Vote for Taipei's Mayor!


#1

Who would you vote for?

  • Li Yingyuan (李應元)
  • Ma Yingjiu (馬英九)

0 voters

If you were able to vote, who would you vote for and why? Li Yingyuan (李應元)? Ma Yingjiu (馬英九)? Why?


#2

Ma, because this city has improved so much over the past four years. I think he’s done an excellent job and moved us in the right direction for the most part. Plus he wants to keep Taipei with the rest of the world by using Hanyu Pinyin.


#3

If Ma Ying-jeou were to sever his ties with the KMT, stop being so anal about Taipei’s nightlife and announce to all that he’s going to “Pinyinize” his own name, I’d consider voting for him.


#4

I agree with Monkey on the pinyin issue. IMO, for most Taipei residents the pinyin debate isn’t a voting issue. It’s qaulity of life, and I don’t think it has improved that much in the last three years I have lived here.

But before going futher on the lack of improvement, I want to first address pinyin w/r/t Ma’s grandstanding on the issue. First, I don’t care which system Taiwan adopts. It doesn’t make a damn bit of difference to me.

However, what I don’t like is Ma’s reaction to the Ministry of Education’s decision to go with Tongyong over Hanyu. The MOE’s decision had nothing to do with street signs. It’s not their area of administration. In other words, the MOE’s choice has no bearing on what localities decide to do w/r/t street signs, and the minister of education said as much when the decision was announced. But Ma has criticized the decision, even though it has nothing to do with Taipei City affairs, and he has portayed himself as ``standing up’’ to the central government for the sake of Taipei’s internationalization. It’s grandstanding, pure and simple. What’s equalling beguiling is all the foreigners on segue who say the support Ma because he backs Hanyu over Tongyong in defiance of the DPP-led central government. There was never really a conflict here, but Ma fabricated one in order to get in the news, which we all know he’s very capable of doing. This, ultimately, is what I don’t like about him: He’s all flash and no substance, and he’ll distort and contort an issue (such as the pinyin one) if it means getting his mug in the media.

Also, like Monkey says, if he supports hanyu so much, why doesn’t he change the spelling of his name? Is this a case of ``do as I say, not as I do’’?

On qaulity of life: I think Ma’s biggest weakest has been his corrupt police force and scandals involving rogue officers. But even more important, if ever my life were threatened in any way, I don’t think I could turn to the police for help. I’m thinking in particular of the foreign woman who was almost raped by a murder suspect, who when she went to file a complaint was blown off by an officer who didn’t want his game of computer solitare to be interrupted.

About the biggest improvement I have seen in Taipei in the last three years is the sidewalks. But this wouldn’t be enough to get my vote, if I could vote.

So my vote for Lee is a vote against Ma.


#5

Ma may have spent MY money as a taxpayer on improving the sidewalks, but I can’t use them because the police are to wuss to stop scooter riders using them as an extra lane to go to and from their parking spots under the covered walkways … which are incidentally ALSO pedestrian areas. And when the covered areas are full, scooter riders just park their crappy little machines on the new sidewalks anyway.
Somehow, I don’t think the mayor’s sidewalk project is something to be lauded … do you?


#6

Well, since we’re talking about boobies, I vote for Sung Hi Lee.


#7

You remember of course that Ma’s postion on using Hanyu Pinyin was clear even when the previous DPP Minister of Education endorsed its usage. Ma has not reacted, he has not wavered. There is a difference. Meanwhile the whole DPP camp’s promotion of Tongyong Pinyin (痛用 拼音 = painful-to-use romanization) has so many caveats, addendums, changes, and evolutions that I doubt anyone can present a sound argument in its favour without resorting to jingoism.

It’s not like the cops in question all joined the force the day Ma took office. I’d wager that every one of those police officers was employed during Chen Shuibian’s time as mayor. They just got away with their misdeeds. Remember too, how Chen Shuibian dealt with corruption in his police force. When it became obvious that the police were taking money form video gambling parlours and pachinko parlours, did he crack down on the cops? No, he made ALL video games illegal, including the ones the kiddies liked to play. When it became obvious why policemen were bribing their superiors to transfer them to the Zhongshan district (home to a lot of nightclubs, KTVs, and hostess bars) did Chen Shuibian crack down on the cops? No, he decided to Shao Huang (sweep yellow) and rather than insist on policemen resisting corruption, he decided to take away any possible source of temptation. At least Ma Yingjiu is getting pissed off with the cops gone astray when he’s at the helm. CSB was just patronizing to both the force and to the public. Remember too, it was around this time that CSB’s handlers manufactured the name “A-Bian”. Before that, he did not refer to himself in the third person, and not with a cheezy hick nickname. Since CSB is endorsing Li Yingyuan, that’s enough reason for me to be suspicious.


