For the past couple of days WSJ reported on the widely expected election victory this weekend of an independence-leaning candidate as Taiwan’s president adding unwanted headache for Obama. A change in Taiwan’s government also would further complicate the region’s strained security. China is asserting control over disputed territories in the East and South China Sea, alarming Japan, Philippines and Vietnam that turned to Washington for support.Beijing has never dropped threats to retake the island by force if One China is violated though it is no longer necessary. Taiwan’s people would not survive without livelihoods if China cut off trade ties.
Watch BBC’s clip on Taiwan’s economy and election.
We have three pairs of presidential candidates from three parties in the Taiwan election. The ruling party had taken Taiwan’s economy to tatters in the past eight years, the opposing party will accelerate the economic collapse antagonizing Mainland China or and pushing unrealistic power plans with renewable energy that will result in mass exodus of industries and investments. They have been wobbling between conflicting policies walking the fine line between One China and One Taiwan. The third party is at the verge of extinction and the presidential candidate betrayed the ruling party by helping a pro-independence President came to power, it initiated the crumbling of Taiwan’s economic miracle for the past two to three decades. The retired President went as far as claiming the long disputed island among Japan, China, Taiwan as territory of Japan, he considered himself Japanese growing up in the colonial days and helped instill the mentality of Taiwanese refusing to be called Chinese.
As for election of legislators, other than the two major parties, over fifteen obscure parties will amount to nothing in terms of impact. The ruling party is dominated by older, corrupt and immoral bureaucrats while the opposing party is made up of progressive idealists with visions that can never be realized economically and the new generation of young professor, graduate school dropout and pop singer who managed to dodge away from compulsory military service, sexual harrassment accusations or alleged trashing of legislative properties during the Sunflower Movement against China Trade Pact.
The new generation is the outcome of “college for everyone” , education reforms led by the only Taiwanese-American Nobel Laureate. College students become a dime a dozen, with declining birthrates most of educational institutions will be shutting down in a couple of years. The cream of the crop among the young graduates migrated overseas for better pay and career opportunities, many unemployed and nibbling on their parents’ savings, others toiling away on NTD22K (close to USD 650) a month on dead end jobs. Yet industries have trouble finding blue collar workers, with all the hassles of foreign migrants many resorted to move their plants offshore.
Sounds familiar? Every country around the world has their own rendition of political woes?
Every national has the right and obligation to vote. Would democracy matter if all choices betrayed our true values? To vote for check and balance of irrational political power or rise above meaningless political conflicts by not voting? Which is the lesser evil? To vote or not to vote, that is the question!
“If you’ve ever for a moment wondered why you should bother to vote, see Suffragette. You’ll never feel that way again. ” The movie is about how British women fought for the right to vote. In US, women battled for a century to get that right. if I were American, I would vote for Hillary Clinton even though I don’t like her, but definitely not Trump.