2015 - 1st Quarter

Clear Signs of Change in Taiwan's Political Landscape

Monday February 16

At the end of World War II, when other nations were being granted the right to self-determination through the United Nation's Charter, Taiwan's struggle for democracy had just begun and it entered its winter of discontent. That winter included the White Terror, some 38 years of Martial Law and continuous one party-state rule by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). The hopes of Taiwanese that their democracy would flourish were muted by its slow progress. It was only 4 decades later in 1992 that the public could elect their legislators and 1996 when they could choose their president. Despite having multiple political parties, even then Taiwan still seemed in doldrums that kept it from emerging as a full-fledged democracy. Voters of the two major parties seemed in gridlock of only voting for their party's candidate. But this past year the waited for reversal came as a significant part of the population appeared to be shaking off what some call the vestiges of the KMT's Stockholm Syndrome where voters thought it was the only party capable to properly handle the economy and the entire country. ...

Will a New Broom (Ko Wen-Je) Sweep Clean?

Monday February 16

The first month of Ko Wen-je's term as mayor of Taipei is not even over and the city residents are already finding themselves on the bow end of a fast learning curve in politics and elections, as well as resultant factors of decision making, accountability and transparency. ...

Time Running out for Ma Spin Team

Friday January 16

The flap over the Republic of China (ROC) flag raising ceremony at the Twin Oaks Estate on Jan. 1 should have played out like Much Ado About Nothing. It should have been quickly handled, and written off as a simple misunderstanding, a mere glitch in the ongoing relationship between Taiwan and the US. ...

Chinese Reform is Doomed to Fail

Friday January 16

Xi Jinping's anticorruption campaign in China has been going full swing since 2012; and it certainly is not a case of killing chickens to scare the monkeys. Many are pleased to see that Xi is swatting tigers as well as flies, but despite that, and despite Xi's promise that this is not temporary, it will fail. This is not what most citizens in China wish to hear and it is also not what many outside China wish to hear, but the campaign will nonetheless fail. ...