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Youth can change Taiwan!

My recent letter in the Taipei Times ended by saying that youth must speak out to protect freedom in Taiwan. After I posted a link to my letter on Facebook Michael Turton commented that the youth also need to vote.

It seems very timely that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) just released a campaign video featuring rapper Dog G (大支) titled “Change Taiwan” (改變台灣). The DPP writes in the description of Dog G’s video that they want youth to actively participate in and contribute their ideas to the election campaign. They go on to write, “the DPP wants to promote an overall increase in the youth vote. It is not just concerned with the overall breakdown of votes between the parties. The key point is that youth should play a key role in this election!”

The description also says that the video seeks to overthrow older people’s stereotypes about the younger generation. The lyrics intend to highlight how young people are actively engaged in society. For example, mobilising to help after the Typhoon Morakot floods and their role in the Dapu Land Grab Incident.

The video is also interesting because although it was created for the DPP, it doesn’t actually mention the DPP anywhere in the video. This follows an earlier campaign video from the DPP which also appealed to the centre ground. Peter Martin at Sinocentric noted the earlier ad, “pitches strait to the political centre-ground and tries to talk past the highly partisan debates which often characterize Taiwanese politics.”

The lyrics of the song represent a paradigm change from the ethnic-based politics of the past to a younger generation who have gone beyond ethnicity to just identify with Taiwan. Dog G sings:


[We don't care about blue versus green and green versus blue]


[We just simply care about Taiwan and care about the society]


[We also don't have a problem with different ethnic groups]

I have translated some more of the lyrics here.

The V-sign in the video represents the word “vote”. I also suggest that V can represent “voice”. The combination of youth using their vote and their voice can change Taiwan.

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Comment from Fili
Time 5 November 2010 at 1:29 pm

Terrific. Loving this video.

Comment from mike
Time 6 November 2010 at 12:31 pm


“…the DPP wants to promote an overall increase in the youth vote”

… does not comport with this…

“…youth must speak out to protect freedom…”

Your letter was a good one David, but freedom is the condition of leaving other people alone to mind their own business – freedom is NOT voting to have a government run everybody else’s affairs according to your preferences.

The popular association of democracy with freedom is undeserved since it owes nothing to necessity and everything to comparisons with more crudely arbitrary and tyrannical forms of political organization (e.g. China). A certain degree of freedom may be a necessary constituent of democracy, but democratic government is not a necessary constituent of freedom.

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