Thursday, March 20, 2008

Countdown to Election Day -- Going After the Critical Votes

Countdown to Election Day -- Going After the Critical Votes
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
March 20, 2008

The two candidates, as part of their 2008 presidential campaigns, have consolidated their core support. Frank Hsieh has sunk his teeth into the "One China Market" and Tibet issues, and is not letting go. Ma Ying-jeou is attacking the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's dismal economic record, and asking for regime change. The two camps are now engaged in bloody fighting in the trenches. Who will emerge the victor will depend on the voters.

We are now less than 48 hours from the opening of the polls. Frank Hsieh holds two aces. The "One China Market" card and the Tibet card. He also holds two hot potatoes. Chuang Kuo-jung's injudicious use of obscenities during a DPP rally, and Chiang Hsia's remark that Blue camp supporters should not even be perceived as human beings. Fears about the impact of a One China Market on mainland labour and agricultural products have undoubtedly brought many central and southern Taiwan Green camp supporters back to the fold. Chuang Kuo-jung and Chiang Hsia's verbal blunders have frightened away many women voters, civil servants, and educators. Although the Hsieh camp is engaged in crisis management, the fallout has yet to settle.

The Ma camp has the advantage of being the frontrunner. But it has lacked creativity in its choice of campaign themes. The Hsieh camp meanwhile, has adopted a "smoke and mirrors" strategy and harped on the Tibet issue. The Ma camp has responded in kind, by upping the ante. It went so far as to say it was not ruling out boycotting the Olympics. But this merely offended the sports world and sports fans, and allowed the Hsieh camp to stick it to the Ma camp, yet again. Hsieh demanded to know whether Ma supported Tibetan independence, and wondered whether any peace treaty with the mainland authorities could be trusted. The Tibet issue alone forced the Ma camp to rush about putting out fires and frantically enage in damage control.

The Ma camp began its campaign with wishful thinking. It imagined that if it muddied the Hsieh camp's proposals, it would be able to skate by until election day, that the issues wouldn't have time to take effect. It didn't realize it would end up mired in a dilemma. Strictly speaking, both camps have committed blunders and have been forced to institute damage control. In the end, the voters will decide.

During the final countdown, the Ma and Hsieh camps have both turned their attention to regions where they are relatively weak, hoping to bolster their support at the municipal and county level. The Ma camp has set its sights on central and southern region counties and municipalities. It has been sweeping the streets in solidly Green districts such as Kaohsiung City, Kaohsiung County and Pingtung regions. Its election eve rallies will be held in Taichung and Kaohsiung. The Hsieh camp has set its sights on the youth vote and womens' vote, with central Taiwan and Taipei County as the keys regions. Its election eve rallies will be held at these locales.

Both camps have been bolstering their weak points even as they consolidate their core support. It is almost time for the final showdown. Only one candidate can be elected president. Both the Blue and Green camps have been under heavy pressure. The Green camp is determined to cling to political power. The Blue camp is determined to regain political power. Supporters' emotions in both camps have reached a high point.

No matter what, we urge everyone to treat your vote seriously. Put aside political squabbles. Show the world that you are the president's boss. Cast your vote only after you are clear in your mind. Then await the results. Regardless of the outcome, we must be willing to accept it. Only such a willingness becomes the citizens of a modern democracy. This is true for both the Ma and Hsieh camps.

今日晚報 2008.03.20
倒數翻牌時刻 關鍵搶票


距離投票不到四十八小時的緊張時刻中,謝長廷手中握有兩張牌「一中市場」和「西藏事件」和二顆小炸彈「莊國榮粗話說」、「江霞失言風波」。一中市場所延伸 的開放大陸勞工和農產品,的確讓中南部的綠軍支持回籠,並凝聚中下階層的危機意識。但莊國榮和江霞的失言風波,卻嚇走婦女票和公教票,目前這個部分,謝營 雖做緊急處理,但後續擴散效應,仍待觀察。

馬陣營在選戰議題,除了保有先前的優勢之外,在議題操作表現比較沒創意,凡是謝營提出的主張,不是採取模糊策略,就是加碼因應,就舉「西藏事件」,馬營採 取催加油門,一路踩到底,提出不排除參加奧運,卻因此得罪體育界和熱愛體育的民眾,讓謝營藉此機會見縫插針,又打馬一著,趁勢逼問馬是否支持藏獨及質疑台 灣就算和中共簽署的和平協定,能相信中共不會撕毀承諾嗎?光是西藏事件,就讓馬營提但書忙撲火,進行損害管控。


在最後倒數時刻,馬、謝兩陣營不約而同,鎖定在自己比較弱的選區,以及可以再加強的縣市顧票,馬營擇定中、南部縣市,先狂掃高高屏綠軍鐵票區,再來最後一 個晚上造勢晚會,台中、高雄也是重點之所在。而謝營鎖定繼續攻佔青年和婦女選票,同時中部及台北縣市列為選戰決戰關鍵,因此造勢晚會也則定兩地為重點。



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