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USCI Symposium Explores The Taiwan Vote
Faculty and students present results and other observations from their 2008 election observation trip to Taiwan.
On Saturday, March 22, Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Ma Ying-jeou was elected president of
As the DPP’s Chen Shui-bian is the two-term incumbent, these results are taken primarily as a repudiation of the party’s efforts to manage the island’s economy. In January, KMT candidates received 53.5% of the votes cast in the legislative elections, to the DPP’s 38.2%. Because some legislative seats are awarded by locality and some by the proportion of the vote each party receives, the KMT now holds three out of four legislative seats. It is the first time since 2000 that political power in
KMT's Ma Ying-jeou celebrates his victory.
On March 26th, the U.S.-China Institute hosted a symposium exploring the campaign, the election process and results, and what Ma’s win means for
USCI observers were frequently interviewed by print and broadcast journalists. Here USCI associate director Clayton Dube and political scientist Stan Rosen are interviewed by various media outlets, including KSCI Ch. 18.
There was broad consensus that a second peaceful transfer of state power from one party to another signals the robust health and stability of
Liberty Times (自由时报) ads prior to the election: Democratic Progressive Party's Frank Hsieh joining a nighttime demonstration showing support for the people of Tibet; Kuomintang’s Ma Ying-jeou and a giant sandwich – Ma's "happy economy meal."
USC political scientist Stan Rosen (click here for 1.5 mb pdf presentation) has been following elections in
Frank Hsieh and DPP election dolls.
Meg Young, a USC graduate student, reported on voting regulations and procedures (click here for pdf presentation). In her view, the number of ballots declared invalid (0.9%) was abnormally high and she argued that
USC international relations professor Dan Lynch (click here for Lynch's essay) argued that Ma was able to win Saturday because he had evidenced a commitment to
An audience of over 90 joined in the discussion with the USCI panel members.
Most questions from the audience focused on the difficulties both the Kuomintang and the Democratic Progressive Party confront. The Kuomintang, as Rosen and Gold noted, values seniority too much. Rosen pointed out that in 2004, the KMT nominated their most senior official, Lien Chan, even though he’d only managed to garner 23% of the vote four years earlier. Lynch noted that the KMT had won by becoming Taiwan-centered, a position that the DPP previously owned. Gold noted that while the national DPP leadership may have lost credibility with a majority of voters, there are others who are gaining local level experience who could help reinvigorate the party.
USCI Panel (from left to right): Wu Jieh-min, Stan Rosen, Pauline Yang, Meg Young, Tom Gold, Dan Lynch, and Damon Ferrara.
Outside the Box [Office], USC U.S.-China Institute, and MTV Documentary Films present a Live Q&A with Writer/Director/Producer Hao Wu discussing his new documentary film 76 DAYS. Everyone who registers for the webinar will be sent a link to view the film 48 hours prior to the Q&A.
David Shambaugh speaks on his new book focusing on the United States and China in one of the world's most dynamic regions.