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Su Tseng-chang and the Liberty Times

13/04/2011

In today’s Taipei Times, there is an article on the latest development of the DPP selection for their presidential candidate for the 2012 election (i.e. telephone polls). Before discussing the article, let me explain the way it works (I’ll do my best). When someone gets a call, they will be asked three questions and they have to answer all three for the call to be valid in the polls. The three questions are:

  1. Between Tsai Ing-wen and Ma Ying-jeou, who would you support in the 2012 presidential election?
  2. Between Su Tseng-chang and Ma Ying-jeou, who would you support in the 2012 presidential election?
  3. Between Hsu Hsing-liang and Ma Ying-jeou, who would you support in the 2012 presidential election?

The person who gets the highest support against Ma Ying-jeou would win. In other words, the comparison is always made against Ma rather than each other. As such, if someone supports all three DPP candidates, none of them is going to get any point and their answer becomes useless. In this situation, if all green supporters support all three (or both of the strongest two), then the outcome is going to be determined by blue or middle voters and if the blue camp wants to interfere with the outcome, their supporters can simply pick someone they think is the weakest.

To show the true support level each candidate gets, the best way is for everyone to say that they only support the candidate(s) they are most sure about in all three questions. This means that when asked about the person they support vs. Ma, they say the person’s name and when asked about the others they do not like as much, they say ‘no comment’ or simply repeat the name of the person they truly support.

In this article in Taipei Times, something in the following passage seems to be misrepresenting the fact.

Advertisements produced by groups connected to Tsai’s campaign have said that voters should “only support” the DPP chairperson, suggesting that they should choose Ma over the other two candidates.

As far as I know, no Tsai supporters within the DPP suggests that they should choose Ma over the other two candidates. They have always been saying that voters can say ‘no comments’ orjust  repeat ‘Tsai Ing-wen’.

I also think it is quite funny for some DPP figures to suggest that ‘asking voters to “only support” a single candidate would run counter to its ideas of avoiding inner party strife’. Asking voters to ‘only support XXX’ has actually been used for years in all the other DPP polls. Those who are criticising this approach now have probably all said the same thing when they themselves or their faction members are in the primaries for council or parliamentary elections. Why have they suddenly developed this aversion? Is it because the one they support is lagging behind and they are hoping that the strongest candidate’s support gets balanced out by those who give support to both of them? If everyone is confident with the one they support, they can all ask voters to ‘only support’ whoever they support, can’t they?

I am disappointed but not exactly surprised to see Taipei Times misrepresenting this point because it is not a secret that its Mandarin version, the Liberty Times (the best selling newspaper in Taiwan) has been a loyal supporter to Su Tseng-chang for years. They not only support Su but either viciously attack anyone in Su’s way or ignore news associated with those individuals. Now, I am beginning to wonder whether the owner’s influence has seeped into Taipei Times as well. If anyone knows the running of Taipei Times or has observed their reporting for a long time, your observations and comments are really welcomed. I will write another post in the near future, looking into how the Liberty Times supports Su and the ramifications. I would just like to point out the possible reason for their unwavering loyal to Su today.

The owner of Liberty Times is the owner of a huge construction company. The company owns a lot of land in Taipei County. When Yu Ching was the county chief, he refused to issue the license for three buildings because the company did not comply with the regulation where companies have to give up land to offset the engineering cost. Since then, Liberty Times has been extremely negative about everything Yu did. After Su Tseng-chang became the chief, he quickly let it through. Those three tall buildings brought in potentially billions of profit for the company.

