural conditions that so hampered CSB, including absolute obstructionism in the LY. Tsai Ing-wen’s deft response was absolutely appropriate: ‘this is 2012 not 2008, I’m TIW not CSB’. Nonetheless, CSB remains a vulnerability, so expect more attacks in this vein.

      • Kwan-Fan Su Kwan-Fan Su

        I found that clip on PTT which a netizen shared for the lazy. In Taiwan’s on-line community, there are many “packages for the lazy” (懶人包) that netizens organize the relevant materials and edited for consumption for those that do not have enough time to browse and research, or just can’t be bothered. I hope you won’t mind that I share these “lazy packages” from time to time on this blog.

        The “animal rights activist”, that rebutted and rolled her eyes at Tsai at the meeting, also suffered the fate of having her personal information exposed and sorted into a convenient “lazy package” laced with satire for the benefit of other netizens, consisting of interviews, pictures, blog posts, news reports and commentary. It appears to me that the youth in Taiwan are concerned about politics, but express themselves through media that are less accessible to the mainstream channels or are cherry picked to suit their respective political leanings by mainstream outlets.

        We can expect more “lazy packages” in the coming weeks in the build up to the elections.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.