Election Informant program, taxpayer money well spent?

I was talking with a couple of prosecutors at the Ministry of Justice on Friday about the various informant programs they have here in Taiwan. For example in another thread I posted the little brochure on the Rat Out Your Employer for Fake Software Program (which is actually funded by the Business Software Alliance—not by the taxpayers).

But—the taxpayers (including me and probably you) are funding the Election Fraud/Vote Buying Informant Program. The guy was telling me that last fiscal year the program paid out over $100,000,000NT (one hundred million NT) to people who called in with information about various forms of election fraud.

It is completely unknown how many convictions have resulted, the cases that start with informants are not tracked to see how well the program works. But let me ask, just to see what people say:

As a Forumosian taxpayer is that money well spent? Is it a good way to end election fraud?

Brian the taxpayer says no because we really do not know how effective the program is or is not. And Brian the taxpayer strongly suspects it is just political b.s. hype. But I would be curious to see what others thought. {I realize a cynics answer might be; “well, compared to all the other dick brained ways the ROC government fucks off the taxpayers money, one hundred million on this bullshit program is chump change—don’t worry about it Brian”.}

Take care,
Brian the Tax Rebel


Maybe they should only pay based on conviction.

Imagine, a group of friends they can complete cover their asses against a convicition informing on each other to collect pocket money, rocking up to trials to have the convictions cleared then splitting the funds 50/50 then inform on the next guy in the circle.

A perpetual money making machine.

Michael G

I’ll go with door #3: Brian, that’s like $3 million in George Washington money, right? How much of a waste can it be, compared to the Suhua Highway, the fourth nuke plant, the 57 ports in the Penghu…on the scale of things to worry about, it is a pimple.

It seems that the issue isn’t that it is a waste, but that we lack good metrics on it. That’s pretty much par for the course on The Beautiful Isle. LOL. Being in Taiwan badly tests an American’s faith in numbers…

I feel a blog post coming on. Good topic.

One thing about Taiwan policing is that it is administrative rather than enforcement oriented. So it makes sense for them to use an informant system – really, how else other than rewards are they to find out about fraud, since most of the time relevant officials are involved? But the potential for abuse is vast. You thinkin’ of some activism on that? Or has working with The Man made you immune to the call of idealism? :slight_smile:


No, no advocacy on this issue. But pondering it and listening to the guys over at the MOJ yack about election crimes it occurs to me that election crimes are to Taiwan what drug crimes are in the US. I mean this in the sense that the general culture has a kind of acceptance/look the other way approach to these crimes and the politicos (especially those in law enforcement) when they do not have anything else to say, start yacking about the War on ____ (fill in the blank with terrorism, drugs, election fraud).

All it does is breed hypocrisy and burden the criminal justice system. As far as I am concerned they should de-criminalize vote buying. After all, they really have no proof that vote buying is undermining democracy in Taiwan. I mean, let us pretend for a minute, and you could snap your fingers and vote buying would disappear completely.

Then the island would be lead by wise and wonderful leaders, the political parties would focus on issues that matter and the island would be the New Jerusalem? Not likely. So, what the fuck difference does it make that everyone in my neighborhood sells their vote ?

It is assumed that vote buying is the big bane of Taiwanese elections. I see no proof of that.

Yours in election economics,

Brian, they can’t, otherwise it would remove another sad excuse for the KMT every time they loose…