Friday, November 21, 2008

The KMT Ma administration's new vote-buying scheme

In the nation of Taiwan, instead of giving a simple tax cut, the currently extremely unpopular Ma Ying-jeou administration is trying what in essence amounts to buying votes for the KMT for the next election. The KMT will hand out money to people in the form of "consumer coupons" -- citizens just have to go to the polling stations to pick them up. At the polling stations!

Herein you can see an example of social conditioning to make Taiwanese think: voting for Ma Ying-jeou's KMT party means you can get money later on from the polling place where you cast the ballot for them. Every high school student studies Pavlov's experiment: ring the bell while you give the dog food. The dog eventually associates food with the sound of the bell. Finally, when the bell rings the dog will salivate whether there is food there or not. Ma has applied Pavlov's experiment on a grand scale to a grand new way of generalized vote buying. It will also make people more susceptible to accepting fully-fledged candidate-targeted vote buying come election time.

The Ma government and KMT legislators ran campaigns in the past election cycle on how much the DPP had bungled the economy and how much supposedly the KMT had masterfully run it during its dictatorship era and also in the 1990s. However this latest vote-buying scheme in all but name shows that the Ma government has no clue how to manage or improve the economy. But they are slick at propaganda and so have figured out how to turn a weak spot into political benefit. The only skill the KMT seems to exhibit is how to grab power and try to hold onto it (oh yes, and also take money from Taiwanese citizens via government and somehow transfer the assets into KMT party coffers or even individual KMT party leaders pockets, but avoid any corruption charges in the process.)

Taiwanese need to realize that the money they might get is not the KMT's money but instead their own money -- it is money taken from the very Taiwanese people who now are receiving it in the form of "consumer coupons." It is like the magic trickster who asked for a NT$1000 bill, waves it around, folds it up, and pulls it out of the volunteer's ear and ends up giving it back to the volunteer who produced it for the magic demonstration in the first place. If the volunteer leaves the place dazzled and feeling that he has walked away with a prize of NT$1000, he has been truly bewitched. People who love Taiwan will need to put extra effort in convincing coworkers, neighbors, family and friends of the true nature of this "handout" and exposing these kinds of KMT lies. Otherwise democracy will further be eroded as the KMT uses their propaganda tricks to keep a hold on power -- and on your money.

For more reading on this type of manipulation, please see the Taiwan Democracy Movement article on Throwing Off the Slave Mentality

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