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At the end of 2014 and at the start of 2015, New Bloom will be conducting a review of the year’s most noteworthy events. We have curated a selection of our own articles, as well as articles from outside sources, which we think were best represent the events of the past year.
The “nine-in-one” elections held in late November were the largest set of local elections in Taiwanese history. Following the Sunflower Movement, nine-in-one elections were viewed domestically and internationally as a referendum on the policies of the KMT government, and ended with the triumph of independent mayoral candidate Ko Wen-Je in the contest for mayorship of Taipei with KMT candidate and Lien family scion Sean Lien and the general victory of pan-Green candidates across Taiwan.
More significantly, the results of nine-in-one elections indicates the development of political candidates in Taiwan whose political platforms aimed towards appealing to the Taiwanese civil society which had seized the stage during the Sunflower Movement, as evidenced by Ko but also in regards to candidacy of Sunflower Movement leader Chen Wei-Ting for legislator of Miaoli County following nine-in-one elections, although Chen’s candidacy was later mired by a scandal regarding acts of sexual assault and Chen later withdrew as a result.
When We Talk About Beyond “Blue” and “Green”, Is this Moving Forward or Marching in Place?
The second most read article in the history of New Bloom in the Chinese original, New Bloom editor Shane Hu (胡景祥) that beyond the civic discourse of moving behind political distinctions of “blue” and “green” lay a fundamental choice in values regarding prime issues concerning Taiwan as Taiwanese independence, the question of national identification, justice regarding the crimes committed under the authoritarian rule of the KMT in the past, historical views of the Martial Law period, and constitutional reform. While the discourse of going beyond “Blue” or “Green” was advanced by Ko Wen-Je and his campaign team, does this, in fact, sideline such fundamental questions?
Seizing the Election Momentum to Place Human Rights at the Top of the Agenda in Taiwan
Following victories by the Green camp and the defeat of the KMT, what is to be done next? Bob Kao (高銘佑) of the Taiwan Law Blog puts forth the view that what is next must be to raise longstanding questions of human rights in regards to same-sex marriage and capital punishment. With these issues in firmly mind must the DPP move towards 2016 presidential elections in order to resolve issues dating back to the Chen administration.
Have the Rules of the Game Changed?
After the Sunflower Movement, have nine-in-one elections been any different from the usual course of electoral politics in Taiwan? New Bloom editor Brian Hioe reflects upon what has changed, concerning not only elections themselves, but the continued power of the KMT, the media coverage of elections, the role of the DPP, and the political sparring of the Ko campaign and the Lien campaign during the election cycle.