Taiwan Politics Forum - "Why Can't We All Just Get Along?"

After reading and posting a bit on Taiwan Politics, I arrive at some simple questions.

  1. Is there a reason(s) for the harsh level of rebuttal and reparte in this forum?

  2. Is there any way those of us with differing views can discuss those differences without flames?

  3. If we can’t do it on Forumosa does that mean it’s impossible in the ‘real’ world?

I have my own views, but for now I’d like to hear yours.


just a cute pic, no meaning attached to this at all…:wink:

They have call-in shows on (IIRC) BCC in the afternoon that you might like. They have a host and a studio guest who will chat about some benign topic or other and then take calls. The show consists mainly of a very few opinions which are are as bland and inoffensive as possible, and then an hour of “對對對” from all parties, before another bland and unobjectionable platitude is introduced for everyone to fall over themselves to agree with. :unamused:

I agree that there are some awful trolls on TP, but I wouldn’t want to see it turn into an online version of the radio show either…

Hey, the above posts are hardly helpful.

OOC was sincere in wishing to discuss how the level of discussion on the TP forum can be raised, and as moderator of that forum, I am interested in anyone’s ideas.



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,
take care,

Brian -
Well put. What was the response?

My goodness, here I go again. Someone help me.

[quote=“Bu Lai En”]Hey, the above posts are hardly helpful.

OOC was sincere in wishing to discuss how the level of discussion on the TP forum can be raised, and as moderator of that forum, I am interested in anyone’s ideas.

Anybody? [/quote]

Just be nice. It’s easy.

Tainan Cowboy, well, truth be told, since the editor needed the legislative elections covered for the journal and since I was basically the only choice as I:

  1. would work for free and
  2. would not spin it one way (PanBlue) or another (PanGreen)

he just told me, “well Brian, write it as you see it”. So I filled about half of it with the “who, what, when” stuff and then for the second half talked about the lack of issues, the use and misuse of connections and all the rest. Since it was a “scholarly journal” I took a moderate Brian-tone although near the end I did call for the utter abolition of the entire Legislative Yuan. I took that position as a taxpayer feeling that those jerk offs (I mean our lawfully elected legislators) were nothing but a useless money drain.

Since the journal is sponsored by the Chung Ching Kuo Foundation (yes named after the prez from the White Terror days) I expect some parts of it ended up on the cutting room floor.

Such is life.

take care,

I strongly agree that TP, which could be a great, unique resource, is all too often hijacked by people who just want to yell at each other. I recommend a higher level of moderating for this forum so that it can be a useful place.

I’ve never been in there (that I recall), but I agree with the “higher level of moderating” suggestion. I’m guessing there would be a need for more than the current number of mods current moderating it (demands seems to be out weighing supply).

Feiren, Miltownkid:

That’s the idea. That’s why I was keen to take over when Wolf left. You’ll see changes over the next week or so.


I agree with Brian L Kennedy’s analysis. The reason there is so much yelling is that substantively speaking there’s nothing to talk about.

It’s an emotional issue. Rational, objective discussion cannot survive in this kind of environment. The ones who try, get slammed hard. Moderatees get slammed. It’s like the holy war in IP between the liberals and the (neo)conservatives. Now both sides can keep on hammering at each other but eventually one side is going to give out or you use other tactics to keep going.

I’ve seen this sort of thing back in the USENET days on soc.culture.china and soc.culture.taiwan. When people talked about TI and related issues, it was just one big flame fest. The itch to pick up the flamethrower was/is just too strong. That’s the nature of the beast.

Perhaps as miltownkid suggests, more moderators are required. One, to slap people back for getting out of line and two, to help shephard the discussion toward more fruitful avenues.

Thanks Brian. I’m looking forward to rejoining TP.