United Daily News Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
December 11, 2015
Executive Summary: Tsai Ing-wen's election prospects are promising. Yet her public fund raising effort has not been as successful as expected. Many of the piggy banks sent out are not being filled with campaign contributions and returned. Four years ago, during the "Three Little Pigs" boomlet, Tsai raised over 180,000 NT in small contributions. This time, the new little pigs have so far netted a mere 30,000 NT, a far cry from the original target. This "good election prospects, poor fund raising results" phenomenon is interesting, and warrants Green Camp attention.
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Tsai Ing-wen's election prospects are promising. Yet her public fund raising effort has not been as successful as expected. Many of the piggy banks sent out are not being filled with campaign contributions and returned. Four years ago, during the "Three Little Pigs" boomlet, Tsai raised over 180,000 NT in small contributions. This time, the new little pigs have so far netted a mere 30,000 NT, a far cry from the original target. This "good election prospects, poor fund raising results" phenomenon is interesting, and warrants Green Camp attention.
Tsai Ing-wen campaign headquarters recently released a campaign contributions report. They received a total of 405 million NT in contributions. That is no small sum. Clearly its chief source of contributions is from businesses large and small, and wealthy patrons. By contrast, small contributors have been lukewarm. Ordinary people have contributed a mere 20%. That is a far cry from the target of 70 million NT. The Tsai camp has resorted to an “underdog strategy”. It laments that its national campaign headquarters is currently in "debt" by 70 million NT. It is calling upon supporters to send the little piggies back ASAP, and has organized a "little piggies return to mother” movement, to boost campaign contributions.
This "good election prospects, poor fund raising results” phenomenon is not a contradiction. It has always been this way on Taiwan. The more closely fought the election, the more enthusiastic the grass roots supporters. If, on the other hand, victory appears to be a foregone conclusion, one's campaign will loses the ability to increase votes and mobilize support. The KMT has been wracked by inner turmoil since the campaign began. As a result, Tsai Ing-wen has been able to "campaign lying down". She has no front-line battle that needs to be fought. She has no need to send a single soldier to fight. Since it is "All Quiet on the Western Front", she can hardly boast that she has waged a courageous battle against all odds. She has no need to increase “military spending”. Under the circumstances, expecting people to “cut their own rations to pay the king and the generals”, is wishful thinking.
Besides, the DPP has brazenly viewed its supporters' checking accounts as its ATM machine. This is probably one reason grass roots supporters have balked. A few months ago the DPP hosted fund raising dinners with hundreds of tables all across Taiwan in five-star luxury restaurants. Dinner vouchers sold for 30 to 50 thousand NT. The atmosphere was clearly one of “Authorized Persons Only". The dinners swiftly raised 200 million NT for the DPP. The dinners had a high threshold. DPP party headquarters even posted people outside the venues to stop attendees from talking to the media. Such high-priced, high-profile fund raising practices reflect Tsai Ing-wen's election momentum. But they also stink of power and status. They turn their back on the Democratic Progressive Party's grass roots origins. Imagine the general public's feelings as only the rich and powerful, bedecked in gold jewelry, are allowed in to shake hands and share meals with Tsai Ing-wen. Are they going to feel any obligation to fill Tsai's piggy banks with their hard-earned money and send them in?
In addition to traditional green camp supporters, Tsai Ing-wen is also attracting swing voters. But Tsai Ing-wen's plans for the nation remain a closely guarded secret. This includes her arrogant "sure winner" attitude. Her refusal to even participate in an election debate, makes people wonder whether she has the tolerance and openness required of a future national leader. Swing voters may give Tsai Ing-wen their votes. But disgusted by her attitude, they may find it hard to give her their money. Her attitude lacks sincerity. Her policies lack substance.
One point must be clarified. The election prospects for Tsai Ing-wen and the DPP are good not because the green camp won people's hearts, or created a catchy slogan. They are good because the KMT disappointed the pubic during its administration. It made mistakes during its campaign, and kicked the ball into its own goal, helping the green camp score points. Such a football team may win through good fortune. But for it to boast about what an amazing game it played will only alienate football fans. Tsai Ing-wen and her campaign committee have displayed monumental arrogance and a supercilious attitude during the campaign. People cannot help but feel taken aback.
Two more points leave people skeptical. One. Tsai Ing-wen has campaigned lying down throughout the election. Some legislators are also favored to win. They have little need for arms and ammunition. So why have green camp campaign funds experienced "overruns"? Have the funds really been spent on campaign rallies? Two. The election has yet to be held. Yet rumors of future “Tsai administration" personnel appointments have already emerged. Is this mere speculation? The Tsai camp's behavior remains secretive. Green Camp factions are eerily silent. People cannot help but be concerned. How good are the DPP's promises of a rose garden in 2016, really?
