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Jefferson Fellowships簡報 少數族群候選人如何贏得總統大位: 台灣的例子
2008/12/03 12:20

The Rise of a Minority Candidate to National Leadership—Taiwan’s Case

§ Background

There are four major communal groups in Taiwan. According to official statistics, 73.3% of people in Taiwan are Hoklo (people from the southern part of Fukien Province), 13% are mainlanders, 12% are Hakka, and 1.7% aborigines.

Among these groups, Hoklo are those whose ancestors immigrated to Taiwan from southeast China in 16th and 17th century. Meanwhile, mainlanders are those who or whose parents came from China to Taiwan around 1949 when the Nationalists lost the Chinese civil war to the Communists and retreated to the island. Hakka people are a subgroup of the Han Chinese people and they are mostly identified by their speaking the Hakka language.

The split between communal groups in Taiwan emerged in 1947, when the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) still ruled both mainland China and Taiwan. The Nationalist government resorted to excessive force when cracking down on the sale of smuggled cigarettes in Taipei in late February that year. The move brought about mass demonstrations and strikes around Taiwan and ended in a bloody crackdown. The Nationalists killed many Taiwanese intellectuals in what is known as the 228 Incident today.[1]

In 1949, the Nationalists lost its control over mainland China to the Communist Party in a civil war and retreated to Taiwan. The move allowed Republic of China, built by the Nationalists, to continue its de jure existence on Taiwan, while the Communists started the People’s Republic of China on the mainland.

After the retreat, the Nationalists froze the Constitution and instead imposed the martial law in Taiwan. Taiwan then underwent a decades-long white terror period under the tyrannical KMT regime, and there were many cases of injustices.

During the martial law period, there were many restrictions on “Taiwanese” (Hoklo and Hakka) people’s rights to participate in politics and elections, and the mainlanders monopolized the political scene. Democratic elections only took place on the regional level. On the national level, only a small number of legislative seats was open for election, and most lawmakers could stay on for a lifetime. Meanwhile, the president was indirectly elected by the representatives in the National Assembly, and he was free to run as many times as he wanted. Under such conditions, Taiwan spent almost forty years under the reign of the Chiang family, namely Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and his son Chiang Ching-kuo.

The mainlanders’ privileged status and their conflicts with other communal groups gradually made them targets of resentment for many Hoklo and Hakka people.

Political reform finally saw daylight in 1989 when thousands of students took to the streets and demanded change. In 1991, the National Assembly amended the Constitution and stipulated the comprehensive reelection of national legislatures in 1995 and the election of the president by popular votes in 1996. The changes came about under Nationalist President Lee Teng-hui, who belongs to the Hoklo communal group. Lee eventually won the first direct presidential election in 1996 with 54 percent of popular votes.

In 2000, the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP’s) Chen Shui-bian defeated a split KMT in the presidential election with 39 percent of popular votes and brought about the first power transfer in Taiwan. In 2004, Chen once again defeated the KMT. During Chen’s eight-year presidency, he faced an unfriendly KMT-controlled legislature, while his administration delivered poor economic records due to his hard-line China policy. To push for Taiwan independence, Chen adopted a conflict approach toward China, and it also created strains in Taiwan’s relations with the U.S. and Japan.

§ The 2008 Election

Chen Shui-bian completed his two-term presidency in 2008. The KMT picked Ma Ying-jeou[2] to run against the DPP’s Frank Hsieh[3] in the presidential election. Ma has a doctorate degree in juridical science, or SJD, from Harvard, and he became a secretary to late President China Ching-kuo after he completed his study in the U.S. He later served as vice minister of the Mainland Affairs Council, then the minister of justice. Next he was elected Taipei mayor, and he also served as KMT chairman. Ma was a seasoned politician, and he enjoyed a good reputation and widespread popularity. Yet he faced a major obstacle in elections in Taiwan: he is a mainlander, and many thought he had special feelings for China.

It seems that in Taiwan most mainlanders are considered to be oppressors. Almost everyone who is 30 or older had personal experience with the KMT authoritarian   regime, and many families were prosecuted by the KMT. People have blamed all these atrocities on the KMT, while many have also incorrectly pointed their fingers at the mainlanders. Many thought that Ma should be responsible for the atrocities because he is a mainlander and a KMT leader.

To win support from the majority of Taiwanese people, Ma had to eradicate his stigma as a mainlander. He adopted the following strategies during the presidential campaign to overturn the unfavorable situation he faced:

1. He called himself “New Taiwanese” and avoided mentioning his mainlander identity.

Ma foresaw in an early stage in his career that his identity would be a problem. To address that issue, he has been taking weekly classes to learn to speak Hoklo and Hakka dialects since at least ten years ago. Further, with the endorsement from former President Lee Teng-hui, he started calling himself “New Taiwanese” in 1998 when he ran for Taipei mayor, and he avoided talking about communal issues During his presidential campaign, he created a slogan, “Taiwan First,” to highlight his support for Taiwan’s sovereignty. By doing so, he managed to diminish the DPP’s advantage over the sovereignty agenda.

2. He handled the 228 Incident astutely.

During his term as justice minister, he showed great sympathy for people who lost families in the 228 Incident, and helped them claim compensations from the state. As Taipei mayor, he held several memorial services to create opportunities to meet with the victims’ families. He held even larger services as KMT chairman, and apologized to the families on behalf of the party. His approach worked and it smoothed over tensions between the KMT Party and the families Even some hard-core members of the families were moved and willing to attend memorial services held by the KMT.

