On the campaign trail

Ma and Siew campaign poster with interesting use of Chinese characters for the 2008 election

Today I went to check out some of the campaign activities for the 2008 Taiwan Presidential Election. My first stop was the tent which had recently been set up on a vacant block near Xindian City Hall to promote Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), the KMT candidate. I was told KMT Vice-Presidential candidate Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) will attend a rally there on Saturday morning.

The photo above makes an interesting play on words. 馬到成功 (mǎdào-chénggōng) is an idiom meaning "to achieve success". 馬 (Mǎ) is also the family name of Ma Ying-jeou. Hence it gives a meaning of something like "Ma will be a success". Another slogan making a similar play on words being used by the KMT is 馬上救經濟 (mǎshāng jiù jīngjì) meaning "rapidly rescue the economy" or as they would like to suggest, "Ma will rapidly rescue the economy".

Taiwan definitely wins Ma vs Hsieh 2008

Another interesting use of Chinese characters is Hsieh and Ma both using the same slogan. The image on the left comes from Ma's campaign poster, while the one on the right is a screenshot from Hsieh's website. Both say 台灣一定贏 (Táiwān yīdìng yíng) meaning "Taiwan definitely wins". However Hsieh's version has substituted the 一 () in 一定 (yīdìng) with the number one representing his number on the ballot paper. Ma is number two on the ballot.

Frank Hsieh DPP 2008 Presidential campaign centre in Taipei

Next stop was DPP Presidential candidate Frank Hsieh's campaign centre on Chang'an East Road in Taipei, which was also recently visited by blogger Prince Roy. The centre has a full range of merchandise on sale. After purchasing a cap I was invited to sit down for a cup of tea. 

David at a DPP rally in Taipei, 21 Feb 2008

A little while later I was asked to join a rally at Yuanhuan (圓環) and we went there by taxi. The rally was only small with a few hundred people and as all the speeches were in Hoklo Taiwanese I didn't really have much idea what was going on. I am in the picture above with Taipei City Councilor Li Wen-ying (李文英). 

image of Freddy Lim and Frank Hsieh in the DPP’s youth campaign headquarters in Taipei City

On the way home I stopped by the DPP's youth campaign headquarters near the Taipower Building on Roosevelt Road. The youth campaign is being led by Freddy Lim, leader of the band Chthonic, whose UNlimited Taiwan music video was previously featured on this blog. There weren't many people there when I visited but they have activities on most evenings. You can check www.freddyaction.com for more information.

Prince Roy established the Taiwan Presidential Election 2008 group at flickr which has more photos from the campaign. The election is on 22 March and there will be plenty more campaign activities before then. 

5 thoughts on “On the campaign trail

  1. Off topic, but I wanted to share this with you. Having to lived in the US for 25 years and visited Taiwan in the last couple of years sparked my interest in everything Taiwan. Now I understand why my father watched Taiwanese TV all those years, especially the political talk shows. I now RSS your blog for Taiwan updates.

  2. Tai, thanks for your comment. I am glad you find the blog informative.

    Melody, 我看得懂中文,但是我不太會寫。你可以用中文或英文留言。

    Your comments in Chinese or English are always welcome!

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