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-SuTseng

阅读791| 发布: 2018-01-23 15:16 | 点赞: 266


<>Time was when tongues were wagging about Ma Ying-jeou the invincible. He had just been elected chairman of the Kuomintang, when he was forced to lead the then opposition party into an all important nationwide local election against its very powerful government-backed adversary. He put his newly acquired job on the line, promising to step down if and when the party lost the election. The whole Kuomintang rallied behind him and won a landslide in 2005. The party went on to win election after important election and people call its rise to power the Ma Ying-jeou phenomenon. Tongues are wagging again in Taipei. Political observers and analysts began to talk about the Su Tseng-chang phenomenon.

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<>Su, a former premier, is now the most popular Democratic Progressive Party leader who supporters believe will lead the now opposition party back to power again, just as Ma did by winning the presidential race in 2008.

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<>There is a difference between the Ma Ying-jeou phenomenon and the one attached to Su, who has just declared candidacy for mayor of the special municipality of Taipei. The former that lasted for quite some time produced tangible effect. The latter is a mirage.

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<>For all his faults, Ma is an honest man. He is sincere. He is incorruptible. He is working hard the way he thinks, perhaps wrongly, he can best serve the nation he now rules. Eligible voters, particularly those sway voters, know him full well. That's why he was invincible until he took office as president a little less than two years ago. People are dissatisfied with him now, because his government has failed miserably to live up to their once very high expectations.

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<>Su is a calculating politician. He was first elected to the now phased out Taiwan Provincial Assembly to start his political career. He was then elected magistrate of his native county of Pingtung. After losing reelection, he moved to Taiwan's most populous county of Taipei and ran for its magistrate. He won the election, thanks to the virtually last minute support of Lu Hsiu-yi, a dying DPP lawmaker. Lu knelt before supporters at a huge campaign rally, urging them to vote for Su as his proxy by declaring that was his death wish. President Chen Shui-bian called upon Su to serve as DPP chairman to lead his governing party into the election against the Kuomintang with Ma at its helm. Su lost. When Chen wanted to get rid of Frank Hsieh, he turned to Su again to form the Cabinet. In the end, however, Chen manipulated Su into accepting to run as Hsieh's running mate in the 2008 presidential election. The DPP ticket was resoundingly rejected by the voters fed up with the corrupt government under President Chen.

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<>The timing is right for Su now. Of course, he wants to bear the DPP standard in the 2012 presidential race. He knows he has to run in one of the five mayoralty elections in Taipei, New North City, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung. He also knows he may not necessarily win in New North City, which is the county of Taipei upgraded, against Chu Lih-lun, vice premier who has an excellent track record as two-time magistrate of Taoyuan. The next best thing Su can do is to run against Hau Lung-bin, the incumbent mayor of Taipei running for a second term. Su knows he cannot beat Hau, who isn't quite popular. After all, Taipei is one of the Kuomintang's strongest power bases. Chen Shui-bian was elected mayor of Taipei in 1994, thanks solely to a Kuomintang split. Unless the Kuomintang underwent another split, Su would have no chance beating Hau. So Su has continued to calculate. He may emulate Chen and Hsieh. After losing his reelection bid, Chen was able to create a Chen Shui-bian phenomenon. He helped DPP candidates win local elections by displaying his honest and good performance as mayor of Taipei. He went on to win the presidential election in 2000, thanks again to a Kuomintang split. James Soong bolted the Kuomintang to run as an independent, placing its standard bearer Lien Chan far, far behind. Hsieh ran and lost the mayoralty race in Taipei in 2006. He then was nominated, over Su, for president two years later. The certain loss in his bid for Taipei mayor is a necessary step for Su to take in order to get placed on the 2010 DPP ticket to face his old nemesis Ma Ying-jeou.

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<>Yes, Su is acquiring a belated charisma. But it is being bestowed by a beleaguered Ma Ying-jeou. Sway voters, disenchanted by Ma's poor performance as president, have been led to believe or forced to convince themselves Su may be a strong leader like Ma before the 2008 presidential election.

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<>Su's strategic move is working well. There is little doubt that he would get his presidential campaign under way right after his loss in the mayoralty election in the special municipality of Taipei scheduled for early December this year. He would get the nomination for president. He would run. He certainly would win, if the economy got worse than it is now. Then the voters would feel let down as they are now, because Su could never deliver whatever he might have promised in the campaign.

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