Friday, March 21, 2008

Election Tomorrow

Some pictures I took this evening in central Taipei:Crowds at the KMT rally. The Foreign Ministry is the big building behind them. There were huge TVs set up for people who couldn't see the speakers; when I showed up VP candidate Vincent Siew (I think) was speaking.Traffic was blocked off at the intersection.Lots of people with flags.And lots of people with plastic chairs and noisemakers and Ma Ying-jeou bobbleheads dolls.Just a short walk away, a vigil for Tibet was being held.The recent troubles in Tibet might just have a major impact on the Taiwanese election, driving a significant number of voters towards the DPP, which favors a much tougher stance against China. Both Ma Ying-jeou of the KMT and Frank Hsieh of the DPP have condemned China's actions, with Ma threatening to pull Taiwan's athletes from the Olympics if Beijing doesn't treat Tibet better. Still, the KMT is perceived as the party closer to China, so bad news coming out of China is going to help the DPP.

I'll be rooting for Frank Hsieh and the DPP tomorrow (as I suspect a majority of foreigners here will), although I'm not terribly optimistic about his chances. The race has apparently narrowed considerably though, and who knows how much China will inadvertently influence the results...

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