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.
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.
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!!~~