Election day

Yesterday Taiwan held its election for president. This was a simple vote for one of two candidates numbered (1) and (2). Along with the presidential vote there were two referendum votes. So every voter had 3 ballots to fill out. An easy and simple affair.

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Ma Ying-jeou and running mate on the left. KMT, red and blue, number (2). Frank Shieh and running mate on the right. DPP, green, number(1)


The voting was very well organised. The rules have been honed over the last 3 elections and now make for an incredibly smooth process. There is no campaigning allowed on election day. No overt display of campaign material within 30 metres of the ballot area. There were lots of police officers and volunteers to help out. The venue was the local school. Also, no photos inside the voting room.

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And the result was quick to come through. Once public announcement was allowed all television stations showed a running tally. By 5pm the outcome was pretty clear. KMT’s Ma Ying-jeou, (2) will be president of Taiwan for the next four years. A result the majority of people in Taiwan are, by implication, happy with.

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I wandered to the local DPP office, (green incumbent party, now opposition) to see how the die-hard supporters were taking the result. Pretty subdued actually.

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Though there is a lot at stake with the outcome of this election, there is a lot to be very positive about. Recent changes to the legislature and terms of office will ensure a more stable and less partisan politicking. Politics in Taiwan has been hamstrung by the extreme partisan nature of the opposing parties. Unfortunately the party bickering was the reason there were two referendum questions rather than one. And also why so many voters boycotted both referendum questions and without the required 50% threshold of voters, they were declared failed.

If you are particularly interested in the outcome or commentary on the results please check these links.

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