Learning from Taiwan’s Local Election


Our professor in the class mentioned there is a different vibe in the Taiwan local election this year. The people seem excited and discussion about politics warm up in daily conversation. So what is happening in Taiwan especially in Kaohsiung, the city where I study. So our professor drives us to go to the field for observation. In short, Taiwan is a country with a multiparty system and presidential system. Although they use multiparty system there are two dominant parties which are DPP (Democratic Progressive Party)known as green party established in 1968 and KMT (Kuomintang) establish in 1912 known as a blue party. I will be focusing the discussion in Kaohsiung. DPP has dominated Kaohsiung for 20 years. Along with the pressure from China, the trade war, the economic condition and the way they run the government, there are some disappointments that arise for DPP. From some news, I had read these disappointment includes the economic downturn, rising unemployment, low growth rates, pension benefit that will be deducted, and corruption issue (I said issue because this is hasn’t proven). I think there are still many issues, but so far this is what I know. In the election, people must choose the mayor, legislative candidates, and 10 issues in a referendum. Then what I have learned from Taiwan’s election. Well, at least I learn 4 things: system, leader take responsibility, there is no excessive celebration, punishment for low performance. I will break down for you one by one.

System 

Me and Ron, we went to The Gushan Elementary School the closest place from university to observe the election directly. We arrived at 1 pm, we saw a long queue outside and inside the school. We want to get closer to take pictures but there are so many police to avoid something unwanted we observe and taking pictures from distance. The election starts at 8 am some said it starts in 8.30 and 9.00 finish in 4, but in some places like in Taipei, they finish the process at 7 pm. So the officer starts counting the voice while there are people still give the voice.

The queue outside the school

The queue outside the school

I took this picture just cross the street.

There are so many elderly in the queue and their bring their own chair

There are so many elderly in the queue and their bring their own chair

In Indonesia, we put tend and chair in voting place and give priority for elderly and disabled. Here first in first out and they use the public facility.  The waiting time to give the voice varies from 30 minutes to 4 hours. And they start counting the result at 4 pm because people expected the final result by 9 pm. Because of the results announced after 9 pm, people will start to accuse of fraud in the election.

 

Entering 7 pm, the result coming it was neck to neck

Entering 7 pm, the result coming it was neck to neck

Another thing I feel salute from Taiwan election is the counting process was so fast. There is a high dedication from the administrator to finish it on time. The media give a full coverage for the election and the technology used to the fullest. In Indonesia, for a local election, the result can take up to two for three weeks. Of course, there will be argument Indonesia have more people with a large place to cover with so many procedures to deal. Well, at least we can learn something from the Taiwan system at least how to reduce the result announcement, if there is a will there is a way, right.

Leader Take Responsibility

After television announced most of the result and DPP lost in many places the chief of DPP appeared on television and declared a withdrawal as party chairman.

DPP only win in 6 districts, KMT turn the situation and dominate the election for 15 districts

DPP only win in 6 districts, KMT turn the situation and dominate the election for 15 districts

DPP chairman and also The President of Taiwan giving speech

DPP chairman and also The President of Taiwan giving a speech

I don’t know what is the motivation behind the speech. Maybe the public pressure or she indeed feels responsible for her party and disappointed that people assessing government performance were under-performed. Either way, I respect the speech. This is almost impossible to happen in my country.

There is no excessive celebration 

It seems to be a tradition for the losing candidate to give the first speech acknowledge his defeat.

The speech from blue party

The speech from blue party

The speech from wining candidate

The speech from winning candidate

The winning candidate considered as a phenomenal candidate because he can increase the voter’s number. His voters celebrate the winning in a ceremony. In the next day, they just work as usual and life goes on. There is no excessive celebration both for the winning and losing side. The winning do they work as usual and the defeated side accepts the result.

Punishment for the low performance

The interesting part is if they don’t like the party, and assessing their performance is low, the public will vote not to choose them anymore. As simple as that. No more opportunity. Eventought the presidency has only been running for two years. Instant punishment for underperformance.

Our respective Prof. Dachi Liao

Our respective Prof. Dachi Liao

As a bonus, this picture is my professor from IPS. Amid male domination in politics our professor is one of the prominent political scholars in Taiwan. She has been invited in so many television even.  It is nice to see politics from female perspectives.

 

 

 

Category: Thoughts