Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Attack of the Dinosaurs

Some elders within Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party simply won’t let go. And this is hurting their cause

Given the way Taiwan’s main opposition, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), is handling the lead-up to the all-important seven-in-one municipal elections in November, one could be forgiven for thinking that it is doing its very best not to win. Shortsighted goals, selfish attitudes, and aging politicians who refuse to make way for future generations of leaders help explain why.

At this point, the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), whose poor governing performance since 2008 should make it vulnerable to a landslide, won’t even need to field formidable candidates to keep its grip on the nation’s key municipalities.

Time and again in recent years, supporters of the pro-DPP green camp have blamed their electoral defeats on “vote buying,” the KMT’s wealth advantage, or “brainwashed” citizens who don’t know what’s best for them. While the first two variables often play a role in elections here, another factor has also made it difficult for the DPP to change the political landscape: its inability — and sometimes unwillingness — to field candidates who can appeal to both sides of the political spectrum and to various segment of society.

My article, published today on the CPI Blog at University of Nottingham, continues here. (Photo by the author)

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