For any Taiwanese reading this, I understand that the politics of this lovely country are somewhat complicated, but I would like to pose a question and that I am going to upset a majority by asking this but… What kind of idiot would vote for the Blue Party?
Seriously, here you have a great country that is open in terms of personal and corporate freedom, that is relatively free of corruption and is regarded as a world leader in terms of technology. However 500 miles away you have the Peoples [yeah right] Republic of China (Oh wait, that’s another billion people I’m going to upset.) Who for all intents and purposes are run by a bent, corrupt oppressive regime and serve to do all the crap nobody else wants to do when it comes to manufacturing.
Is that a simplification of the issue, yes, but then again, I don’t have the time or inclination to write a PhD on China and it’s relationship with Taiwan. I also wish to state that I know many lovely Chinese people and that I am not criticising them, just the ‘leaders’ of their country. Right, so back to the original question. Why would you vote for the Blue party who are ultimately for reunification with China. Given that the ROC is never going to control mainland China again, it is more than likely that Taiwan would be subsumed into China in the same way as Hong Kong and Macau and burdened with the negativity associated with China. What’s more, as I will elaborate on further, it would most likely destroy the international reputation of Taiwan’s technology sector.
Conversely the Green party are aiming for an eventual formal declaration of independence from mainland China. Something they say would be an act of aggression, and could lead to a rather messy war, what with the US and Japan being unofficial allies of Taiwan. In honesty however, I could never see a war happening because China needs Taiwan as much as the other way around. For all the political posturing, there is a good deal of business that goes back and forth. Take Foxconn for instance, although they are based in Taiwan, they employ hundreds of thousands of people in China and contribute billions to the Chinese economy. Given the problems associated with Intellectual Property theft in China, and security concerns that means Huawei are banned from having their devices used in US communications systems. If companies like Foxconn were subject to the same level of theft and government interference as some Chinese companies then its customers would most likely desert in droves.
So there’s your choice, you could vote for a party which will essentially maintain the status quo, maybe one day leading to a free and wholly independent Taiwan, or a party which will ultimately increase taxes, bureaucracy and harm business and the country’s standing in the world. This brings me back to my original question of what kind of idiot would vote or the Blue Party? Well, I think I have the answer, unlike most countries, you cannot register for a postal vote in Taiwan, you have to go to your registered home town to vote. My soon-to-be wife and I were on holiday today (the day of the elections) and therefore she couldn’t vote. I am suspecting therefore that the reason the Blue party have won is that all the smart people that actually make the country great were unable to get their vote counted.
It’s a shame really since this is such a lovely country. Oh well, in a couple of weeks I will be back to the jokes of the Dave and Clegg show featuring one of the Millibands’ (I forget which one because it’s less important than some really unimportant thing) instead.