3. He visited the countryside frequently and created an image of being affable.

Since he announced his candidacy on Feb 14, 2007, Ma frequently canvassed at the grassroots level and communicated with voters face-to-face. To get closer to voters, Ma held many small meetings and communicated with people in Hoklo or Hakka directly. He even used ten days to cycle around the island and travelled 675 kilometers, going from Taiwan’s most southern part to the most northern part. During his cycling trip, he gave interviews and speeches, he held campaign events, and he wooed voters with handshakes, photo-ops, and signatures. In the last nine months of his campaign, he started a “long stay” program to visit grassroots voters at their homes and neighborhoods. These moves all effectively changed people’s impression of him being a member of the mainlander elite, and helped voters ignore his different background from most ordinary “Taiwanese”.

4. He highlighted his economic platforms, and evaded political issues.

Ma spent a lot of time coming up with his white paper, and the most important part is about Taiwan’s economic development. In most campaign events and debates, he only talked about the economy because it was DPP’s Achilles’ heel during its eight years in power. When it came to political issues such as Taiwan’s sovereignty, Ma always turned evasive as it was impossible for him to beat the DPP on the agenda. During the election campaign, what he liked to say the most was, “let’s stop arguing over political nonsense and return to economic issues.”

5. He bolstered his clean image and attacked the government on its scandals.

Ma’s greatest asset since he started his political career is his clean image. As justice minister, he cracked down on corruption and drugs, and he eventually resigned when he felt the Cabinet had failed to improve public order. The majority of Taiwanese people appreciated his integrity. During his presidential campaign, his staff compiled a detailed list of DPP scandals during its time in power, and the KMT lawmakers use the information to attack the DPP. At the same time, Ma repeatedly highlighted his clean image in the hope to form a sharp contrast to his opponent. Ma packaged his negative campaigning cleverly in a positive tone, and successfully led voters to feel unhappy with the DPP.

6. He adopted a more aggressive approach toward China than his opponent.

To avoid being seen as an ally to the Chinese Communist Party, Ma voiced harsher criticism than the DPP did when it came to China issues during the presidential campaign. These included China’s dealings with the Tiananmen Massacre, Falung Gong, and the Anti-Secession Law. Ma always criticized the Chinese Communist Party severely and it made Beijing wonder where he stood on cross-strait relations. Just a few days before the election and after the Chinese Communist Party cracked down on mass demonstrations in Tibet in March, Ma was the first one to condemn China and said if elected, he would not exclude the possibility for Taiwan to withdraw from the Beijing Olympics in August. He was even more aggressive than the DPP’s Frank Hsieh. He made these moves all in the hope to diminish Taiwanese people’s doubts about his overfriendliness with China.

§ Conclusion

Ma’s campaign strategies proved to be effective after he won the presidential poll on March 22 with 7,659,014 votes, or 58.5 percent of all popular votes. His opponent Frank Hsieh got 5,444,949 votes. Ma’s winning of 58.5 percent of popular votes is also a record high for a presidential candidate since Taiwan held its first direct presidential election in 1996. He became the national leader with the strongest public endorsement, and the first mainlander president elected by popular votes.

Ma’s victory brought Taiwan into a new political era. First, it was Taiwan’s second power transfer, and an important achievement for the consolidation of Taiwan’s democracy. Second, Ma created many new campaign gimmicks, including cycling trip, “long stay” program, and so on. Third and the most important, he broke the “mainlander curse,” and the DPP could no longer manipulate voters with communal issues.

Ma was indeed very good at campaigning. But you may wonder how he has been doing since taking office.

Let numbers tell the story. It’s now only a bit over four months since Ma took office on May 20, but his approval rating has plummeted to 23 percent according a recent poll conducted by Taiwan’s TVBS news station. 23 percent is about the same level as the worst approval rating Ma’s predecessor Chen Shui-bian ever got, which was 18 percent.


[1] The Memorial Foundation of 228 Web site



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4樓. 魔師圫神州
2008/12/24 09:17

﹝吳敦義﹞將是 戰鬥內閣閣揆,這從


棄天帝           : 吳敦義  飾

武林盟主 玄貘 : 劉兆玄  飾

玄貘部下 棘狼 : 魔師傲神州  飾

藏青雲地 神柱 : 史亞平  飾







來得及阻止棄天帝的野心嗎? ..  繼續閱讀



1. 五日京兆   (內附:魔師專欄 一篇)

3樓. 魔師圫神州
2008/12/12 09:10

以下是 魔師 的新作品:嗨券七號‧有券就花





享受消費券的樂  穿越叫幸福的河
金融海嘯真機車  無薪假說真的
有何不可  消費快樂

有兩百元的  伍百元的
券要讓你  消費快樂
讓你瘋狂  解你渴
還有首消費頌  也是好歌

馬力強了  漸漸好了
所以我要  有券就花
千萬不要  收藏裱褙
當消費  天行者

魔師這樣的天使  該有翅膀和名字
鬼之切入帶馬刺  談笑用兵再上籃攻一次

更多精彩內容,請點 這裡 .. 繼續閱讀

2樓. jessicasun
2008/12/08 23:55
1樓. 魔師圫神州
2008/12/04 10:14

,應該團結一致  ─  支持 劉院長! 

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引用文章:「 擬妥成績單 來不及求援




劉院長 應效法 孟嘗君,廣邀各路豪傑 擔任顧問,才能暫



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