#8

Well, Chen Shuibians way of handling corruption was a bit draconic, but calling them names is not likely to help either. The police force here is a corrupt joke & rotten to the core. I haven’t seen that many attempts to clean that up in earnest. Ma Yingjiu’s crackdown on night clubs is a blatant attack on the most basic human rights.


#9

I agree with Maoman. It seems that most of the problems that have been ascribed to Taipei with Mayor Ma have been there for years or decades even. As Taiwan society continues to advance and mature, these issues which were ignored have been cast forth into the limelight; its unfortunate that people then link them to the current administration. I think Ma has done a decent job - far better than any politician in taiwan that I can think of, and with a bit more class as well. He’s not perfect, but a competent leader IMHO. I just wish he’d instruct the cops to crack down on dangerous things such as running red lights as opposed to motorcyclists who beep their horn with their index finger versus their thumb.

Another thing, of course this in itself is not that indicative of anything, but did you see their campaign-opening events? Lee had the typical loudspeakers and airhorns and people screaming ‘dang suan’ at the top of their lungs. Ma had cultural events, like traditional dances and such, and actually requested nobody bring airhorns (which is a bit against tradition). Obviously this isn’t a big deal, but I personally like Ma’s approach much more than Lee’s.

BTW, as much as I agree he should use hanyu romanization to spell his name, I doubt it’d be that easy to do so; that’s the name on his passport, his diplomas and credentials from overseas, it’s the name that’s always reported in the west… everything.

On a similar note, does anyone know what the hell Lee Yingyuan’s campaign slogan,


#10

Reluctantly - Ma

Reality check:

  1. There is relatively little that the Mayor can do to improve the standard of living of Taipei residents… that relies far more on external economic conditions and Central Bank Monetary policy, and to a lesser extent central government policies regarding the economy

Here, we have: external conditions - lousy
Central bank policy: even more lousy (too tight)
Central government: obsessed with exports and not imports (that is too concerned with making stuff for other people to consume and too neglectful of ridding obstacles to trade so that taiwanese can consume what other people are trying to make for them)

  1. What he has done is:

Try to tackle to the problem of too much waste - how successful has this been? Dunno? Anecdotally, he seems to have done quite well.

  1. Try to “internationalise” Taipei - remember the fuss when he wanted to “import” an overseas Taiwanese to look after culture.

Above, point 2 is easier to quantify success. Point 3 is a bit vague, but I think there is a sinceres attempt to improve Taipei’s PR.

The bad points:

Yes, Ma uses a lot of media spin - he wants to be president.
How bad a crime is this? Not soooo bad…

The police force.

What can we say about them?

Inept, corrupt, lazy, bureaucratic, …

The best thing to do when you ahve a lousy bunch of professional extortionists in police uniform is to stop giving them more reasons to squeeze money out of people - so Ma’s attempts to “clean up sleaze” have been counterproductive. In addition, licensing laws (for all kinds of business and not just entertainment) are absurd in Taipei.

A failure to free up these laws and the consequent bureaucracy and extortion that ensues is the biggest indictment of his term in office because it was something he really COULD have reformed.

That said, it is in the nature of Taiwanese politics to prefer bureaucratic control over market-based solutions and Ma’s opposition will do no more than he to change. So, all-in-all, given the local prediliction for building bureaucratic nightmares, far better to have someone like Ma, who will avoid anything risky that may jeopardise his presidential hopes, than someone who will get all fired up about a million new “initiatives.”


#11

Ma is nothing more than a new face on the old authoritarian ways of the KMT. Throughout his career, he has consistently opposed grassroots democracy or any other movement to improve the human rights of local citizens. When the Taiwanese took to the streets in the eighties to protest the lack of democracy where was Ma? When the issue of direct presidential elections was debated by the central standing committee he sided with the faction that opposed such elections.

As for all of the wonderful things he has done to improve Taipei City, it seems the Segue community is suffering from colllective amnesia. The KMT caused most of the problems Ma is now attempting to fix!

My vote goes to Richard Hartzell, but he can’t run and I can’t vote!


#12

Voting is the opiate of the people – a ruse by which the powerful pacify the people into thinking they’re self-governing.

In reality it’s just a system in which we pretend to elect our representatives from a representative pool of choices and they then pretend to represent us.

