I did a piece for the American Journal of Chinese Studies last month on the Taiwan legislative elections. They have run my pieces before and the editor asked me to write again on the elections. He asked me what the issues/platforms were.
I kind of laughed and told him; there are no issues or platforms. Taiwanese politics (at whatever leval; legislative, local, national) is simply raw emotion+connections+inflaming racial/ethnic tensions. There is no rational (or even semi-rational) discussion of issues or realistic solutions in Taiwanese politics. There are smear campaigns, back stabbing, faction fighting, and playing the “race card” (i.e. the Mainlander v. Taiwanese or Taiwanese v. the World or Taiwanese v. the PRC) and most commonly simply yelling down the other side.
I mention all this because the same thing maybe reflected in the Taiwan politics threads. It is hard to discuss things intellegently because there is nothing to discuss.
Plus rational discussions have a clear pointlessness to them. The Taiwanese are not suddenly going to start running their country in a rational western manner. I do not see any version of the Federalist Papers coming out in Taiwan anytime soon or if they did they would not be taken seriously.
So all that is left is emotions and calling each other assholes.
time for lunch,