Who's going to win the presidency?

Who do you think is going to win the next presidential election?

  • Chen Shui-bian
  • Lien Chan
  • Lien Chan (but Soong will be the real president)

0 voters

I’ll probably close this after a month or two and start a new poll to reflect the changing situation. But for now, is Chen going to be able to stay in office? Will Lien Chan’s utter lack of charisma do him in again? Will the KMT-PFP alliance explode?

It’s a dismal choice for Taiwan’s electorate – whoever wins, they end up losers.

Although I’m deeply disenchanted with A-bian’s performance, and am ever more deeply unimpressed by the man’s character and leadership skills, the thought of that other unholy duo leading Taiwan God knows where is enough to turn me into an ardent campaigner for his reelection. Unfortunately, I don’t see that he has more than a miniscule hope of pulling it off.

I love the idea of a Chen-Ma ticket that’s been floated about in the media recently. I don’t think it could possibly happen, because I’m sure that Ma is far too honourable to “betray” his party, however compelling the reasons may be for his doing so. But if the impossible were to happen, then that would surely be enough to tilt the balance against Lien and Soong. It would also add tremendous colour and excitement to the election campaign.

If Chen could team up with Siew, that might also be enough to put the contest in the balance – but again, as Siew is one of Taiwan’s most honourable politicians, I don’t think he’ll desert the KMT unless Lien and Soong effectively push him out. But even though he has deeply upset them by agreeing to act as Chen’s economic adviser and expressing quite overt criticism of the opposition’s tactics in the Legislative Yuan, they have not dared to openly censure him, so I don’t think that will happen.

My ideal scenario for May 2004, out of all the current possibilities (however remote), would be for Chen and Ma to be installed as President and Vice President, with Siew and P.K. Chiang appointed as Premier and Vice Premier, and the cream of technocrats from all parties appointed to positions in the Cabinet. But the chances of that happening are probably no more than one in a thousand.

So, there’s not much doubt that we are going to experience four years of President Lien, with Soong pulling most of the strings and manoeuvering to take over full control as soon as possible, in 2008 if not before.

BTW, does anyone else discern a resemblance between the honest and worthy James Soong and that other equally selfless and heroic leader, the late lamented Ferdinand Marcos?

There’s a good chance that Chen will choose Su Zhenchang, the Taipei County Commissioner as his running-mate. Su is a Hakka who has done a solid job in Taipei County. He’ll help Chen get votes in the north.

And we all know what a paradise Taipei County is, with people flocking to live in such clean, advanced metropolises as Sanchong and Xinzhuang.

Now now, Poagao. Don’t forget that Su used a little bit of the graft money he gets from the cement yards in Hsindian to build that useless bridge, supposedly to reduce traffic over the Bitan bridge – NOT! Of course, lets not forget the kickbacks he got from the bridge contractors themselves – talk about a win-win situation. :unamused:
And how he’s allowed the fairly minor roadworks at Bitan bridge to carry on for THREE FUCKING YEARS!
And that’s only two incidences in a single tiny part of the county.
How about the residents of New Garden City having to pay for water system improvements out of their own pockets because Su feels that as its a community, the community should have to pay for their own improvements – obviously hasn’t heard that taxpayers should perhaps obtain some benefits from their tax payments. ANd of course, it has nothing to do with the lack of DPP votes from the residents… :unamused:
Su is a two-faced, double-dealing skunk – a perfect partner, in fact, for any Taiwanese politician. :unamused:

Taipei County has been neglected and underfunded for decades. Worse, it suffered from unregulated overdevelopment for years. The quality of living is much lower than that in Taipei.

Currently, it has about 1.5 million more people than Taipei City, yet its budget is less than half of Taipei City’s.

Chen will prevail. A combination of Soong and Lien will prove inept at campaigning. Soong can do it, Lien can’t. This will cause friction as Soong will continue to undermine Lien, because if Lien is left to his own devices he’s about as charismatic as a piece of carboard. Anyone see him tryig to “dance” last night? What a moron.

A little off-topic, but this is something I’ve always wondered about: Why is there a city and a county? And not just one entity? It seems that this is unnecessarily duplicitous.

I keep forgetting when I go to places like Sanchong, that I’m not in Taipei.

Taipei is improving, yet these places seem to be degenerating, with the folk who live there bringing into Taipei their bad habits.

One metropole is the answer, IMHO.

[quote=“Alleycat”]A little off-topic, but this is something I’ve always wondered about: Why is there a city and a county? And not just one entity? It seems that this is unnecessarily duplicitous.

I keep forgetting when I go to places like Sanchong, that I’m not in Taipei.

Taipei is improving, yet these places seem to be degenerating, with the folk who live there bringing into Taipei their bad habits.

One metropole is the answer, IMHO.[/quote]

Duplication means more job seats for politicians to dole out. And it makes them look more important. Ever notice how many people have to examine your paperwork at the bank when you try to change money here?

Soong will pull out all the stops to get Lien Chan and him elected by judicious use of KMT money. Then he will have Chan properly assassinated(He’s old, must of been a heartattack :smiling_imp: ) with mainland help and get the sweet position similiar to that other bungling idiot in HK, Tung whatever.

