Saturday, February 27, 2010

DPP Rollin'

3 out of 4 by-election seats, with a close race in Hualien which the KMT took. Not to discredit the Taiwanese voters who came out today, but Tsai Ing-wen has really put the DPP on the right track. Despite many forces going against the DPP (continued vote-buying that isn't being acted on, remnant displeasure of the DPP from the A-bian debacle, as well as being low on party cash), the DPP are looking to set up real nicely for the year-end elections as well as a 2012 run for presidency. Once or twice may be a fluke, but three times most certainly makes it a trend.

As I've mentioned in the past the similarities between the US political atmosphere and that of Taiwan, it seems it is following in similar paths (see Barack OmaYingJeou, and might I note the "two plays I'm 100% sure of, long commodities and oil" - too bad I didn't heed my own words). Obama's push for health care reform has caused a significant divide even within his own party. Similarly, Ma's push for the ECFA has done so as well. The two countries' presidents have suffered dwindling approval ratings ever since they were sworn in as presidents, and the opposition parties have gained in local legislature and mayoral elections.

As such, I wonder if it could really be as easy (although it won't be as easy as I make it seem to be) as simply garnering up the youth vote in Taiwan to push the DPP to victory. I firmly believe Obama won because of the youth vote in 2008, yet that has been the missing voting block in Taiwan. I would say 4 out of 5 Taiwanese youth that I know, or even more conservatively, 3 out of 5, have "green" tendencies and would inevitably vote for the DPP if given the choice.

The problem is the youth vote is not getting out on voting day! Perhaps Tsai Ing-wen's next undertaking could be to find a way to mobilize the youth in Taiwan. I'm not going to lie, as a young Taiwanese-American who sees and hangs out with other Taiwanese young 'ins, it's probably one of the greatest hurdles that faces Taiwan today. Set aside voting, if there are no youth who want to stand up to be political leaders in Taiwan, there is going to be a void in leadership in a couple decades. I'm sure we do not want to find out who is going to fill that void.

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