Through the many years I resided in Taiwan, the bad old days of Martial Law and one-party rule, the transition to a “cautious” democracy in the 90s, the raucous years of “anything goes” from 2000 to 2008 under the first opposition-party president, and even the healthy back and forth since then, I was not a citizen and therefore had no right to vote. This did not stop me from identifying with one end of the political spectrum, even so far as to make a couple speeches at rallies for the “national development party”, a radical pro-independence group in 1998.
That party folded. Many other parties came and went. I received Taiwan citizenship in 2018, but I didn’t sign up with any party. Instead, I retired and moved abroad. In January this year I returned to cast my first presidential and legislative election votes. I was pretty sure that the election would go the way I wanted (hint, it did), but, nonetheless, was concerned that the rabid populism, into which the KMT and its supporters in China had fallen, might turn things the other way. It turns out, though, that results in both the presidential and the legislative polls made it pretty hard to be a KMT member or supporter Taiwan on January 12th. It was so hard that even the party’s central committee had trouble finding someone to step up and take charge.
Election year is past in Taiwan, but it’s still election year where I live in the USA. One cannot tell which way the nation may go when election day finally rolls around, but events connected to the shutdown of operations at schools, transport and commerce, PLUS the giant bailout recently passed by the government, make it fairly sure that it’s pretty hard to be a Libertarian this week. I’m glad that I’m not one of them, either.
David Alexander now resides in Holland, MI after 39 years in Taiwan.