The 9-in-one election of Taiwan today proved the beginning of a new chapter in Taiwan’s political history. I was eleven when the first DPP president was elected in, and now, a decade and a half later, I witness KMT strongholds falling down like dominoes once more.
Politics to me has always kind of been like a life cycle. You go through peaks and troughs, just like the economy, and you tend to come back full circle. Taiwanese people have always been a tough, conservative people that stick to the status quo. That’s why the 2000 elections were such a milestone, and in 2008, after two terms in office, with the economic melt down and a truckload and a half of political smearing, unfortunately the KMT came back. This time, they had the ‘hottie’ Ma Ying Jeou. I actually know people that voted for him because he was good looking. It made me sick. Commence burgeoning relationships with China. I preferred being scared of China attacking us with their 200 missiles pointed at us to Ma’s regime. And today the DPP has smashed through KMT barricades- politically speaking, of course.
The KMT let the Chinese through like a dam waiting to burst- they’ve been looking for a foothold since our economic success in the 80s. Last year, when I went home, I could not escape the Chinese, and night markets are now actually accepting Renminbi… what’s that about? It’s not like it’s the dollar and holds more esteem than the NTD, or the RMB as a matter of fact…. When we went to Taroko Gorge, one of Taiwan’s main national parks, we counted twenty plus tour buses lining up to see the Eternal Spring Shrine. It wasn’t just the air that was now toxic, the atmosphere was toxic too, with a certain sense of arrogance I’ve never even noticed in white people before. As if they were somehow better than us, and therefore they could come over and shit on our monuments and smear boogers all over … well, everything. The trade agreement with China (that is undoubtedly going to get pushed through our government systems at one point before Ma leaves office) is going to ruin Taiwan and suck out its soul, and I honestly don’t know how my country is going to survive the next five years, let alone decade and a half.
The Sunflower Movement in March was an awakening for young people and their political ideals, and it was Taiwanese people claiming their future back. You can see that clearly with the Taiwanese fervor by the votes and the growing number of independents claiming seats on city councils, and that is so moving. We want to have new generation of government that is not going to sell us to China. I’m not saying I don’t want anything to do with China, and I’m not saying that they are evil. I’m saying that as a country we have to protect our sovereignty and identity, which, despite what people say, is completely different to the Chinese identity. Even when you ask Chinese people, they will say we are completely different to them. Hell, they even came over to observe the election as if we were a bunch of zoo animals!
My point is, we have to exercise all political victories and losses with caution. I wanted to write my post about how elections nowadays are all about winning by the tiniest margins (look at Obama…or even the British government now), and I wonder how that is democracy at all. Countries, countries, districts, communities, are all split in half so how can we say that democracy is for the majority? Well, democracy has spoken with the majority and several landslides in Taiwan today, so that post will have to wait till later. As I was attempting to say, the important factor here is ‘what next’? Ma will have to seriously reconsider his position. The majority of his cabinet resigned in shame as a response to the major losses at the elections, and of course, to insulate him a bit. He’s still the most unpopular president Taiwan has ever had, and he’s going to have to get his act together. The impact on the elections in 2016 for president are astronomical- the KMT has lost so much ground, they will have to actually *gasp* make policies that safeguard the people rather than themselves to gain our trust again! But we cannot stop here- we have to keep going. We have to keep pushing the boundaries, keep questioning our authorities and hold them responsible for the welfare of the people.
Taiwan, Jia Yo!!!!!