The little piggies are not coming home. This shows that the public is uneasy about Tsai Ing-wen's upcoming “coronation". Voters remain skeptical. They are right to be. Remember the deification of Chen Shui-bian as “Son of Taiwan” not so long ago? Do we really wish to reenact that chapter in Taiwan history?
許多送出去的小豬撲滿並未如預期般餵飽養大了送回來。四年前「 三隻小豬」的熱潮，為蔡英文募到了十八萬多筆小額募款；這次， 新版小豬迄今僅回收三萬多筆，與目標相去甚遠。這種「選情好、 捐款差」的現象，頗值得玩味，也值得綠營警惕。
五億元捐款，數目其實不小， 其來源顯然主要來自大小企業及金主之手筆。然而， 由於小額捐款反應冷淡，一般小市民捐款筆數僅達上屆之兩成， 使得募款總數距離預訂的七億元的目標仍有段距離。 蔡陣營祭出哀兵策略，聲稱全國競選總部目前處於「透支」 七千萬元的窘境，呼籲支持者趕快把小豬送回來，並將在下旬舉辦「 小豬回娘家」活動，加緊催款。
一向是選情越緊繃，基層選民的熱情越是高張； 選戰結果若是早在預期之中，便失去催票動員的張力。 今年選戰開打以來，由於國民黨內亂風波不斷，蔡英文一直享有「 躺著選」的從容態勢，前線根本沒有戰況需要因應， 當然也沒有派出一兵一卒的必要。既然「西線無戰事」， 自然談不上什麼英勇奮戰，也用不上軍費軍餉；在這種情況下， 想要民眾演出「簞食壺漿，以迎王師」的景象，只能說是奢望。
恐怕也是基層小民卻步的主因。數月前，民進黨在全台各地大開「 募款餐會」，選在五星豪華餐廳動輒席開上百桌，每張餐券要價三、 五萬元，擺明一副「閒人勿近」的架式， 迅速為民進黨募得兩億進帳。募款餐會除了高門檻， 黨部甚至派出專人在場外擋駕，管制出席者接受媒體採訪。 這種高規格、高姿態的募款手法，雖反映了蔡英文選情看好的氣勢， 卻也透顯了「權」與「貴」的氣味， 脫離了民進黨起於基層草根的地氣。試想，當一般民眾看到， 只有多金之士與富豪貴婦方得入場與蔡英文握手共餐， 還會覺得自己有獻上小豬之必要嗎？
但對於中間選民而言，蔡英文未來的執政方向仍諱莫如深， 包括她不時表現出「必勝」的驕兵姿態， 甚至不斷迴避參與大選辯論，在在讓人感到缺乏「未來執政者」 的大器與磊落。以這種閃躲態度，蔡英文就算拿得到中間選民的票， 但要收到他們的捐款，恐怕不容易。原因是， 她的態度少了一點誠懇，政見少了一點踏實。
並不是因為綠營做出了什麼擄獲人心的事蹟， 或者拿出了令人感動的號召；事實上， 只是因為國民黨推動施政力不從心，又在競選過程中頻頻犯錯， 而流失了人心。如果拿足球賽為喻， 這就好像蔡英文和綠營之所以勝利在望， 並不是憑著自己高超的球技攻進了幾球， 而是對手在亂陣中一再誤射自己球門，幫助綠營得到分數。 這樣的球隊儘管可能贏得幸運，但要誇耀自己球技如何了得， 多麼能攻善守，球迷恐怕仍要打個問號。然則， 蔡英文及其團隊這次在選舉過程中所表現出來的傲慢和托大， 一副高高在上的姿態，不能不讓人感到猶疑。
既然蔡英文這次大選幾乎一路躺著選，立委部分也是氣勢如虹， 在無需添購軍火彈藥的情況下，為何綠營選舉經費竟會發生所謂「 超支」的現象，令人不解。難道錢都花在排場上了？其二， 大選尚未舉行，但有關未來「蔡政府」的人事布局，已有各種「 分權位」的傳聞。不論這是不是純屬揣測， 但以蔡陣營莫測高深的行事風格， 對照綠營內部各派系目前保持詭異的寧靜，都不能不讓人憂慮： 人們想像中美好的二○一六玫瑰園，究竟有沒有獲得誠懇的許諾？