A lot of Su supporters argue that SETTV supports Hsieh and therefore Hsieh is no better. I completely disagree because one programme on SETTV showing more support for Hsieh during the 2008 election does not mean that the whole company does. SET News has often been observed to stir trouble for Hsieh as well. Also, that particular programme’s support for Hsieh completely disappeared after he lost the 2008 election. It may be true that the owner of SETTV is a friend of Hsieh’s but I am inclined to believe that his support for Hsieh is based on his appreciation of Hsieh’s achievements in Kaohsiung (he came from Kaohsiung) and personal friendship rather than any profits Hsieh helped the company make. If there is any dodgy exchange, with the level of hostility other media companies has towards Hsieh so far, I doubt it could remain hidden after all these years.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Gin Shia permalink
    16/04/2011 05:16

    自由時報站在蘇貞昌立場報導,著重在蘇的不滿

    駁藍暗助說 蘇:同黨不要這麼做
    http://www.libertytimes.com.tw/2011/new/apr/14/today-fo5.htm

    1′ 〔記者李欣芳、曾韋禎/台北報導〕民進黨總統初選第二場政見會昨登場,面對蔡英文陣營指國民黨介入綠營初選支持蘇貞昌,一直保持低調的蘇貞昌首度反擊說,聽到同黨的人這樣講,「我感到很難過」,同黨不要這麼做,二十多年他跟著民進黨這支黨旗,哪一場沒戰過?哪一場沒助選過?

    關於(1)蘇貞昌聽到亞洲週刊和藍營在傳灌票給蘇貞昌有一段時間,他沒有生氣,沒有抗議,沒有難過的表現,但這個傳言由徐佳青說出來會影響選情,他突然感到很難過,為什麼先前不向藍營和亞洲週刊抗議,讓綠營放心,他蘇貞昌沒有傳言所說的聯藍制蔡?

    蔡:民進黨很團結 與蘇、許友誼不受影響

    2’對於蘇的質疑,蔡英文會後受訪表示,民進黨是很團結的政黨,相信任何情況下團結會一直持續下去,她認為透過初選政見會的發表,可展現民進黨是民主、有理念的政黨,也更將強化團結,她與蘇貞昌、許信良三人之間的情誼也不受影響,她不相信也不認為過程中會傷到團結。

    關於(2),蔡英文於政見會後伸手要握蘇貞昌,但蘇貞昌沒有接應,日前自由時報曾有類似「握手政治」新聞,據自由時報的說法,蘇貞昌伸手要和蔡英文握手,但蔡英文沒有接應,其實蘇貞昌是伸出「滿是泥巴的手」和握蔡英文,本就是不禮貌的行為,郤被黑白講,變成蔡英文沒風度,不握手,這次政見會後,蔡英文的手沒有泥巴,蘇貞昌為什麼逃避握手?是誰比較小氣?

    3’蘇貞昌在論述時多次使用台語,會後被詢及是否藉此爭取深綠選民支持。蘇答覆,語言的使用是非常地自然,提問人用台語發問,自然就會用台語答覆,引述江蕙的歌詞,當然也用台語。

    關於(3),用台語發言是金恒煒責備蔡、許的材料,蘇貞昌以台語答客問就能贏得初選?誰知這個台語發問人是不是置入性觀眾,本來台語不台語無須過於強調,使用多數人聽懂的語言,讓人民了解你的想法才是重要的事,何必強調台語來台語去,這也是一種的沒自信,一種矯枉過正。

    4’這場初選政見會昨晚在自由時報大樓舉行,東森新聞台現場轉播。蔡英文辦公室發言人徐佳青日前指稱,立法院流傳國民黨透過農漁水利會系統下指令,要民眾在民進黨初選期間接到民調電話時一律表達支持蘇貞昌,可見「藍營要拱蘇」,並非空穴來風。

    關於(4),這是亞洲週刊早已在四月初就報導的事,蘇營沒有反應,當做沒事,如果這件事是不利蘇營,譬如藍營要灌票給蔡英文,讓蘇貞昌落選,你想蘇營不會出來罵大罵小?自由時報不會大作文章?林智坤中執委不會跳出來怒斥蔡陣營?

    蘇:無畏國民黨抹黑 但同黨這樣說令人難過。請問他抹黑謝長廷,謝不難過嗎?

