Overall, the two parties showed restraint during the campaigns for the Nov. 27 special municipality elections, with the KMT doing a little more sniping than the DPP. But a shooting incident on election eve revealed the KMT’s true colors
US academics over the weekend added their voices to the chorus of analyses following Saturday’s five special municipal elections, with highly laudatory remarks on the manner in which the campaigning proceeded.
While their argument that the two camps avoided highly ideological pitfalls and tried to appeal more to grassroots voters was for the most part accurate, the researchers were quoted by Central News Agency as saying that the parties had displayed “restrained reactions” to the shooting of Sean Lien (連勝文, left), son of former vice president Lien Chan (連戰), during a campaign rally for a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate for Sinbei City councilor on Friday night.
Unfortunately for the academics, they stumbled on that one, or failed to watch the right TV channels in the aftermath of the incident.
Although it is true that on election day President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and other KMT officials adopted a relatively neutral stance on the matter, on Friday night the KMT apparatus — and the pan-blue media — went into full gear insinuating that the attack was somehow related to the election and that the DPP stood for violence. They never said it directly, mind you, but when officials called for voters to “cast their ballots against violence” the following day, the implication was obvious.
My unsigned editorial, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.