Will the honorable gentlemen please
resume their seats
The days when the Taiwanese parliament resembled a geriatric ward, filled with aged Kuomintang generals supposedly representing constituencies on the mainland, have passed. Alas. The parliament is still a feisty place though and well it might be, with President Chen Shui-bian having apparently staged an assassination attempt in order to squeak through in the Sunday’s election. Frayed tells me that this was the plot of the 1980s movie Power, so perhaps Chen is a movie buff. Let’s just hope he hasn’t seen Dr Strangelove.
One of the wire stories picked up on an interesting aspect of the “assassination attempt”. Not only did it attract sympathy votes for the DPP, it also resulted in a declaration of a national emergency. This meant that Taiwan’s 200,000 security forces – traditionally Kuomintang supporters – were deployed away from their residences and therefore unable to vote in an election where the margin of victory was 30,000 votes.