    5’蔡陣營公開指藍營介入支持蘇,讓蘇貞昌昨晚在政見會總結時有感而發。他說,從政三十年,什麼抹黑、攻擊沒遇過,他過去與國民黨戰三十年,不曾退縮,像他當年選屏東縣長就被國民黨抹黑。

    關於(5)他從政30年沒有抹黑謝長廷?他讓謝長廷心中很沈痛,而他都沒有一點表示,也不道歉,他以為國民黨抹黑他,他就可以抹黑謝長廷?

    6′ 蘇貞昌強調,他對民進黨有很深的感情,聽到同黨的人說蘇貞昌民調比較高是國民黨動員農漁會替他助選,他聽了很難過;民進黨一定要團結、有風度,初選過程要平順圓滿,支持者才不會失望,黨才有前途,台灣民主文化才會提升。

    關於(6)他對民進黨有感情,許信良、施明德也對民進黨有感情,蘇當然要比別人更有感情,不然怎麼爭著選2008,2010台北市長和2012總統大選,有感情不代表對黨對台灣會盡忠盡力,楊縣長不也說他對民進黨有感情,現在的表現是「絕情」。
    他若真的對民進黨有感情,他就應該發揮他的執行力,去澈查藍營傳話要替他灌票助選,他怎麼可以不發一言讓藍營不只傳話還寫成文章登在亞洲週刊?

    他的執行力如何?那個官腔十足的洪中執委又怎麼面對藍營就屁也不敢放一聲?
    而自由時報派出兩名記者寫這篇新聞,有什麼看頭?是錄音機的功勞,蘇貞昌怎麼說,錄音機怎麼錄,新聞怎麼登,難道記者沒有發問的能力嗎?記者應設想讀者想知道什麼,記者必需提出問題讓讀者可以從記者報導中得到釋疑,這篇文章才有價值可言,否則只是錄音機文章,甚至是蘇貞昌悲情文宣廣告,兩位記者應替報社向蘇貞昌辦公室收廣告費,替老閭謀福利。

  2. 18/04/2011 03:14

    It’s probably hard for frequent readers of TT’s to comment if the TT operates in favor of Su, unless they also read other local media in Chinese (certainly not the LT).

    I did observe one incident back to the 5-city election campaign. In an article in which the TT reporting Tsai’s campaign, they attached a photo of Su’s, playing soccer I believe, with that article, even the entire article has nothing to do with him.

    In the LT, similar cases happened numerous times during and after the 5-city compaign. It has gone to a point that green supporters voice their intention to abandon the LT several times already due to the bias. You can find lots of info collected in the BlackRain’s blog, http://blackrain.skycity.cc/ .

    I also observed one thing today. The DPP primary has been going on for quite some time, going through a lot of events— decision on all-poll process for the primary, Tsai-Su meeting, big head meeting, Tsai’s announcement, Su’s announcement, Lu’s announcement and later withdrawal, Hsu’s announcement, the 3 TV presentations of all candidates —- all media (both the paper and online version) in Taiwan did polls to reveal public opinions about who is the best in response to those events. However, the LT has done NONE in 2011. They have a poll center, and people reported that they received calls from them (about 7~10 days ago), but obviously the LT doesn’t want their readers to know about the results.

    Even if we forget about the poll center, the LT does have an online poll site:
    http://iservice.libertytimes.com.tw/Debate/outcome.php?cate=1&vote=391

    With that site, they conducted online voting on a new topic on a daily basis (exclude weekends), collectively ~80 survey this year, but none of them asks readers “who do you think is the best candidate in the DPP?”. For some reason, they miss all those critical developments of DPP entirely.

    • Claudia Jean permalink*
      18/04/2011 19:18

      Thanks for your comment and valuable information. Perhaps we can do a post on this topic together?

  3. Claudia Jean permalink*
    19/04/2011 18:43

    Thanks Echo. Do you mind if I contact you via your email?

  4. Claudia Jean permalink*
    20/04/2011 18:04

    Cool! Thanks. I’ll email you about this soon ;)

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