History is in the making; political battles will go on – Elections in Taiwan

Cathy Lin

The Taiwanese elections took place on January 14th. These elections were not just a once-every-four-years carnival of democracy; it was a battle between the ongoing discussions on social equality and the relationship between Taiwan and China.

With 11 political parties registered and 3 presidential candidates from 3 parties, the pre-election period campaign started long before the election took place on January 14th; the party leader of DPP (Democratic Progressive Party), Ms. Tsai, blew the whistle on the increasing social inequality resulting from the friendly relationship between Taiwan and China that current President Mr. Ma set up.

For many, this was an election that would make a difference for the coming decade while others see it as an opportunity to decrease the political cooperation between Taiwan and China.

KMT, the Nationalist Party which was founded in 1894 and over-thrown the last dynasty in China in 1911, ruled China during the two wars. They eventually lost the civil war with the communist party led by Chairman Mau, retreated to Taiwan in 1949 and brought democracy to Taiwan. Ever since then there has been a huge class struggles between Taiwanese and Chinese who came with Chiang Kai Shek, the President of the Nationalist Party also was the president of Taiwan for 27 years.

After the Sino-Japanese war, in 1885 Taiwan was ceded to Japan until the end of World War II in 1945. It had been said that Taiwan has been occupied by foreign powers for centuries; first by Dutch in the 17th century, then by the Chinese until 1885, then by the Japanese for 50 years, and then again by the Chinese until year of 2000 the national wide presidential election, the first born-and-raised Taiwanese President was elected. For eight years the DPP was in the house, until the KMT finally took back the power with the majority of elected law-makers in 2008. The next four years, treaties were signed between Taiwan and China on the economic front, which was supposed to benefit all industries in Taiwan but has not become the reality, yet. President Ma promised that during his second tern, economy in Taiwan will have a huge leap forward. Debates and commons from national and international political observers see the increasing friendly relationship with China as a threat while some think treaties and continuous open communication is the way for Taiwan to take advantages in the international market.

The significances about this 2012 election were be learned by students in their history class in the future. This was the first time with female Presidential candidate; first time that the less-fortunes’ voice was wildly heard; and the voters turn out was the lowest compare to pervious three elections.

History is in the making; political battles will go on.


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