Daily shorts Nov 3

Ma reaches out to business leaders for advice on economic slow down. I can imagine that dialogue: Ma: the economy sucks, what are we gonna do? Business leaders: We? Um, you mean you don’t have a plan for that? Reminds me of Chen Shui-bian’s Economic Development Advisory Conference in 2001. Those halcyon days of broken economy served with a soupçon of bipartisan cooperation.

James Soong’s election candidacy is currently underwhelming a lot of Taiwanese commentators. One comment in the link above makes a good point though (and shows how the DPP are treating Soong’s entry), that Soong could split the anti-Ma vote, which is bad news for Tsai. Then again, there is no guarantee that the anti-Ma vote would go to Tsai anyway. With Soong in though, it should increase turnout. Radio Australia has an Interview with Parris Chang talking about Soong and the election.

This critique of a recent BBC article and its coverage of the election is notable because, despite living in the UK, I didn’t realize they had any Taiwan coverage.

Reuters highlights key political risks to watch during the election. In the “what to watch” section you are advised to keep track of “opinion polls and campaigning in the run-up to the vote”. Thanks for the tip Reuters, I’ll keep it in mind.

“The team is now in control and the campaign is running smoothly” Tsai on her campaign’s progress so far. Doesn’t this just sound like “famous last words” or the prelude to some devastating debacle?

From community service to a legislative seat? (Well, people have gone from far worse punishments to the Legislative Yuan). Former presidents son intends to throw his hat in the ring. Read this and tell me if it sounds like a good idea: “Chen Chih-chung, who is serving a community service sentence, said Tuesday that he will definitely run for a legislative seat”. That’s just what the DPP needs: make CSB, corruption, nepotism etc as salient as possible…

Mail me at jonathan.sullivan@nottingham.ac.uk, follow me on Twitter @jonlsullivan, or access my published and working papers at http://jonlsullivan.com