The sad thing is that I know as soon as The KMT are in control, that Taiwan will miraculously be out of any economic downturn due to KMT investment being pumped into the island again.

Taipei County is a cesspit of corruption and just a cesspit in general. Taipei is the showcase where all the foreigners can go and see how “modern” Taiwan is. Prostitution and gambling are out in the open here for Christ sakes! It’s like being in any other part of Taiwan, but Taipei city.


I’ve heard countless former residents of Taoyuan boast about the high-quality of life in every area of Taipei County. I can’t confim this, but some of these people have even claimed Sanchong has advanced structures like sidewalks!

Just like in 2000, A-bian cannot win the election. He (and the DPP) have to rely on the KMT losing it. There is still a chance the Lien/Soong ticket could unravel creating a repeat of the three-cornered contest in 2000. But probably as long as Lien and Soong can maintain some semblance of cooperation they will win the election.

Regardless of the result in 2004 I would still back Ma Yingjiu to become President in 2008. I think he is playing all his cards with 2008 in mind. Obviously if A-bian wins the Taiwanese will have run out of patience with the DPP by 2008 and Ma would win the election in a walk over. If Lien or Soong win then I predict their will be yet another major rift in the pan-blue camp and Ma will emerge with enough support to get himself elected.


There have been proposals from both sides of politics to divide Taiwan up into three or four administrative reasons instead of the 19(?) cities and counties. It makes sense, but whether it will ever happen is another question all together.

Rezoning Taiwan down in number of administrative districts is a good idea, but politically infeasible, for parties like the KMT and particularly the PFP. Since support of the DPP at the lower administrative offices is much stronger and more wide-based I would think it would benefit from this redistribution. The KMT, however, with a large portion of its support concentrated in a some districts would lose a lot of power and patronage opportunities should, for example, the northern counties and cities be combined into one “Northern Region”. Conceivably the KMT would easily win seats and power in the this Northern Region, but would also be completely wiped off of the map down south. The PFP, whose support is more wide-based, in terms of its origin, but smaller in size than the other two parties again woud not support such a change. The PFP would not be able to compete electorally against the DPP and KMT in a smaller number of elections because of the larger resources and networks that the two larger parties could mobilize, and the fact that the PFP does not even possess a secure electoral base.

Back to the main topic …
Chen Shui-bian only has a chance to win if he gets the economy going again: brings down unemployment, gets more foreign investment, new projects etc.
In the absence of that, the only main argument in Ah-bian’s favor is that he is the only credible candidate to take out the old KMT-style gangsters and corrupt moneymen … even though he is losing some of that credibility with me by siding up to Mr. Democracy aka Mr. Money Politics.
Chen has now become so reliant on support from Lee Teng-hui that is hard to tell whether he will dare tackle Lee and his immediate cronies, precisely the thing he needs to do if he wants to keep his Mr Clean image.
Did you also note how many of Chen’s appointments these days seem to have links with the Evergreen Group? The new GIO chief, even the new police chief … and Chen himself of course is a former maritime lawyer. Still, the KMT can’t criticize him for that, they designed the whole money politics system.

I expect a dirty campaign, with Chen and his more radical supporters playing dirty, accusing the opposition of wanting to “sell out Taiwan,” of not being real Taiwanese etc.
He also will be raking up old scandals to sully Lien’s and Soong’s image as old KMT boys (which they are, but then so is Lee Teng-hui).
And finally, if the economy is still waning, he will try and distract attention from that, by organizing the referendum. From the DPP viewpoint, it would be better to have the referendum on the same day as the presidential election, because a likely defeat in the nuclear plebiscite just months before the presidential election would be difficult to live down.

While I still find it hard to imagine anybody would want someone like Lien Chan to be president, I still believe disappointment with Ah-bian will carry the day, and a change of power will be the result.

Another interesting question is who will A-bian choose as his running mate. There has even been speculation that he might choose Vincent Siew or Ma Yingjiu from the KMT. I doubt this will happen, but I would like to make a prediction that he will choose someone from outside the party who is respected by all Taiwanese. That person is Nobel Laureate Lee Yuan-tseh, the head of Academica Sinica.

Any other predictions?

Follow the Taipei Times editorials. Lien/Soong win, Soong holds the power, one country, two systems enters the history books. It’s a done deal, already. Beijing has already paid the money, it’s already all over. Sad.

Oh no! First SARS, now this. We’re doomed!

Okay, okay, I take it back! I am NOT predicting anything. Strike the DONE DEAL thing. Everything is coming up roses.

Lee turned down the chance to be premier after Chen won in 2000. He’s a fairly quiet man who doesn’t care for hullabaloo, which the presidential campaign will doubtless have in great excess. So I doubt he’d agree to run with Chen.

He’d be good in the post, though.

As for the main race, I’m not counting Chen out yet. I’ll even go so far as to say I think he’s going to win again. I’ve been here for both previous popular elections and was fascinated and excited by the campaigning and people’s involvement. But this time it’s probably going to get ugly.

I was saying to the wife this morning that although Chen has, for various reasons not least of which is his inability to get any real bill passed, been a bit of a bungler, to have either Lien Chan or James Soong as president will be more than a little embarrassing.