Daily shorts Nov 2

James Soong is set to formally join the presidential race. We just put the clocks back in the UK, I didn’t realize they went back to the year 2000 (when Soong was last competitive) or 2005 (when he was last relevant). “A worthy adversary” says Tsai in reaction to Soong’s presidential campaign announcement. Another reminder that Tsai Ing-wen is a very polite lady indeed. Maybe she’s just trying to give him some confidence so he does better than his last outing (<4% in Taipei Mayor race in ‘06, ouch).

DPP declares November “little pigs month” as piggybank fundraising campaign achieves success. But they’re going to need a lot of cash to compete with the multiple millions (of government, not party, money it says here) invested in Ma’s advertising campaign. By chance, UDN chooses this moment to highlight the need for campaigns to refocus on the importance of current economic strains; but presumably they meant those facing the entire Taiwanese economy rather than just those facing the parties’ campaign coffers

Tsai and Ma are now neck-and-neck according to a local election poll. Not a poll in fact, but National ChengChih University’s Center for Prediction Markets. I’m guessing this makes it more accurate than your average Taiwanese media poll.  Apparently Ma peaked on Oct. 16 when he was seen as 18.7% more likely than Tsai to win. But Tsai’s fortunes have improved and at month’s end the two candidates appear level pegging. So, did something happen between Oct 16 and Halloween?

Finally, stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Taiwan is a beacon of democracy for the development of mainland China…

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