9-in-1 Election in Taiwan Today: What the Election Campaigns in Central Taiwan were Really Like

My husband just left to cast his vote(s) in the 9-in-1 election happening today in Taiwan and I am here enjoying the silence on this early Saturday morning. There are no trucks with loudspeakers blaring around the neighborhood today. Everything is peaceful and quiet. However, it was a different story here yesterday morning when the rest of this post was actually written.

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Fireworks 5

Written Friday, November 28th, 2014

If you recall a couple of months back, during the month of October, I published a photo essay which included several pictures that were taken during a massive display of fireworks.  These fireworks were set off to officially commence the election campaign of a local candidate (one pictured above). It was quite the spectacle which I enjoyed immensely. I was eager to see how all the campaigns would transpire over the course of the two months leading up the election.

However, my eagerness faded and I was literally counting down the days to the election. No, I am not interested in talking about who wins or loses nor am I going to talk about who I would like to see elected. I do have my personal preferences but seeing how I don’t like to discuss things such as politics on my blog, I will keep my opinions to myself.

election 1

What the election campaigns were like where I live in Taiwan:

However, I would like to talk about what the election campaigns were like where I live.  I will not focus on the tactics used by candidates to sway voters, but I will make more general observations.  Here are a few things I noticed:

~1~ The Amount of Banners and Flags

They have been placed everywhere and anywhere – if there is vacant spot along the road, then it has been occupied with a flag or banner. Each candidate has continued to put up more and more and now it is just a huge mess of numbers, names, and faces jumbled together and overlapping each other.

~2~ The Noise

As I write this, three candidates have already paraded around outside my house. The first thing you hear as the motorcade approaches is the sound of the loudspeaker followed by the beating of the drum and then firecrackers. It is not the best situation when you are need complete silence to think and to write.

But, it is not only today, it has been every day for the past two months. The trucks with loudspeakers asking you to vote for a certain candidate usually start as early as 8 o’clock and some can be heard as late as 9 at night.

~3~ The Promotional Campaign Gifts

Because of the mass number of candidates and categories this election, there is also a massive amount of campaign ‘gifts’ – items which contain the name of the candidate, his or her number, and usually the position he or she is running for (be it mayor or councillor, or town, city, or county). We have received enough lighters to do us the rest of our lives (no joking – about 9 or 10 and since we only use them to light candles, I may very well be correct), several small notebooks, boxes of tissues, small packs of tissue, enough pens to write my book, and the best gift yet – cute nail clippers. And let’s not forget the promotional material – flyers and business cards, all of which will hopefully be recycled when all is said and done.

So, if you are Taiwanese, get out there and exercise your right to vote. The choice is yours! Let you voice be heard!!!!

~~My last double digits post.  The next one will be my 100th post!!~~

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14 thoughts on “9-in-1 Election in Taiwan Today: What the Election Campaigns in Central Taiwan were Really Like

  1. I actually shook hands with one of the candidates. I was eating at a local restaurant with my mother-in-law and husband when they showed up giving out tissue paper and pens. It was pretty cool. 🙂 One of the bases for rallies are outside my window so I see firecrackers and everything. I believe we also got free chopsticks-to-go which will be handy when I go to China.

    My husband voted. 🙂

    1. I met a few as well who took the time to canvassed the neighborhood. Plus, we were treated to another amazing display of fireworks as the one who started his election campaign with a bang (of fireworks) got elected and ended with a bang as well.

      Receiving chopsticks is a great promotional gift – very useful and practical.

      I hope you husband was happy with the overall outcome!

  2. Here in Malaysia, it is more or less the same with the banners. But instead of going around in trucks and loudspeakers, we have temporary stages set up in strategic places. Every night there would be free food and talks by politicians.

  3. Whaaaat! Promotional gifts!? While I can see too many being a nuisance… at least it makes up for the noise (a little bit?) ^^ We don’t get anything! No fancy fireworks, no goodiesーjust endless shouting and blaring of names… T-T
    And WOO! Congrats a little bit ahead of time on your 100th post!! 😀

    1. Yes, the promotional gifts are good – there are always pens around whenever you need one and I guess the lighters are useful as well even if you don’t smoke. However, I don’t think that fireworks are a common occurrence in Taiwan either – I guess I live in the right place where a candidate is willing to spend a lot of money.

  4. Lol, it’s always a busy time when we have elections here too, only we don’t really have much promotional gifts being given to us. We do have rallies though, which is when there is a huge crowd gathering to listen to them talk. And we do have the same loudspeakers going around the neighbourhood constantly. At these times, when I see any of the candidates going around the neighbourhood, shaking hands, I run away instead…hahaha…:)

    1. I think this is an example of if one does something, everyone else follows and this is the case with promotional gifts. There are also rallies here in Taiwan which I have never attended and some candidates canvass the neighborhoods as well. I saw some during the days leading up to the election.

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