I owe thanks to John for alerting me about a KMT rally here in Tainan, maybe the biggest one that has come here to DPP land. I’ve been to some political rallies in Israel, but I’ve never seen anything quite like this. It was an exciting overwhelming political celebration for Ma Ying Jiu, the KMT presidential candidate.
Here are the concluding 23 minutes when Ma Ying Jiu finally made his appearance :
This upcoming election is a celebration for Taiwanese democracy. Sure, there are some scandals, as there would be in any place undergoing sensitive elections, but the most important thing in my view is that what I see here goes against all those disturbing views I hear from foreigners about “Asian cultures are not well-suited for democracy”, with judgemental statement about Taiwanese introversion, inability to speak their minds, total acceptance of hierarchical authority and tendency to avoid conflict. I think that’s b#ll, and it sometimes hurts -my- feelings when people they say so . My personal impressions are that the Taiwanese are very politically opinionated, very passionate about their beliefs, very outgoing in their fight for what they believe is right, very strong-minded in their unwillingness to accept what they find to be unacceptable. The Taiwanese make me proud to live here in Taiwan.
I didn’t go to that rally supporting anybody, I came there out of curiosity for Taiwanese politics. Yet, since John and I seemed to be the only foreigners there, we got some attention appearing on the big screen a few times. I’ve even been reported to be on the TV news that evening. My political orientation when it comes to Taiwan is of no significance. I think this is an issue totally up to the Taiwanese to decide on and I know that with my limited understanding of local culture and language it would be impossible for me to form an opinion that would represent anything but my ignorance. I only hope that whatever path they take, they would preserve their passion for doing it this way.
In Lonely Planet and other foreigner guides it is suggested that you avoid discussing politics with Taiwanese, as that it is perceived as a sensitive issue. Yet, so many Taiwanese I don’t even know come up to me to discuss my political view on things, to share their thoughts and ideas, to give me their take on the elections. My Taiwanese friends bring up the political discussion often, and could end up talking about it for hours. Avoid discussing politics, yeah right…
O’right, how about we wrap things up with a rally KMT-singout workout :
Damn, I adore the Taiwanese. Good luck, Taiwan.