Tuesday, November 4, 2008

President Barack oMa Ying-Jeou

For those who haven't been paying attention to the media, Obama is your president-elect. Something that I called a couple weeks ago. And for those who don't know, Ma, Ying-Jeou is the current president in Taiwan, recently elected this past March.

I've mentioned this surprising similarity between Obama and Ma in the past, but now I'll take the time to lay it all out.

"Not Normal" Backgrounds:

Ma is not an ethnic Taiwanese. His parents are from Hong Kong, and he was also born in Hong Kong, although moved to Taiwan at an early age. During Taiwan's presidential campaigning, much noise was made about Ma's personal history, that being of Hong Kong. Furthermore, allegations of Ma's dual-citizenship came up about his possible green card in the U.S.

Obama is not "ethnic" American. And by that I mean he is not our usual presidential candidate, white, middle-aged, male. He's the first of the U.S., the first president-elect, black, young, male. Much about where Obama was born was also raised in the couple months (raising in question his actual nationality). That is, whether Obama was actually born a U.S. citizen, something that is required to be a president.

Personal Facts:

Ma is by all means, a young and charismatic president. Ma graduated from Harvard Law School. Ma rose to power rather quickly, becoming the Taipei Mayor and a becoming a star of the young KMT generation.

Obama is also, by all means, a young and charismatic president. Obama also graduated from Harvard Law School. Obama also rose to power rather quickly, with just one term as a U.S. senator. Obama became the star of the Democratic party at the last Democratic National Convention.

Economic Campagining:

Ma ran his campaign on the idea of economic prosperty, economic change. He outlined his 633 plan of 6% GDP growth per year, 3% unemployment rate by 2012, and 3% per capita income by 2012. This was in response to the "horrible" economic problems that were facing Taiwan under the previous DPP administration (albeit KMT controlled legislative).

Obama ran his campaign on change, hope, and a stronger economy. No doubt the economy was one of the biggest factor of this presidential election. I would say change and economy would make up more than 2/3rds of the reason for which they based their vote on. Again, this was in response to the horrible economic problems that the United States are currently facing under the Republican administration (albeit for the last 2 years, Democratically controlled).

Election Results:

Ma was favored to win largely throughout the campaign, especially in the last few weeks leading up to the election. won by a "landslide." Approximately a 60/40 win.

Obama was also largely favored to win throughout the whole campaign. Although polls didn't show it, the young "hype" votes solidified Obama's presidenty (sorry, a brief commentary by me). Obama by all means will also likely win by a "landslide," by historical standards of previous U.S. presidential elections.

How They Won:

Ma won on hopes of change from the previous administration. Moreover, won on economic promises that will turn Taiwan into one that will have the same prosperous growth that China had been experiencing. Ma received a lot of cross-party votes from "light-Greens," because of their disappointment with A-bian. These light-Greens voted for Ma, not so much because they wanted him, but in a way, to "punish" the DPP for their failings (whatever failings they were believed to have been responsible for).

Obama also won on hopes of change from the previous administration. His campaign remarkably trademarked the words, "hope" and "change," as part of his campaign rhetoric. Obama also won in part due to the current economic mess in the U.S., with this mess (inproperly?) being totally blamed on the current Bush administration and Republicans. Obama also received a lot of cross-party votes from Republicans of all kinds. This is also much in part to the Republicans disappointment in President Bush.

The Hope

Ma was sworn into office with very high expectations, obviously because of his landslide election, but also because of his high promises by him and his administration (20,000 TAIEX comment?). Ma, you could say, had a mandate by the people of Taiwan to implement his changes he campaigned about.

Obama has won the 44th presidency on also, very high expectations, also because of his landslide election. Obama has a mandate from a large majority of the people to also implement his changes and policies he campaigned about.

(By mandate, I mean a mandate. If a president wins on a 51/49 margin, there is not really a mandate)

The Drop

The day before Taiwan's election, Ma Ying-Jeou had the stocks at its highest point in the recent months. The day after, a huge drop, followed by more selling in the successive days, weeks, months after. Taiwan's index continues to slide as we speak. Down from a high of around 9400 to half of that, at 4700.

The day before the U.S. elections, the Obama hope and change had the stocks at a monthly high of about 100 on the S&P500. The day after the election, stocks dropped 5%, with another 5% the day after, totalling 10% in just two days. Where the stocks go from here is still in question, but [commentary here] I have no doubt that we will have new 52wk lows this year. This will follow in line with what has happened in Taiwan since Ma won the elections there.

Where The Country Goes From Here

Ma Ying, Jeou has taken Taiwan down a path, backwards, towards the era of martial law, of one-party authoritarian rule. His party and he have reverted back to "communist" ways in censoring media, censoring freedom of speech, censoring and detaining opposition political figures. All this has been done with with no "blocks" in the legislative yuan due to the full control of the LY by the KMT.

Obama is no doubt a very liberal Democrat. The only reason you would think that Obama's policies are not socialist is if you think calling someone a "socialist" is an insult, so you don't want your president you voted for to be insulted. Obama's tax, health care, regulatory policies he hopes to implement are very socialist. It's all about equalling the playing field and redistributing the wealth. Although there is no actual censoring of idealogies, like Ma, Obama will be taking their country to the left wing. Finally, Obama will also (likely) have the full support of congress, with Democratic majorities in the Senate and House, to pass whatever bills he has in his book.

With all that said...

The, "Where the country goes from here" part, I hope, will be different for Obama than the history Ma is making in Taiwan. By all means, Obama is our next president, so he deserves all the respect, that is, until he loses it (hopefully he never will, unlike with Ma). But I have no doubt in my mind, 4 years from now, we'll have bigger government, paying more taxes, higher gas prices, and not doing any better than we are now.

Two plays I am almost 100% sure of:
Long oil, and long commodities. You cannot spend what Obama wants to spend, along with what has been spent already on the bailouts, and not have inflation.

Edit: Link to an editorial in the TaipeiTimes that also caught onto the Ma-Obama similarities. Also, an interesting note was that one of my friends on Facebook noted how Obama was "Ma Ying-Jeou #2," and following right after was about 5 other young Taiwanese who basically all said, "My mom said the exact same thing!" What makes it even more bizzarre is the fact that last night, while talking to my mom about the elections, without any sort of leading on, she made the comment about how she thought the Obama and Ma elections were eerily similar also. Is there some sort of supernatural/divine Taiwanese mother telepathy going on? :)


Michael said...

Nice comparison.

Dixteel said...

Nicely written...

I also found a lot of similarities between Obama and Ma, but I think there is one major element that might make the result very different: the situation of Taiwan and the US. Specifically Taiwan has national identity crisis, the US don't. It's very hard to imagine that Obama and Democrats want to unify the USA and Africa. It's easy to see Ma and KMT want to unify Taiwan with China.

So although there are personal similarities between them the resulting administration and their legacy might be very different...

But still, it's kind of funny how Taiwan and the US are sort of walking in the same political path...very weird.