Case in point: Ma versus Lee. Tweedle-dee versus tweedle-dum. Much like the last U.S. election.

So I vote for on-line government. No more crusty politicians! Who needs them in the age of the internet? All we really need are some trusty hired city managers to implement our majority decisions.

I guess that would make me ‘none of the above.’


#13

I will vote Lee, and I do have a vote :laughing:

I just hate Ma’s face when it shows up on TV. Whenever I see him on TV, my disgust looms bigger like this: :shock: :frowning: :cry: :x :imp:


#14

Yeah, everyone vote for Lee so that Ma can run for president next time, just like Chen did after losing the mayorship!

I’ve lived in Taipei throughout several mayorships, and I have to say that the biggest improvements have happened within the last four years. I’m sure that some of that is residual CSB effect, and if Ma takes the credit, remember that CSB criticized Huang Dazhou’s “Mud Park” effort during his mayoral campaign, and then took credit for it after he got elected. “Mud Park” became Da-an Park, by the way.

As for corruption, I can’t believe that the police under Huang or Chen were any less corrupt than they are now.


#15

Guest, you are absolutely right about Ma being a willing tool of the old KMT regime. While Ma was climbing the KMT ladder, Lee was exiled for years for his pro-democracy and pro-independence views. He was then smuggled back into the country and eventually spent nine months in prison on trumped-up sedition charges. Lee paid far less of a price than other “dangwai” figure such as Shi Ming-teh, Lu Hsiu-lien, and Lin Yi-hsiong, but he was definitely on the right side of history while Ma was on the wrong side.

Ma will probably win this election due to Taipei’s “special demographic structure”–i.e. the vast majority of waishengren vote blindly for waishengren candidates. Since Waishengren account for some 40% of Taipei’s population, Ma should win handily.What makes this a bit rich is that the waishengren-dominated media will continue to insinuate that Taiwanese are the ethnic bigots even though Taiwanese are much more likely to vote for a candidate of a different ethnicity than waishengren are.


#16

[quote=“Poagao”]
I’ve lived in Taipei throughout several mayorships, and I have to say that the biggest improvements have happened within the last four years.

[/quote]

And I think the improvements took place largely during CSB’s administration. There has been gradual improvement during the Ma years, but nothing like what we saw between 1994 and 1998. I think the reason for this is that the large Taipei civil service correctly sees Ma as one of their own, so they are not afraid of him like they were of CSB.

Another problem with Ma is that he seems to actually believe in Confucian renzheng or ‘moral government’ whereby leaders lead by setting a moral example. CSB was more effective because he saw Taipei’s problem’s as being institutional in the sense that if you make laws and enforce
them, you are likely to effect changes in behavior.

As for becoming president, Ma doesn’t have a prayer until he takes a clear stand against unification. Even if he does, he may still have trouble since he much less popular in central and southern Taiwan than he is in the north.


#17

From Feiren:

Which I suppose is how Dabian was elected mayor? :unamused:


#18

I’d really be curious to see some stats on the voting trends among the ‘ethnicities’ of Taiwan; please post them if anyone has them. (This is not denying your statement; I’m just curious)

However, in all of my experience in Taiwan, ‘native’ Taiwanese people (benshengren) are much more racist in their attitudes towards waishengren and hakka than the other way around. I’ve never heard a waishengren (I’m talking about personal interactions, not in politics) make any particular distinction or negative reference to benshengren (not to say it would never happen), but I personally know or have seen many benshengren who clearly discriminate against waishengren and hakka (let alone others).

Does anyone else have different experience?

Feiren, I assume by ‘Taiwanese’ you’re referring to benshengren? Or are waishengren and hakka not ‘real’ Taiwanese? (hmmm… thinking much like so many ‘native’ Taiwanese I’ve met…) Or should I give the benefit of the doubt and assume it was an oversight… :stuck_out_tongue:


#19

[quote=“sandman”]
Which I suppose is how Dabian was elected mayor?[/quote]

No. A-bian won because the vote was split three ways betwen A-bian, a strong New Party Candidate, and the KMT candidate. He also won the presidency because the vote was split three ways. Looks like Frank Hsieh is going to win in Kaohsiung this time the same way.


#20

What did we see between 94 and 98? The Muzha MRT line, part of another line, I know. I did miss out on the first two of those years as I was in the army, but what else was there, really? Taipei just seems like a nicer place to live since 98. The MRT really became completed to a useful degree, I like the new sidewalks and new additions to the highway system, and at least Ma is trying to make a dent in the garbage/sewage problems, even if the efforts are too highly publicized for some people’s tastes.