I’m trying very hard not to care about political events in Taiwan. We are at the start of the election season, and election seasons create all sorts of emotional roller coasters. In 2004, I was very carefully following every bit of news and going crazy with every bump and dip in the polls. This time, I’m trying to decouple a bit from the election news so that I don’t get on the emotional roller coaster.
The big thing that I learned about elections in 2004 was that in the end, it was pointless for me to follow the polls, because in the end, Chen Shui-Bian getting shot at the end changed everything on the last night of the election. So I’m trying very hard not to care too much.
One thing that makes it easier is to know that there are competent people who basically see the world like I do running things. In 2003, the Kuomintang had undergone a number of defeats, and the message that the DPP was presenting was that there was an inevitable march toward independence and the Kuomintang was finished as a party. People who had views similar to mine were supposed to be dinosaurs, and the message from the DPP was that we should agree with them and “face reality.”
The situation in 2007 is very different. The KMT managed to bounce back, and no one talks about the Green pro-independence agenda as inevitable. Perhaps more importantly, people with views similar to mine aren’t afraid or ashamed of them, and that’s a good feeling. Also, the experience of being declared dead once only to bounce back to life gives at least some hope to carry through the next time people declare you finished (and there will be a next time).
If pan-blue retains control of the legislature and if Ma Ying-Jeou wins in 2008, then there will be a flood of changes and possibilities, but I don’t want to think too much about them right now. Politics is very uncertainty, and so I don’t want to get my hopes too high. There will be enough time to figure out what to do if it happens.