First important election in 2012

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by Starseeker, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. Starseeker

    Starseeker Vault Senior Citizen

    Jul 25, 2003
    The Taiwanese Presidential Election goes off on the Jan. 14, which is the starting gun of all the important elections in 2012.

    President Ma has a lot of similarity with President Obama. They both won by a landslide after 8 years of contentious opposition rule, and they are both facing stiff competition after said popularity wanes with parts of population moves on to skepticism.

    As for Taiwan itself, it is ironic that the only democratic country in the Chinese speaking world has less support diplomatically than than a communist one, but that's another topic all together. As election goes, what does this mean for the rest of the world if either wins or loses? (Taiwan also has one of the highest voting rates among the democratic world. In my understanding, higher voting rates decrease the chances of voting blocks and special interest groups gaining special political clouts or favours)

    The Candidates:,_2012

    As for what the issues are and why it might be important to the west, I found an interesting report from CSIS:

    And last but not least, a very, very interesting analysis of the Taiwanese situation I found by accident from a very unlikely source, Turkish Weekly:ís-presidential-elections-and-turkey.html

    He made some intriguing comparisons between Turkey and Taiwan, and used some very concise words to present the Taiwan situation and its march to Democracy. As he said, Taiwanese democracy is remarkable in the sense that there were no equivalent of Arab Springs and military uprisings in its process. I don't know if the situation is unique but it is a sharp contrast to the Arab Springs movement.

    We shall see the election result in a week, would this result be a forecast of things to come in the US, as the war drums of Republican nomination beats, only time will tell.

    Finally a decent write up by the times:,9171,2103707-1,00.html

  2. Cimmerian Nights

    Cimmerian Nights So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Aug 20, 2004
    First thing that came to my mind:

    Or was that Gregory Peck?

    Kuomintang is still around, huh? That must really piss of the PRC.
  3. Yoshi525

    Yoshi525 Vault Senior Citizen

    Dec 10, 2006
    Good read!

    I don't know a great deal about the politics in question; I've always assumed (perhaps wrongly) that at some point in the future, China will attempt a strong military action to force union. As far as I can tell, China's entire naval policy is based around the future invasion of Taiwan, and the ability to counter the threat of one of more US navy battle groups. Whilst I doubt an invasion would even lead to a China-US conflict, China certainly seems to be preparing for that possibility (or as with many things in politics, perhaps the main objective is the threat of such an action, rather than the action itself, which would (in the current climate) be disastrous for all parties concerned).

    Obviously the PRC's navy is currently no match for the US's - even a single Nimitz class based battle group would be capable of destroying the entire Chinese navy - even with massive air force and missile support, China wouldn't stand a chance in hell of forcing the strait if a US task force, consisting of say three battle groups was present. China is however gradually narrowing the gap, and seems to be increasingly determined to create a blue water fleet. (Long way to go though).

    Reading the CSIS report, it intrigues me that Taiwan are only *considering* the future purchase of F-35's! Considering the vast modernizations the Chinese airforce will undergo in the next decade (it's probably fair to assumed that even the most recent F-16 variants will be of little use against J-20's), it would seem sensible to acquire 5th generation fighters (preferably F-22, though the PRC would do it's nut if the US actually provided them!) asap. Then again I suppose when billion dollar questions of military expenditure are asked, practical scenarios have to be considered - will a war occur anytime soon (if ever)? Probably not. Would Taiwan, even with comparable fighter tech be able to resist the PRC alone? Definitely not.
  4. Starseeker

    Starseeker Vault Senior Citizen

    Jul 25, 2003
    Well, let me post the results first, before I answer your questions Yoshi.

    There were plenty of American interest in the election, especially those in the Silicon Valley, seeing as most gadgets people own these days are made by Taiwanese companies.

    Of course, even after he is re-elected, that doesn't mean it's problem free:

    And what's a Taiwanese election without some problems:

    Even Korea got interested:

    Well, win or lose, a democracy is all about election results, and no matter the heartache or jubilation, you forge ahead with what you got. All in all, I think radicalization is not really what swings some people, but who knows, really? I mean, a lot of media pundits have estimated that Tsai would win, so I wonder what they would say now? A lot of fortune tellers also says that there might be a female president in Taiwan's future before the election, well I guess they are out of a job. 75% of the eligible voters voted. When was the last time Canada gets that kind of numbers? No matter what some say, Taiwan has a pretty robust democracy with plenty of participants that care.

    And as to your questions, Yoshi, it's not that Taiwan doesn't want to buy the latest and the supposedly greatest, the problem is that China doesn't want to allow it. There has been a lot of demands for F-35s or other 5th generation fighters, especially since a lot of older models used by Taiwan have been literally dropping out of sky even as training planes. Americans don't like to p*ss the mainland Chinese off, and they are probably happy to sell hand me down at exorbitant prices to help balance the defense budget. The same thing happened with Canada and its submarines. The arms dealing between Taiwan and the US is like a delicate waltz with plenty of winking and nudging. Even 30-40 aircraft would mean a huge boost to the to the industry though, so given the economic situation recently, maybe there is a push in that direction.

    edit to add:

    Given the similarity of the political situation, I wonder if Obama's campaign is watching this.